Saturday, July 30, 2016

Forgiveness for Couples

Engage the Harm

In forgiveness, harm must be acknowledged. This magnifies what has happened. This is the opposite of avoidance, giving in, explaining away, stonewalling, criticizing, counter-attack, or manipulation.  Forgiveness requires naming the harm.

Value the Offender

However, in forgiveness, the value of the offender is also elevated. We engage the offender because of their human value. We choose not to hold the offense against them so that we are able to address the offense directly. If two partners choose to enter into this process, then I believe true intimacy is possible.  Thus, in forgiveness, we elevate both the harm committed and the value of the offender.

Set and Maintain Boundaries

Set boundaries or even separation when the partner is violent, when the partner is not open to change, or not open to help from an outside source like a mental health counselor.  If harm does not cease, then boundaries at appropriate levels are needed.

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. – Robert Quillen 

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