4 Ways Forgiveness Can Transform Your Marriage


Guest Post by: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+ and Pinterest.

Getting hurt by people is pretty awful. Getting hurt by the one we love the most—our spouse—that hurts the most. They are the one we’ve opened up to, shown the good, the bad, and the ugly. We thought we could trust them with that private, intimate part of ourselves. But then what do they do? They break that trust.

Unfortunately, that can happen in marriage. Our partner may lie to us about something important, cheat on us physically or emotionally with someone else, or hurt us in some other way. At first it may seem like you may never recover from these actions—they are just too painful to bear. If some time as gone by and you still find yourself at odds with what has happened, it’s time to ask yourself this: Have you forgive your spouse?

If not, that may be the very thing from helping you get over the hurt and finally move on with your life and the needed repair in your relationship. While forgiveness may be difficult, especially in this circumstance—just think of how life will change once you do unshoulder that burden. Here are some ways that forgiveness can transform your marriage:

•Forgiveness Helps You Release Anger

When someone hurts you, you feel vulnerable. So it’s only natural to put up walls to protect yourself. What you are really doing is channeling your anger about what happened into building those walls. Sarah did that when she found out about her husband Bryan’s affair. She felt she had every right to put up walls and keep them there. Only, they weren’t serving anyone, least of all herself.

Why allow yourself to be surrounded by that negativity all the time? It drains you of your energy and makes it hard to ever be happy. Forgiveness helps you to release that anger, tear down those walls, and allow love back in again. Sarah was able to forgive Bryan and with that forgiveness came a slow rebuild of a positive marriage.

•Forgiveness Shifts the Power from Blame to Rebuilding

When someone hurts you, all you can think about is all of their mistakes and misgivings. We put all of our thoughts into blame. We never think about how we could have contributed to the problem. Dan was an overbearing husband to Katie, who was irate when he found out she had been splurging on shopping trips and hiding it from him.

When Katie explained that she felt he was too judgmental and she didn’t want to be around him, which lead to her seeking retail therapy, it was the wake-up call he needed. He forgave her for what she did and also asked for forgiveness from her. Then they were able to rebuild.

•Forgiveness Opens Up the Possibility for Future Trust

When your spouse breaks your trust, it may seem like you can never trust them again. If you never forgive them, then there is definitely no room for future trust. When Pam stumbled upon what she found out later was her husband Aaron’s long-time pornography addiction, she was crushed. How could she ever trust him after this? After something he had been keeping from her for their whole marriage?

But Pam loved him and wanted their marriage to work. Through counseling, lots of long discussions with Aaron, and him throwing out the computer and smartphone, she realized that things could change. She fully forgave him for what had happened in the past, opening up the chance for her to trust him in the future. It would take time, but it would come.

•Forgiveness Allows You Both to Change for the Better

In a relationship where one spouse is unwilling to forgive, it completely stops the relationship from moving forward. How can the offending spouse grow and change if the other won’t allow it to happen? Harry was so hurt by the fact that his wife Susie had given up a baby for adoption (before even meeting him) and didn’t tell him about it, he was unwilling to forgive her. He held it over her head, saying, “If you lied to me about that, what else are you lying to me about?” It stalled their relationship from progressing for months.

Until one day he realized that they would have no future together if he wasn’t willing to allow her to change. And the only way to do that was forgiveness. It was difficult, but in time he came around. After forgiving Susie, she apologized and explained why she had kept it from him. They both felt better understood and were able to create a stronger bond together through forgiveness.

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