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How To Forgive Your Partner

by Priyanka Sharma, 3rd September 2015

"Why do you need such an expensive phone?"

"How do you expect us to make an investment if you spend so much on shopping every month?"

"You are going out with your friends? Again?"

How To Forgive

Disagreements in a relationship are common place. It is not possible for two people, no matter how alike they are, to agree on everything all the time. Heck, even Siamese twins have their own opinions and preferences. And you know what they say about love, right? Opposites attract. There are bound to be differences in opinion. In a relationship, a disagreement may be about differences in education, culture, opinions, decisions or even actions. While the occasional argument can be healthy for a relationship, problems begin when there are too many conflicts. Even worse is if unresolved issues are allowed to fester. These accumulating negative feelings, will not only cause problems within the relationship but will also be a source of stress for the individual.

A small issue can start off as an irritation and can grow into anger. In an extreme case, it can also snowball into hatred. Carrying strong negative emotions around is not healthy. Unhappy people, destroyed relationships and broken families are all a result of our inability to forgive our partners and move on.

Forgive

Easier said than done, right? Well, it takes effort and depending on the cause of the problem, the effort required maybe humongous. To begin with we need to develop an attitude of forgiveness. The best part about attitude is that it can be cultivated.

Forgiving someone is an act of freeing up your own self. Keeping the resentment bottled up inside you harms yourself the most. Letting go of that resentment is what forgiveness is all about.

Understand Your Partner's Point of View

A lot of disagreements grow because we only speak and do not listen. We need to give our partner a chance to express themselves and understand their point of view. Why they think in a certain way. Why did they do a certain act. Try to avoid jumping to conclusions and getting angry straight away. When your partner upsets you or appears to have done the wrong thing give them a chance to explain the situation and put yourself in their shoes. In doing so you may find that the wrong doing was simply ignorance rather than intentional or that they had to choose between the devil and the deep sea.

By trying to put yourself in their shoes, you are also giving them the comfort that you are with them and not against them.

Share Apologies

Fights are rarely ever one sided. If one partner keeps calm and does not react, the other will lose steam. Even if your partner was in the wrong, even if they started it, if you lost your temper and yelled, apologize. Being the first to apologize makes you the bigger person. It is a big step toward recovery. It will also prompt your partner to do the same. When they do so, it is crucial to let them apologize properly. Humans find is hard to say sorry. Apology is a big thing for people. When they attempt it, they must be encouraged and not rebuffed. A lot of people apologize with acts and not words. We must recognize that trait in our partner and acknowledge that instead of telling them that you cannot even say a simple sorry. What might seem a simple sorry to you could be a like scaling a Himalayan peak for them!

Forgive Your Partner

Take Time Out

When kindergarten kids fight, the teachers separate them and make them sit in different corners of the room. After a few minutes, the fight is forgotten and you will find the same kids playing together in the lunch hour! A little bit of distance puts things in perspective. It helps us think. If there has been a big row, physical separation for a few hours or even a day will do you good. However, physical separation is a double edged sword. Do not let anyone influence you into making the problem bigger than it already is in this time. Use it instead to reflect, to introspect and to empathize with your partner. Try to calm yourself down so that you are more receptive to your partner's logical reasoning. Working out in this period works wonders. All the excess energy gets channelized into the workout! Go for a run or a swim.

Set a Making Up Ritual

There should be something that signifies the end of a fight to both. It could be as simple as a hug or making dinner together. Whatever you decide or let precedents decide for you, it is important to have this. A ritual like this replaces the words, "Yes we fought but we are moving past it, together". Once you have both calmed down after a fight and are ready to move on, the activity that you do together will work at bringing you close again, be it a hobby you indulge in or a date. There is a reason people say make-up sex is the best. This is it!

Forget

Once you have forgiven your partner, you MUST forget. There is no point bringing up the issues in every subsequent fight. If you try to keep referring back to the same old mistakes, bringing up the guilt again and again, the past forgiveness is meaningless. Yes, repetitive mistakes of the same nature need to be dealt with differently. But you cannot keep pointing to everything that went wrong in your relationship every time a disagreement occurs. Imagine the load on your own brain this would cause!

Put Things in Perspective

Before you pull out an old issue, ask yourself if it matters? Most things stop seeming important as time passes. If it does not matter in the current context, why remember it? More importantly, why remind your partner about it? A very common mistake is constantly reminding your partner about what was said during a fight. It just brings back unpleasant memories.

Take a Vacation

If you have had a really big fight then it can be difficult to move on. However, once you have decided to do so, a change of setting works wonders. Even a short weekend break will do you loads of good. If you feel the need to discuss things over again, doing that in a relaxed environment is better. However, at this point the discussion needs to be about the next steps. To agree on the corrective actions needed to be done together.

Remember Good Things

Remind yourself why you married your partner. Remember all the good times you have had. All the support you have given each other. Remember everything that is good and everything that is great in your relationship. If you give your relationship and your family more importance than the ways you have been hurt by your partner, then you will find it easy to forget and let go. This is especially important when fights are over irritants, over habits we do not like and personal preferences. They should never be allowed to become bigger than what you have.

Forgive and Forget

Get back to your daily routine.

Routine helps. In today's busy life, we cannot just keep brooding over everything. Implement the actions you agreed and check up on them whenever necessary. But do them in a matter of fact way. There are lessons to be learnt from every fight that make you wiser, that help you understand your partner a little more. Use them to improve things and carry on with your life!

Disagreements, fights and arguments are not the end of the world! They will happen in every relationship. If you have the attitude of forgiveness and both of you are committed to making your relationship work, then there is nothing you cannot recover from.


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