Monday, February 4, 2013

Fighting With and Forgiving Your Spouse

by M. J. Joachim
With Valentine’s Day approaching quickly, I thought it might be a good idea to cheer all those husbands and wives out there, with a few bits of advice on how to forgive each other, just in case there’s any trouble brewing. After that, bring on the flowers, chocolate and romance, because love is in the air!

Life is too darn short to be angry at the person you choose to love for the rest of your life.  Too often we make things way more difficult on ourselves than we need to.  The reality is, you’re married for better or worse, and you may as well get used to the fact that your spouse will never be perfect.  Oh, and by the way, neither will you.

Some things worth considering are the reasons you need to forgive your spouse in the first place.  What is the offense, and is it really as serious as your response to it?  Be fair now.  Are you overreacting because you’ve had a hard day, or does your spouse truly deserve the wrath you are about to give?

When two people have disputes, both of them usually end up getting hurt.  The initial offender must be responsible for doing whatever it was that needs to be forgiven.  The recipient of the offense should contemplate their own reaction to being hurt in the first place.  However, it makes absolutely no sense to get mad at someone for being mad.

That’s what frequently happens in marriages.  Spouses think they have a license to hurt each other, and should automatically be forgiven based on the relationship.  They take liberties they wouldn’t dream of taking with their friends, often disregarding the needs of their partner.  In the process, their partner gets mad, and they make justifications by turning the tables, immediately taking a defensive stand and responding to the pain (inflicted) with insults and shock.

This typically leads to more trouble, as two people who dearly love each other get lost in the atmosphere of miscommunication.  Before long, both parties need to step back and catch their breath.  All sorts of useless (angry) words have invaded the territory, many of them reminiscent of old wounds that are admittedly very hurtful.  Neither person can stand with the other at this point.  All bets are off on how long it takes to come to a reasonable solution.

The only thing you can do is take time to nurse your wounds and rediscover how much you love your spouse.  This person who hurt you means enough to you, that you are willing to have a complete blow-up with them, exaggerating all dimensions of the issues at hand. 

You trust them enough to believe that no matter how bad it gets, you’ll be able to work it out, meaning, neither one of you holds back in the midst of battle. 

Somehow, through all of this, you love them enough to remember why you married them in the first place, and initiate the best make up session you’ve ever had. 

These are just a few very important things to remember, when you need to forgive your spouse.

Thank you for visiting Effectively Human.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Contemporary Wife-selling print, Georgian scrapbook 1949, PD-US
©2013 All Rights Reserved