The ultimate sin has been committed. It has been committed against you by your most trusted, most loved friend, your husband. What can you do? Do you forgive him? Do you run away and never face it again? How can you ever forgive your husband and get your relationship back on track?
If you forgive him and you bring him back into your life, then every kindness you show him will be even more of a reminder of what he did. Every good deed will drive his pain and self-guilt deeper. With each kindness he will be reminded of what a wonderful person you are and how horribly he treated you. He will go through the same regret again and again, even while you are soothing him. He will always be reminded of what he came so close to losing forever. And that’s if you do forgive him. Imagine how horrible it will be for him if you have cured yourself, moved on, and recovered in your new life.
“…cease to feel resentment”
“…to pardon” (pardon = release from an offense without penalty)
“…give up claim to requital” (requital = compensation or retaliation)
Are you really ready to forgive? It’s wonderful if you are, but don’t do it halfway. If you are going to forgive your partner for committing the ultimate sin against you, then you need to do it right. Partial forgiveness is nearly as bad as not forgiving at all. You cannot get away with just the words “I forgive you.” You really have to feel forgiveness. To feel it, you need to know what it really means.
CEASE TO FEEL RESENTMENT: If you are truly ready to forgive you will no longer feel bad for anything you are forgiving your mate for. No more persistent ill will or indignant displeasure when you are reminded of what he has done to you and against you. You will not express annoyance, or irritability at the thought or mention of what your partner has done. If you cannot get the evil thoughts out of your head you may not be ready to forgive.
PARDON – RELEASE WITH NO PENALTY: If you truly forgive you need to fully pardon your partner. You need to make him know that you have totally released him from all blame and fault. He needs to know he is, as he was before anything ever happened. No penalties, no additional strikes, no special rules, no restrictions, no limitations and no tethers. You have accepted his most sincere regrets and apologies, and you now release him from all responsibility and obligation, other than the initial wedding vows.
GIVE UP CLAIM TO COMPENSATION OR RETALIATION: If you are ready to forgive there can be no deals or arrangements that allow you at least one fling similar to your partner’s, whatever it was. No “getting back” of any kind. If you are willing to forgive, you must be willing to totally let go. Can you do this? Should you do this? Do you know your husband’s true mind when he pleads for forgiveness? You cannot simply say, “I forgive you” just to allow your mate back into your arms for convenience or security. There is more to forgiveness than that. Your true forgiveness wipes his debt away. He owes you nothing more than he owed you when he first entered your relationship.
Forgiveness is no light matter. It takes a very strong constitution to forgive. You have to eliminate everything that has happened from your thoughts, discussions, relationship, and every-day living. That is the only real forgiveness that will ever work. Don’t take it lightly and don’t underestimate it. This is difficult to do but it’s required if you are to say you have truly forgiven someone. Forgive literally means a permanent removal of deserved punishment and condemnation. Punishment deserved for the act performed and condemnation deserved for the lasting effects of the act. To forgive would mean to forego all punishment.
Forgiveness is your demonstration of mercy and grace to your partner. Something has broken the fellowship between you and your partner and it has broken the harmony within your relationship. Fellowship and harmony can only be restored through forgiveness. Don’t try to get revenge by lying to your partner about being ready to forgive him, and then just when he starts feeling safe, change your mind. You have been toyed with, but you are better than the one who toyed with you; don’t stoop to his level. If you are really and truly ready to forgive, you can enjoy the fruits of forgiveness; peace, healing, restoration and cleansing.
If you don’t think you can do justice by true forgiveness, then maybe you should consider other alternatives. If you don’t think you will ever forget what has happened, then maybe you can’t really forgive. If you think you might possibly bring these things up again and again, then you aren’t ready to fully forgive anybody of anything. Try not to let your own security and well being command your forgiveness decision. Your ability to actually forgive, in the manner we have talked about, should be the deciding factor. If you are ready then go ahead, if you are not then think about it. You have choices;
1) Don’t forgive, don’t forget, and don’t reunite: Not a very mentally healthy choice. You need to move on. If you don’t do anything to try to help yourself you could ache in misery for as long as your partner does. You need to do your best to at least forget.
2) Forgive, don’t forget, don’t reunite: This is a beginning but if you truly forgive you must forget. Remember, forgiving is not just saying the words “I forgive you.” Also, the forgive part is for your partner, the forget part is for you. If you do forgive then you should consider reuniting.
3) Forgive, forget, reunite: This could be the most difficult choice but could be the most satisfying in the end. Use all the help you can get to determine if your husband’s words of apology are legitimate or not.
You have spent the past years finding love. You had it and you have the chance to salvage it from this near fatal experience. Understand what it means to forgive then gather your strength and give it one more chance.