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Forgiveness in marriage

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Forgiving hands“Excuse me, screamed Swati. What exactly do you mean when you say that the past is the past? Why don’t you try forgiving and forgetting and starting on a fresh page? I can never forgive the way he just played the role of a silent audience when his mum got at me at every opportunity. I can never forget his lack of sensitivity when he saw me spending sleepless nights because of what I had to go through each day. I think it would have been easier to forgive if he had suggested suicide instead.”

Swati has been married for fifteen years now and she has been living in a nuclear family setup for the past ten years. Her husband finally responded to her feelings by moving out with her. Yet, their relationship with each other is far from being cordial.

The ghost of “mother-in-laws apparent injustice” keeps haunting them time and again. So, what is the moral of the story? Life or a relationship for that matter is not always fair. But, not being able to let go by not forgiving can only lead to an unhealthy, unhappy and undesirable existence. The entire synopsis of which cannot be summed up in a better way than this…”Not forgiving someone is like letting that person live rent free in your head.”

The person who is worst affected in quite strangely not the person who is seeking forgiveness but the person who has to forgive. According to research findings holding a grudge can lead to “increased blood pressure and hormonal changes — linked to cardiovascular disease, immune suppression and, possibly, impaired neurological function and memory.” So, forgiving the person who you think has been unfair or has rendered injustice to you will not only ensure mental peace and spiritual upliftment but it will also usher in physical well being.

We sometimes use the words forgiveness and tolerance interchangeably. But, that is not correct. The two are distinctly different from each other. The dictionary defines tolerance as enduring something hard or painful, or working up the strength to bear with something awful. Forgiveness on the other hand is defined as the act of excusing a mistake or offense. Very simply put to tolerate a wrong doing is unforgivable whereas the wrong doing itself can be forgiven.
According to Snigdha Gohain, a marriage counselor, forgiveness is in fact a very important ingredient of a happy and successful marriage. After all two people in a relationship are not perfect. There are bound to moments when you say or do things that will have negative impact on your relationship.  So, forgiveness is a habit you need to inculcate. It is the only tool that will help remove all the stumbling blocks in your relationship. Revitalise and recharge it and set it back on course.

Tell tale signs you need to look out for in order to rejuvenate your marriage with a dose of forgiveness:

If you are constantly angry at your spouse because, you feel that there are a number of unresolved issues.
If you are bitter to the point that you are insensitive.
If you are overly critical of your spouse.

Forgiving somebody takes courage. And the first step in the right direction is to make up your mind to forgive. It is often effortless for us to accept and apologise for small faults. But, once the ego takes centre stage it gets exceedingly more and more difficult to do these. So, beware of the ego interference. Do not hesitate to accept your mistake, take responsibility for it and apologise. And this article would be incomplete without my friend Mini’s brilliant suggestion, “if you feel you have wronged your spouse. Then, why don’t you just ask for forgiveness!”

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