The issue of forgiveness is a huge issue in every marriage.
Whether the issue seems small (hurt feelings), or really large (an affair), forgiveness is something that is part of every marriage.
How does one seek forgiveness?
How does one grant forgiveness?
Though I know this journey does not follow simple steps, I do like the model that Prepare Enrich lays out for couples. (Thanks to Rodney Hunt for posting this over at his blog, Marriage Monday — Forgiveness prevents resentment in your marriage.)
Six Steps for Seeking Forgiveness:
1. Admit what you did was wrong or hurtful.
2. Try to understand/empathize with the pain you have caused.
3. Take responsibility for your actions and make restitution if necessary.
4. Assure your partner you will not do it again.
5. Apologize and ask for forgiveness.
6. Forgive yourself.
Six Steps for Granting Forgiveness:
1. Acknowledge your pain and anger. Allow yourself to feel disrespected.
2. Be specific about your future expectations and limits.
3. Give up your right to “get even,” but insist on being treated better in the future.
4. Let go of blame, resentment, and negativity toward your partner.
5. Communicate your act of forgiveness to your partner.
6. Work toward reconciliation (when safe).