Forgiveness is hard. It takes time. But research shows that there are many benefits in forgiving. And there are also ways you can learn to forgive.
Relationships and Conflict – The Power of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is much easier said than done. Even when you truly want to forgive someone for their mistakes and move past the situation, your mind and heart won’t let you. How do you forgive someone who hurt you? Changed your life and made it worse perhaps? It’s hard to move on from, it takes time. And no one needs to rush you in this process. That’s the first thing I want you to know. Our culture seems to think of forgiveness as a sign of weakness, submission, etc. By forgiving you are getting rid of the negative that lives in you. But for the healing journal to forgiveness to work you need to be authentic with yourself, and you need to take your time. All your feelings are valid. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the offense. Unforgiveness makes us hold on to resentments, anger, hate, etc.
Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Research shows that holding on to resentment may compromise our immune system,throw off the production of important hormones, etc. Instead of dwelling on what happened (and reliving the upset feelings; remember your body remembers all of this), try seeing things from the other person’s perspective. Forgiveness towards self and others can regulate your nervous system and improve your life. Do this at your own pace while taking care of yourself in the process. Seeing the situation from another’s perspective does not mean normalizing what happened.
Forgiveness is a difficult process. It takes time, effort, and understanding. Ultimately, whether someone is able to forgive depends upon the specific situation and the individuals involved.
Here are some behaviors that can support forgiveness. Practice awareness. It is important for partners to be aware of their feelings and how those feelings affect the relationship. It’s also important for the partner who knows they were in the wrong, to understand and be patient with the experience and feelings of the person who feels betrayed and hurt. This takes time and there are many ups and downs in processing betrayal trauma and resentments. Reconciliation takes time and effort, but with patience and perseverance, the relationship can heal.
Couples Trauma Therapy
Sometimes just trying to talk it through isn’t enough, and you may need some help from a professional to guide you through this difficult time and provide you with tools to get through it. Gottman Method couples therapists are trained to do just that. A Gottman Method couples therapist can teach you evidence based practices that can assist in the healing of betrayal, resentment, loss, anger and more, and get your relationship back into a healthy and happy space. Dealing with conflict in relationships can be incredibly overwhelming, you don’t need to do it alone. Reach out to a Gottman Method therapist in your area and begin your healing journey. You can always email us for a free phone consultation.