A good friend who went through a nasty phase in her life sent to me the information given to her by her therapist. It was about “forgiveness”. This is a compilation of two articles. One by Dr. Dennis Shun and the other by Bryan Patterson on “Faithworks”.
I will write the essence in a short version and will add between brackets what I think is so hard for people who are reconciling and working hard on their marriage.
- By Forgiving We Are Not Doing the Person Who Wronged Us A Favour: The gift of forgiveness is for ourselves, not the person who caused us pain. (My problem with this is that if a couple wants to work on the relationship, both need forgiveness …I agree with and I understand that the betrayed does not want to hold on to the anger as it destroys a person and their relationships (plural).
- By Forgiving We Claim Back Lost Power For Ourselves. We regain the freedom that we handed over to the person who hurt us. Forgiving makes the statement that you are not driven by that person’s power over you and allow that to interfere with your life. (my problem with this is that when a couple decides that there is more good than bad in the marriage, the betrayed will be living with “that person”…It does not help to hold on to this statement…?
- By Forgiving We are Not Being Altruistic. (This I understand. It means that the betrayed free themselves of the “crippling effects of cynicism and bitterness). It is a choice and it is a decision and it cannot be made lightly. It needs time. Some do it too fast…(the first year is defined by all ups and downs…the true insight comes after…
- By Forgiving We do Not Mean Forgetting. It means that the sting is gone. I understand this too. One therapist told me that he tells every couple that there will be pain and that no “miracle cure” exists to take away the pain.
- Forgiving Does Not Make Us Heroes (Yes, I get that). “making someone crawl”, as one therapist puts it, means to use your power as a betrayed over someone who is already down (a person with intense remorse, here I am talking about those who feel intense remorse and hate themselves for their past actions). By taking every opportunity to throw the affair in their face, the betrayed acts as a self-righteous individual, and it does nothing than hurt to both of them.
- Forgiveness Frees the Forgiver. It Extracts the Forgiver From Someone Else’s Nightmare [but] It Also Recognises The person We Forgive Is probably Also A Victim Of their Own Wrongdoing (The second part resonates with me…I see daily that both spouses suffer when they work on re-connection).
- By Forgiving, We Mark the End Of An Era. I understand this too and also that it is a choice.