How to Forgive Your Partner

Some people become confused about forgiveness because it sounds like you’re letting go of responsibility and allowing others to discard the rules of society. But forgiveness can complement personal responsibility. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the past, while you continue to maintain your best effort and clear thinking about personal responsibility in the present.

Here are some choices you can make to foster forgiveness:

1. Identify the hurt and pain (what someone just said or did) as antagonism because that’s what it is. It was not said or done for you, its serves their own agenda.

2. Put your hurt and pain in its proper perspective – they made an immature, childish statement or action. It does not deserve the attention and energy you are giving it.

3. Are you going to let your hurt determine your response or will you choose to use your adult judgment? Are you going to let your anger control you or are you going to manage it?

4. Identify that this is an opportunity to allow others to be responsible for themselves.

5. Using your adult judgment, you can consciously choose to manage your hurt and anger appropriately. You can take this immature, foolish action like a grown-up instead of returning to your childhood.

6. Understand that your purpose in holding into this hurt and pain is not to be productive, but
a) to relieve the pain of your feelings by putting them down and to build yourself up
b) to control the situation
c) to prevent the humiliating exposure of your own imperfections
d) to achieve fairness by seeking revenge and hurting them.

Under these circumstances, we are not their conversation partner, we are their target. That is why we do not dignify their hurtful statements with a well-reasoned, mature reply. We do not waste time or energy debating their position on the issue at hand, either. There is no substance to their argument, no merit in their thought processes; because there aren’t any. These are only childish remarks confirming that under stress they have regressed to an earlier stage of personal development. You can choose not to join them in fifth grade.

Instead, you can choose to:

• Use your adult judgment to identify antagonism for what it is, childish attention seeking.

• Resist the temptation to straighten them out.

• Disengage yourself emotionally from their antagonism by catching yourself about to take their words/behavior personally. Their antagonism is not a reflection on your worth as a person. Resist the temptation to defend yourself. They not interested your point of view. They are focused on relieving their hurt at your expense. You are not guilty. You require no defending. Save your breath.

• Disengage from your own defensiveness, explaining or criticizing. That only gives the antagonistic comment more significance than it deserves.

• Let go of your intention to control the situation. Focus on controlling your reactions to the provocation.

• Muster up the courage to take the risk of doing something new. You can choose to say, “I don’t know what you are trying to accomplish.” or “What are you trying to achieve?” You are not attacking. You are telling the truth.

• See how you feel afterwards. If you feel good, savor it. You’ve earned it.

• Agree with it. The last thing antagonizers expect you to do is agree with them. When you say, “I hear what you’re saying,” or “:I never thought of that.” you are not saying that they are correct in the facts, merely that you heard what they said, which is the truth.

Couple in conversation photo available from Shutterstock

Visit original source.

Leave a Reply

Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

Tags: ,