LEARNING TO FORGIVE YOUR SPOUSE IN MARRIAGE

This may be one of the longest post I may have written since my blog days, but I am writing it from the bottom of my heart. Forgiveness or should I say lack of it, is what is destroying a lot of homes, marriages and relationships today.

Hey, before you go ahead and do something stupid, or sign those divorce papers, even when deep inside, you know it’s something you really don’t want to do, you need to understand that Marriage was never meant to be perfect. Marriage comprises of 2 people and people are not perfect too. The only perfect being is God…no one can take His place.

You’ve been holding on to some past hurt for too long now, and now it’s time to let go.

I know understand you feel betrayed, disappointed, angry, bitter, hateful…but I tell you, these are not the feelings weighing you down. Nope…it’s your LACK OF FORGIVENESS that is weighing you down. 

You have allowed the hurt to completely and totally consume your very being, depriving you of all the love you possibly enjoy, thereby, wasting your time and draining you of energy needed to do positive things.

Holding on to this hurt will not only lead to extreme bitterness and hate or cloud your judgement, it will eventually affect your physical and mental well being.

Starting the process of Forgiving…

Forgiving your spouse will take much more than counseling, it will take the Grace of God and His divine intervention. Without His intervention, that road to forgiveness will be a long, tortuous and impossible mission…so you need to invite Him as an escort.

You need to understand that if our Heavenly Father can forgive us all our horrible sins, then who the hell are you not to forgive?! (Imagine if you were God, imagine how many souls you would have condemned due to lack of forgiveness). As long as we are mere mortals, we are compelled to forgive our brothers as many times as possible.

You also need to understand also that, not been able to forgive your spouse is as good as ‘murdering’ him or her. Therefore, that makes you a ‘murderer’! Does this remind you of one of the commandments of God…“Thou shalt not kill…”

Starting the process of forgiving your spouse may involve the following baby steps:

  1. Be open and truthful to yourself about your hurt, why you truly can’t forgive your spouse, why you are tightly holding on to the hurt or betrayal. You can use a 2nd or 3rd party to help you reach the very core of the truth behind the lack of forgiveness.
  2. Make that firm decision to honestly forgive your spouse. Only you can make that decision for you.
  3. When the images of betrayal or hurt flash through your mind, remember, it’s the devil trying to distract you. The devil thrives on people’s hurt and makes mountains out of it. Don’t let the devil be victorious.
  4. During the healing or forgiveness process, try, and I mean try, not throw his or her mistakes back at his or her face. Don’t remind your spouse of the betrayal each time there’s an argument.
  5. If you have been planning a revenge, stop it now. You are only extending your pain and hurt, which, if I need to remind you, is utterly pointless.
  6. Believe your spouse if he or she tells you that there really was no reason behind hurting or betraying you.

I also need to share some home truths about this Forgiveness Process,

  • It sure takes time. It’s not a one day affair, but it will definitely happen.
  • It’s possible that the relationship may never be reparable, but you can still forgive, especially in the case of spousal abuse in a domestic violence situation. You either Forgive and Move on or You move out and then help your spouse get the help him or she needs.
  • Trust is usually badly damaged in this kind of situation. But if your spouse is truly sorry, then slowly start trusting again.

My marriage is not perfect, and I don’t expect yours to be either. In the pursuit of marital bliss, those that are victorious, put up a good fight to keep their marriage that way.

People say and do things they don’t mean and end up living a life of regret just, simply because they are struggling with getting over past hurt caused by their spouse.

Forgiveness, ironically, is a continuous life learning process in marriage, which if practiced accordingly, moves you a step closer to heaven. Yeah…you can say that again…Forgiveness is a bitch! but you just gotta do it.

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May God grant us the strength and grace to forgive in our marriages. Amen.

HOW DO I FORGIVE MY HUSBAND?…

Image credit: Goodreads

How do you forgive a spouse who constantly cheats on you?

Each time you catch him, he apologizes with all his life…

But you see, what hurts the most is not even the fact that he was caught cheating (you are already numb to that), but the fact that you had to sacrifice everything and everyone you love, just to be with him. How you turned deaf ears to all the warnings from people you grew up trusting, about things you are blind to see in a man whom you have decided to spend the rest of your life with, no matter the outcome.

Maybe I could try forgiving the cheating part, but how do I forgive a man I sacrificed my future for. We agreed that I would remain at home to take care of the kids and the home front. So I gave up doing my Masters’ program, as well as getting a job…for 10 good years, my life has been f#$@ing on hold, just to please the one person I decided to spend my whole life with!

I feel nothing. I feel nothing but hatred, resentment, fury. Am I losing my mind? Maybe I deserve what I am getting? But does anyone deserve to be hurt just because they chose to love? Am I with the right person? Or maybe it’s one of my stupid mistakes?…

Oh,Lord…speak to me. I need to understand. How do I forgive, when my husband chooses to cheat on me with my best friend?! A friend whom I turn to when I am down and out. A friend who is supposed to be next to God! Would it have been better if he had cheated on me with my sister? Or is he? …Dunno what to think anymore! Dunno who to trust again.

Sad thing is that I just don’t trust that the next guy won’t do the same. Am I considering divorce? Should I? Would I be considered foolish if I left? Or would I be considered brave if I stayed to fight to keep my home? Is this what marriage is about, to constantly fight for your peace of mind? If I had known this, I probably wouldn’t have ventured into it.

I have decided to work on myself…that is the only way I can find some sanity. It has to be something I am not doing right. No woman should give up everything for the sake of love. Love, hmm…a very subjective feeling. I will not give up on love…No, I won’t. Love shouldn’t hurt but my husband has hurt me very deeply. I bet he is sorry that I caught him and not sorry that he keeps cheating on me.

I will forgive him for that is the only way I can move on with my life. But it can never be the same…or can it? I have resolved to take care of me henceforth.

MY BOYFRIEND RAPED ME – 3

The Necessity of Forgiveness

When I came home from the clinic, memories of the rape haunted me day and night. Feelings of being trapped would grip me when I’d least expect it. It took me a while to realize that if I wanted to move on in the healing process, I would have to forgive Jack. If I didn’t let go of my bitterness, it would destroy me. So I chose to forgive, but I soon learned it would be an ongoing process.

One night I needed to use a restroom at a grocery store. It was in a very obscure place at the back of the store. To get to it I had to go through a set of double doors, around boxes of stacked food, through another door, down some stairs, down another hallway, and around the corner. As I walked down the stairs, all I could hear was a radio playing and a man yelling at one end. I couldn’t see him; I could just hear him. I began to wonder if he could see me. What if something happened? Would anyone hear me over the blaring radio?

I feared being raped again.

In that moment of fear, I had to choose to forgive—again—the man who had raped me.

In the weeks that followed, my desire to let go of my pain and hurt was tested over and over. Sometimes I’d step into an elevator and realize the only other person in there was a man I didn’t know. The familiar feeling of being trapped would wash over me. I’d have to force my fears to stop, take a deep breath, and choose to forgive again. I’m relieved that these moments of fear come less and less now, but there are still daily situations that can instantly leave me feeling vulnerable.

It’s hard to admit I’m sometimes scared and feel out of control. Sometimes I think admitting this makes me more vulnerable. But the truth is that not being able to admit it is what really makes me vulnerable. For a while I told myself I would have to be my own protector since I felt God had failed me the night I was raped. But as I tried to protect myself and be tough on the outside, bitterness grew within me. It became like a wall to everyone who wanted to love and support me.

I didn’t want to grow up to be a bitter woman after all the counseling and prayer I’d invested in my healing. Yet, as long as I hung on to bitterness my healing was always one reach too far. Forgiveness was the only way to get rid of it. Not only did I have to forgive Jack, but I also had to forgive myself for not seeing the warning signs of an abusive relationship.

Forgiveness has been a lot of hard work. I’ve had to tackle some tough questions. Like many children who become a Christian at an early age, I believed in God because my family did. But I didn’t know God intimately. For the first time in my entire life, the rape left me feeling abandoned by God. I wondered how he could let something so awful happen to me—his little girl. I didn’t understand that bad things can happen to good people.

I may never know why this happened to me on this side of eternity. But even though I don’t have all the answers, I’ve learned that God will never leave me—and that he can take a broken heart and mend it back together again.

Name has been changed.

IF YOU LOVE HER ENOUGH – A TOUCHING LOVE STORY

Image credit: Getty Images

This story was written by Bill Walls

My friend John always has something to tell me. He knows so much that young men have to have older and more worldly wise men to tell them. For instance who to trust, how to care for others, and how to live life to the fullest.

Recently, John lost his wife Janet. For eight years she fought against cancer, but in the end her sickness had the last word.

One day John took out a folded piece of paper from his wallet. He had found it, so he told me, when he tidied up some drawers at home. It was a small love letter Janet had written. The note could look like a school girl’s scrawls about her dream guy. All that was missing was a drawing of a heart with the names John and Janet written in it. But the small letter was written by a woman who had had seven children; a woman who fought for her life and who probably only had a few months left to live.

It was also a beautiful recipe for how to keep a marriage together.

Janet’s description of her husband begins thus: “Loved me. Took care of me. Worried about me.”

Even though John always had a ready answer, he never joked about cancer apparently. Sometimes he came home in the evening to find Janet in the middle of one of those depressions cancer patients so often get. In no time he got her into the car and drove her to her favourite restaurant.

He showed consideration for her, and she knew it. You cannot hide something for someone who knows better.

“Helped me when I was ill,” the next line reads. Perhaps Janet wrote this while the cancer was in one of the horrible and wonderful lulls. Where everything is — almost — as it used to be, before the sickness broke out, and where it doesn’t hurt to hope that everything is over, maybe forever.

“Forgave me a lot.”

“Stood by my side.”

And a piece of good advice for everyone who looks on giving constructive criticism as a kind of sacred duty: “Always praising.”

“Made sure I had everything I needed,” she goes on to write.

After that she has turned over the paper and added: “Warmth. Humour. Kindness. Thoughtfulness.” And then she writes about the husband she has lived with and loved the most of her life: “Always there for me when I needed you.”

The last words she wrote sum up all the others. I can see her for me where she adds thoughtfully: “Good friend.”

I stand beside John now, and cannot even pretend to know how it feels to lose someone who is as close to me as Janet was to him. I need to hear what he has to say much more than he needs to talk.

“John,” I ask. “How do you stick together with someone through 38 years — not to mention the sickness? How do I know if I can bear to stand by my wife’s side if she becomes sick one day?”

“You can,” he says quietly. “If you love her enough, you can.”

Culled from TOUCHING LOVE STORIES

8 SIGNS IT’S TIME FOR A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR

Image credit: Lady Icons

Naija for Life!

I’m sorry to say this, but it’s only in Nigeria that people do not appreciate counselors, as well as psychologists! When one suggests the idea of a marriage counselor, you will hear things like “Do you think the people counseling you don’t have marital issues?”…Is that and should that be your problem?! Certain people have been put in certain places to help others get to their destination.

Anyway, I’m sure if couples who have marital problems, employed the services of a Couselor, their marriages might have been saved. Well I decided to share this article I culled from Belief Net with you on the signs that indicate it’s time to see a Marriage counselor:

  1. FIGHTING OVER THE SAME ISSUES. You are dealing with the same issues over and over. When you are fighting constantly over responsibilities, money, and it’s disrupting the house on a regular basis, or perhaps years—start Goggling licensed therapists.
  2. WHEN THERE ARE TRUST ISSUES. If there is a huge breach of trust like infidelity, hiding an addiction, or anything that has broken down trust over the years.
  3. ABSOLUTELY NO COMMUNICATION. You rarely communicate or avoid each other. One goes into the bedroom and the other watches television in the living room. Over years, this can damage a relationship and end intimacy before you noticed it has taken a tool on your marriage. *This happens a lot in most marriages*
  4. RESENTMENT. Resentment over time can wreck a relationship. You said you are over it, but in your heart you resent the decision.
  5. INABILITY TO FORGIVE EACH OTHER. There is no forgiveness. Add that with bitterness, strife, and anger that is consistent can spell trouble if you can’t forgive each other.
  6. DECISION TO MAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP STRONGER. You still love each other, but you want to make the relationship stronger, or rekindle your love for each other. Nip annoyances before they become a huge problem. *So you see, it is not only when the marriage has issues*
  7. WHEN YOU WANT TO OVERCOME THE FEAR OF EXPRESSING YOURSELF WITHOUT CONFLICT. Seeing a counselor will help you communicate and overcome fear of expressing yourself. We are deal with fear in bringing topics up that will evoke a bad response. A therapist can help navigate you through this.
  8. WHEN YOU WANT TO BE IN THE SAME ‘TEAM’. Are you on opposite sides constantly? If you have not been a team for some time, this is another key. Living with someone you feel is an enemy is unhealthy finding help is a good idea.

I hope after reading these signs, it provides the gateway for you to improve your marriage.