Forgiveness: An Essential Ingredient in Successful, Committed Marriages

Although the message is wise, it is not always simple to forgive. Yes, of course, it is simple to forget to phone to let his wife know he will be running late for dinner when he is stressed out and overworked. When a wife is overburdened with duties, it is simple to overlook the fact that she failed to pick up her husband from the railway station.

But how can we forgive when treachery, loss, and rejection are all part of complicated exchanges that leave us feeling hurt or betrayed? My experience has shown me that the best course of action in these circumstances is not to suppress hurt, rage, or even rage, but to seek counseling for a deeper knowledge and awareness. This is a surefire path to forgiveness that also provides sensible guidance. The examples that follow illuminate this strategy using data from my practice.

Tim and Kerry: A betrayal brought on by parental pressure

Kerry and Tim (not their real names, of course), the parents of an adorable 4-month-old newborn boy, met while attending college and immediately fell in love. Kerry’s parents, who are of low means, reside 1,000 miles away whereas Tim’s wealthy parents are only a few miles from their son and daughter-in-law. While Kerry and Tim’s mother did not get along, Tim’s parents and Kerry’s parents were close and appreciated their son-in-law’s company.

Tim and Kerry sought counseling as a result of their ongoing argument over a recent event. Kerry thought she and Tim had promised before the birth of their kid not to speak to their parents until the baby was born. Tim, however, texted his parents as soon as Kerry went into labor, and they immediately went to the hospital. Tim texted his parents frequently during Kerry’s labor to keep them informed of his progress. Kerry yelled violently in our first session, “Tim deceived me. My parents knew they would hear from us after a safe delivery. “Look, Kerry,” Tim retorted, “I told you what you needed to hear, but believing that my parents had a right to know everything going on.”

After three months of diligent study, Tim realized he had overlooked a crucial component of happy marriages: the need for a loyalty shift from parents to partner, which Kerry’s parents were aware of. He also understood that he needed to have a serious talk with his mother because she denigrated his wife because of her parents’ poverty and what they perceived as their “lack of social status.”

Kerry felt it was important to befriend her mother-in-law, who she reasoned “couldn’t be all bad – after all, she raised a wonderful son. “Tensions were reduced and a brand-new, happy chapter for the entire family started as a result of Tim’s clearly stated expectations of his mother and Terry’s resolve to let go of resentments.

Cynthy and Jerry:  Chronic deceit

Each of Cynthy and Jerry’s ages was 35, and they had been wed for seven years. Both were focused on their careers and neither desired to have children. Jerry declined to accompany Cynthy, so she went to counseling by herself. As soon as my office door was shut, Cynthy started sobbing and said, “I don’t know where to turn; I don’t think that Jerry’s late nights are related to work, but he won’t talk to me about what is going on. I’ve lost trust in him. Jerry is completely uninterested in me as a human being, Cynthy continued, adding, “Jerry is no longer interested in our making love.”

Cynthy and her husband had been working together for three months when Cynthy learned that her spouse had been lying to her all along. She remembered a time early in their marriage when Cynthy left her job as an accountant to manage a close friend’s campaign for a state elected position. Jerry joyously and coldly informed Cynthy after the election, which her buddy narrowly lost by a few votes, “She was your candidate, not mine. To silence you, I appeared to support her.

Cynthy informed Jerry that she wanted to end their relationship in the fifth month of therapy. He moved out happily, and Cynthy noticed that he was happy to be able to spend time with someone else. She soon learned that a book club member whose wife had passed away the year before was interested in her, and their friendship quickly grew. Cynthy particularly enjoyed getting to meet Carl’s two young daughters, who are 6 and 7 years old.At this point, Jerry understood his error in judgment. He asked his wife to reconsider getting a divorce and she responded, “Of course, I forgive you. I now have a better grasp of who I am and why divorce is so important thanks to you.

Therese and Harvey: An abused partner

When Harvey started seeing someone else, Therese and Harvey had twin kids who were 15 years old. Therese expressed her anger about his affair during our first session, and Harvey responded that he too was angry because his wife spends her entire life focused on their sons. Therese “forgot a long time ago that she has a husband, and I cannot forgive her for this ignorance,” in Harvey’s words. Why wouldn’t I like to be with a woman who expresses interest in me at last? For his wife, Harvey’s candor served as a real wake-up call.

Therese was determined to comprehend the causes of conduct she had not acknowledged or realized, and she quickly discovered that her over-involvement with her sons, who were named after her late father and brother, was due to the fact that her father and brother had perished in the same car accident when she was nine years old. She hoped that by doing this, she would be able to spare them from suffering the same fate as her father and brother. Harvey came to the realization that he should have addressed his wife’s annoyance and disappointment far sooner rather than letting it fester. By the time they came to this mutual understanding, Harvey’s affair was over, awareness had brought them closer than ever, and insights had subdued all resentment.

Carrie and Jason:  Denied opportunities for pregnancy

Jason put off starting a family since he wasn’t sure he wanted one. He had constantly informed her, “I like to be able to be free for us to get up and have fun anytime we want to.I don’t want to abandon that. When Carrie’s biological clock started screaming “Now or Never!” at age 35, Jason still did not want to be a parent.

Carrie made the decision at this moment that she was determined to get pregnant, Jason or not. They sought counseling as a result of their seemingly irreconcilable differences and their anger at one another over desires they could not compromise on.

Jason came to understand during our session that his anxiety that he did not “have the stuff to be a dad” was a result of his parents’ divorce when he was eleven years old and a father who showed no interest in him. But as our therapy went on, he realized all he was keeping from his wife, and he made a commitment to “learn to be what I should have learned to be. “Carrie was less angry as a result of Jason’s encouragement and sympathy, and Jason naturally realized that his wrath was “irrational and cruel.”

Jason was always by Carrie’s side during her unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, but by this point, countless tests had shown that Carrie’s eggs were too old to be fertilized. Further consultation revealed to the couple the prospect of a “donor egg,” and Carrie and Jason worked together to find a reputable organization and a properly vetted donor. They are now Jenny’s proud parents, and Jenny is three years old. They both concur: “How could we have ever hoped for anyone more marvelous than our daughter?” plus more. Jason expressed his gratitude by saying, “I am grateful I could learn to see all I was denying a wife I loved so much, and just as grateful that I gave myself this shared happiness.”