How To Forgive Your Partner
Forgiveness begins with you. Forgiveness does not come easy when you are angry or hurt. The more you try to forgive them, the more your emotions will be affected. In all religions and cultures, you are required to forgive but in reality, it is your choice. Is it your place to make them feel better about what they did? Is it your place to inform them of what you expect in order for them to be forgiven? When do we stop letting them take advantage or is it that they do not understand what is hurting us? Let’s explore:
Forgiveness Is Your Choice
You cannot control other people but you can stop re-living what they have done to you. Communication with explanations as to what the root cause of this pain will begin the healing process. It is better to learn the truth about yourself although it may hurt at the time. Weigh the pro’s and con’s of allowing that person back into your life. Take into account all they have said to you about why they hurt you. Last, figure out if you could have been partially responsible for what happened. What could you have done to prevent it, and how can you prevent it from happening next time? This isn’t to say you’re taking all the blame, or taking responsibility away from the other person, but to realize that we are not victims. Once you forgive someone you do not have the right to keep bringing it up to make them defend themselves over again. Let’s see what some religions have to say about forgiveness.
Hinduism – When you seek to forgive, you discharge others and yourself from a great Karma debt. Any resentment that you may hold binds you and influences your future. When you forgive others or seek forgiveness, you are released from the Karma debt you owe to them, even if they do not actively forgive you. Your request must be unconditional without expectations, complete and final. It must be motivated by compassion and love rather than self-interest. The same principles apply when you want to forgive yourself. Self-criticism and negative self-talk and assailed by our own negativity, self-forgiveness becomes equally important. You have to name it and claim it to let it go. Ask yourself who do you want to forgive and what was done? Once you let go of it, you can use that energy for other things. Empathy is also apart of this process. Understanding why you have done this or why someone else has done this makes it a bit easier to forgive.
Judaism says its a mitzvah (divine commandment) to forgive and they have a holy day dedicated to forgiveness. Instead of seeing what happened to you as a bad thing, look for the reason behind it. They believe G-d appoints things to happen and you must find the reason why. The person that carries out the act upon you is just the messenger. Your anger or disappointment should be seen as a learning opportunity about what you have done. You do not decide what happens to you, but you do get to decide how you handle it.
Buddism – Forgiveness is seen as a way to end suffering, to bring dignity and harmony to our life. It is fundamentally for our own sake, for our own mental health and a way to letting go of pain. If you are not ready to let go, you should start with yourself first since you cannot control another. Seek within yourself to find out how to take the pain away. You control yourself not others. Through mediation, one can achieve forgiveness for others and for themselves. Holding onto anger and pain is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Taoism – Forgiveness is seen as a whole, not individual people. It is more for you not to carry around the weight of the burdens of others that have wronged you more than having the approval of others. Once you have learned about yourself then you can forgive others for the mistakes they have made. It is about a new beginning each time you learn to be a better person to others. If someone refuses to forgive you, they carry that burden. It is apart of the Ying and Yang in this religion. You forgive yourself and learn not to repeat it.
Islam – We cannot expect Allah’s forgiveness unless we also forgive those who do wrong to us. Forgiving each other, even forgiving one’s enemies is one of the most important of Islamic teaching. In the Qur’an, Allah has described the Believers as: “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry…. they forgive.”
Christianity says you are to forgive at all times because if you do not then God will not forgive you. Interestingly enough that Luke, a Greek physician, says you must rebuke your brother who has sinned and IF he repents (turns away from the sin) then you are required to forgive him as many times as he ask for it. This is the way of the Roman Catholics too. The Greek Orthodox believe to forgive is to help you heal.
To forgive non believers one must pray for them directly to God so He can judge them. (There are many different Christian beliefs so please ask your leader what your sect of Christians believe)
It is your choice to forgive someone and you can forgive but not forget. Once this person has wronged you, they have shown their true colors and there is no guarantee that it will not happen again. You can love someone from a distance and not place yourself back into the relationship. Whether you are afraid of God’s vengeance, Karma coming back on you or if you need to forgive them for yourself, it is still your decision. If you know you did someone wrong it is up to you to seek forgiveness from them and to forgive yourself. Life is hard but do not play the victim. Be a leader and show everyone that you will not carry around their burdens in this life.