Monday, February 20, 2012

Marriage: Forgiveness

You guys know that I try to keep it real around these parts, don't you?  I love reading newlywed blogs because I feel like we are all going through the same learning experiences.  It's always nice to find someone new that I can relate to or learn from.  Because I draw so much positive influence and inspiration from all of your blogs, it's only fair that I put out my own little brand of marriage-lessons-learned, right?  

Last week, I wrote about how I was being selfish and not considering what my husband needed.  In that situation, I was in the wrong.  I admitted it.  I apologized.  I tried to make it up to him.  Honestly, nothing I ever say or do will undo my selfish actions from last week.  Sure...I apologized and expressed remorse.  He accepted my apology.  We moved on, and were fine.  But my apology did not erase what happened.

But what do you do when you feel wronged and you've heard no apology?  

The Bible talks about forgiveness in many different places.  It's a key part of the Christian faith.  To summarize, we were forgiven by God and are to also forgive each other.  Matthew 18: 21-23 specifically instructs us to forgive each other repeatedly.  Whether or not you believe the Bible to be true is irrelevant.  Obviously you have forgiven people more than once, right?  As a Christian, I turn to the Bible for guidance.

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy time seven times.  23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

This passage of scripture mentions nothing about an apology, does it?
Has anyone ever forgiven you for something that you didn't apologize for doing?  (Before you say no...think about your parents.  I'm almost positive that at some point in your life, your parents forgave you for some sort of pain or hurt you caused them, even though you didn't ask them to forgive you.)  It's easy to say "Well, that person owes me an apology."  It's an easy-out that allows us to continue holding onto our  grudges.  

It's sinful to hold a's not fun to hold a grudge.  I'd be willing to bet that none of us could think of one person who we (a) currently have a grudge against and (b) still love being around them.  You can't have it both ways.  Forgiveness is a huge part of's a huge part of marriage.  Right now, I'm having a hard time forgiving and moving on when I haven't heard an apology.  He shows no remorse for hurting my feelings.  (And yes, he knows my feelings are hurt.)  He feels like he's done nothing wrong...

I was raised to apologize for hurting people, even if my actions/words were not intentional.  He was raised to apologize when he was in the wrong.  Those are not the same things.  And because I was raised differently than him and was taught to apologize even if I'm not wrong, I feel wronged because I haven't received an apology because he felt his actions were justified.  Basically, what it all boils down to is the fact that maybe we're both making mountains out of molehills.  Neither one of us did anything that's worth the farm.  Forgiving each other isn't easy, but it's absolutely necessary.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that in marriage forgiveness is either giving each other a break or reaching your breaking point.  I pick him.  I pick my husband over a grudge, over hearing an apology where I feel one is due, and over being miserable. 

So...y'all know my tattoo obsession...maybe I need to look at getting a tattoo about forgiveness to help remind me..

Source: via Talia on Pinterest

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

It all boils down to one thing..

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Courtney B said...

LOVED this post! Even after 4 (almost) years of marriage Eric and I are still learning when to apologize, or when the other NEEDS to hear the apology. Makes sense?
And after 4 (almost) years of marriage I am still learning to let go of the grudge. I love my husband most in the world, yet he is the easiest to stay mad at. That is messed up. But I am working on it! (I'm never mad at him for more than a few hours. But when he apologizes I just need to let it go right then!)

Valerie Griffin said...

good post!

Meg @ Mr.C & Me said...

great post + love the quote at the end - never heard that one before :)

Ashley said...

Yes, great post! My hubby and I are the same except I was raised to apologize when I feel I am wrong and he was raised to apologize for pretty much everything.

Pamela said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! Thank you so much for sharing! My husband & I were raised differently too. Love the pins!

Annabelle said...

Amazing post! I have been married for almost 6 years and we still have forgiving issues! I pout about it until he apologizes. He on the other hand tries the silent treatment. We need to try to do better! Thanks for reminding us how important it is!

Karla said...

Loved The pins. I hate it when I mope around and waste an entire weekend with the hubby because I’m waiting for an apology. Like you I never stop learning but in each moment I just pray that God guides me and speaks for me. Because I tend to say dumb and hurtful things when I’m hurting, which gets me nowhere.

♥ ♥ Just a Girl in Love w/ a Soldier ♥ ♥ said...

Fabulous post. I am quick to pick a fight with the hubbs over the stupidest things and then after Im always like what was the point in that and I always give in and apologize with in seconds I cant stand for there to be tension between the two of us. BUT with that said marriage is work, its hard, its complicated no one said it would be easy but its SURE AS HELL worth Fighting for!!!!!!!! Love you lots and just remember your still Newly Married & still finding your groove.