Forgiveness in relationships can be very difficult. Mainly because we all want to feel the confidence of being in a relationship of equality. However, things start getting rocky when something throws that equilibrium off balance – of justice. When something things start to feel unfair, why should we forgive? That confidence is gone, the equality that once was has turned into distrust. How could we be capable of forgiving?

Instead, we usually want some sort of emotional payment. This can be seen as ignoring the other person, verbal confrontation, or withholding affection. Or maybe we feel anger and seek revenge, taking it upon ourselves to even things out. What’s interesting about this that it actually holds us back from moving forward and makes that imbalance even worse. Another way to hold us back, is dwelling in our pain. When we have a reason to be hurt and hang onto to that reason, we focus on the reason for too long we never allow ourselves to heal by looking foward.

Several studies have found that forgiveness actually paves the way to healing our own emotional injuries, enables a process of mutual empathy, encourages relational resilience, and strengthens relationships overall.

In the process of forgiveness, the person who caused the pain feels shame. This shame only happens when there’s vulnerability. So when someone hurt and angry responds with pain and anger, the other person will respond with pain and anger, and the cycle digs deeper. But if we were to slow down in our pain and try to be understanding, we open the relationship to vulnerability from both sides. Both sides to feel and be in the moment together.

When we’re able to empathize and understand when we’re feeling hurt and in pain, that’s when we’re truly forgiving and setting our hearts free while deepening our connection between us and our partners. Everything should work in a complete circle, able to cycle it’s way from the bottom all the way around and work it’s way back to the top.

If you are struggling to forgive and/or move forward in your relationship from suffering from pain and anger, please contact Crownview Medical Group and get connected with a medical professional specializing in maintaining healthy relationships and personal wellness.