Forgiveness is the key to reconciliation. When there isn't forgiveness, there is distance in a relationship, grudges are held, anger arises, vengeance wants to be done and we want to punish people over and over again in our minds. All these things are unhealthy for a relationship.
As the example that Jesus has given us. Through Him we know that God has forgiven us of our sins therefore we are reconciled to Him, can approach Him with confidence and have a relationship with Him.
This shows us that if there is a distance in our relationship be it physical or emotional. Chances are there is a lack of forgiveness somewhere, because when there is forgiveness, the confidence to draw close is also there.
So what is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is setting the person who hurt you free. Setting the person free from their responsibility to apologize to you, setting them free from their responsibility to make things better with you and setting them free from their rightfully deserved punishment.
Again Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness in that while we deserved to get punished for our sins, He has already forgiven the world, even those who do not believe in Him and continue to live in their sins. He forgave us even before we repented of our sins.
Forgiveness is also setting yourself free. Setting yourself free from the responsibility to punish the other person who caused you pain. Setting yourself free from any bitterness, anger or hatred which might develop in your heart.
If we want our relationship to persevere in a healthy way, we must forgive our partners on a daily basis.
But not only our partners, but anyone in the past who has hurt us in any way. We must do this because we might be punishing our partners for something they did not do. Maybe somebody in the past cheated on you and your still taking out your pain on your partner, thinking that their capable of doing the same thing.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. If you're trying to forget a pain that someone has caused you in the past, you will find that it is very difficult. The most you can do is oppress your feelings, which is not healthy for you or your relationship, because you're not being honest with yourself. Also this can lead you to retaliate or take your emotions out on the wrong people, which isn't fair.
You have to choose to forgive. Like love, forgiveness is not an emotion, it's an act of your will. You forgive because you want your relationship to prosper and continue. Don't wait to feel like to want to forgive. Forgive even when you don't feel like it. Say in your heart and out loud, I "choose" to forgive.
Whether you forgive or not, whatever pain was caused to you has already occurred. Nothing will change that. What can change is whether you choose to continue to live in bitterness and anger or whether you choose to live in freedom and peace. To live in freedom, you have to let the causer of your pain, free.
This doesn't sound fair, but it's what God has done with us through Jesus Christ. We didn't deserve God's forgiveness, but He forgave us anyway. He let us free from our condemnation.
The Bible says, Don't take out your own vengeance but to let God deal with the vengeance. You see your letting the person free, and letting God deal with them. By this I don't mean to start praying for God to hurt them or punish them, but what I mean is to just set them free in your mind and in your heart, and trust that God in his time, not yours, will deal with the person as He seems fit. Let God deal with the punishment. Set yourself free from that responsibility.
Don't wait for the other person to ask for your forgiveness. Forgive them inside your mind and inside your heart. It can be done in private. It's something between you and God. If while forgiving in your heart, the memories of the pain begin to come up or you start to experience strong emotional pains, don't suppress them, let them come out. This is how God begins the healing process in your life. Bring it all out into the light. If you have to, scream on a pillow or out loud, who cares what the neighbors think. This is for your health and for your relationship.
Once you have forgiven, keep reminding yourself that you have forgiven. Sometimes we forgive then later on thoughts of vengeance or remembrance of what happened comes to our minds. That's when we have to remind ourselves, "I have forgiven, I hold nothing against that person. They are free in my mind and in my heart. God you deal with them". Do this every time it comes to mind. At first it will seem hard, but after a while it will get easier, and your inner peace will increase.
After you forgive, don't bring it up again. That's not forgiveness and your just reminding yourself of what happened, and making your life worst. Don't bring it up again, if your partner hurt and you made the choice to forgive them. Don't keep reminding them of what they did, because you're doing this to hurt them or make them feel bad, which is vengeance. Remember, leave the vengeance to God. Forgive and don't bring it up again.
Set yourself free from bitterness and anger towards your partner, by setting them free in your mind and in your heart. Forgiveness is the key to reconciliation and it's the key to a healthy relationship.
Wishing your marriage the best.