The Secret to Forgiving Your Partner

At the beginning of the year, a friend lost the love of his life under very tragic circumstances.  He will never again have the chance to wake up to her beautiful face, hold her in his arms, see her smile or hear her laugh.  Now he has to learn to live the rest of his life without her and may never be able to fully recover from her death.

Our hearts go out to him.  How do you even begin to cope?  He’s been sharing photos of her in happier times on Facebook.  What you can see clearly in all of them are two people who were very much in love with each other.  It’s heartbreaking to be lucky enough in your lifetime to fall in love only to have him or her taken away without warning.

If we knew our partner was going to die tomorrow, what would we do differently today?

It’s unfortunate that death has a way of putting things into perspective.  It reminds us how much we take for granted.  We take for granted that tomorrow will come and we will get the chance to live it with all the people who matter to us.  We take for granted that the people we love will still be around or even choose to be with us every single day.

90% of the disagreements we have with our partners are stupid yet we easily get sucked in and allow them to keep us disconnected.  Maybe you’re hurt because of something your partner did and you’re too upset to even let him explain or apologize.  Maybe your partner broke a promise he made and you’re disappointed.  Maybe you’ve had it with your partner’s constant nagging and avoiding her is the easiest way to get some peace.

What if your partner died before you resolved any of these issues?  I promise you are not going to be sitting there feeling righteous or justified in your point of view or hurt feelings.  What you are going to do is try to figure out which devil you need to sell your soul to so that you can turn back the clock, make love to him or her one more time (or 1,000 more times) and yes, even hash out those epic battles because you would rather have the opportunity to fight with your partner every single day than never see her again.

So your partner hurt you and you’re convinced he had no good reason to.  Hear him out anyway.  You could be wrong, this could just be a misunderstanding and he’s probably just as hurt with the confusion it’s caused.  Even if you’re right, you’re wasting precious time together by staying disconnected.  Forgive, work through it and get reconnected.

You made a major life decision based on a promise you made to each other and now he’s failed to keep up his end of the bargain.  You’re hurt and extremely disappointed.  He’s probably just as upset with himself for disappointing you.  At the end of the day, though, you both still love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives together.  Forgive, find another solution and remind yourself why you continue to choose him every single day.

Your girlfriend just won’t give you a break with the nagging and you’re tired of having to explain yourself.  I bet anything that you would gladly deal with her daily nagging than never have the chance to hear her voice again if she were gone from this world.  Focus on how she’s feeling versus the content of her arguments and remind the both of you why you still love each other.

From this perspective, not only are you able to resolve issues more quickly but you will be better able to approach the problem in a more altruistic manner.  It makes it easier to say, “Yes, I’m very hurt but I can see now that you’re hurt, too.  Did I make mistakes?  Okay, I’m sorry.  Let’s work through this because I love you and I don’t want to be on this planet without you.”

Saying “I love you” on a daily basis is so important.  When the fights are bad, I mean really, really bad, it can be very hard to reach out and reconnect if you don’t know if your partner cares about you enough to find a solution.  This is why Valentine’s Day can’t just be once a year.

Takeaway: Your partner is going to hurt and disappoint you every once in a while; it comes with the territory of being in a relationship.  But life is too short to stay disconnected.  Put your arguments into perspective: What would you regret if you lost your partner tomorrow?  What would you do differently?  From this perspective, the majority of your disagreements are not even worth having in the first place.  The sooner you can move pass them the better.

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