How do you forgive your husband and work through that anger?
I received this letter recently:
There have been things that have happened in the marriage that have caused me to not trust my husband. He has apologized and admitted he was wrong but I can’t let go and forgive. I want to. And I know that once I can release this anger and fully forgive we can be happy. How do I do this?
Do you ever feel that way? In marriage we have a lot to forgive on a daily basis. A while ago I cut my finger quite badly. I paged Keith, who was on his way home, and he said he’d look at it (he’s a doctor). But when he got home he checked on our sump pump connection at the side of the house before coming indoors to check on me! I was livid.
I did need stitches. And it was hard letting him off the hook! It’s such a little thing, but still. He delayed twenty minutes, and that was twenty more minutes I had to wait to go to the hospital.
1. Be Sure the Offence is in the Past
First, you have to be sure in your mind that the offence is truly in the past. For instance, if he had an affair, are you sure that this is not going on now? Has he demonstrated that he is committed to not doing it again? If not, then this is the issue that needs to be dealt with first if his infraction was something that could damage the marriage (like affairs, pornography use, or other addictions). These things shouldn’t be treated lightly, and you likely need some help to work through this and make sure it is put to rest.
And if your husband has been using pornography, you need assurance that he won’t again. I highly recommend Covenant Eyes in this situation; install it on all your computers, phones, and devices, and then if he is tempted to look at porn again, he’ll think twice because an accountability partner will be emailed if he tries to access those sites! It’s just that layer of assurance for you that he’s committed to change.
If, however, he has shown that he is sorry and has tried to show you that he won’t do it again, the ball is now in your court. So let me say a few things about forgiveness.