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My dear Jil, I’ve thought about it. You must be quick to forgive in marriage, not just forgive. How? You just forgive and get on with the rest of your marriage, that’s how. Once you’ve discussed the issue and made your grievance known, just move on. And the only reason you’re vocalising your grievance is so your partner knows what he did doesn’t sit well with you. It’s informational. Because he loves you he’ll avoid a repeat. He’s now conscious of what you don’t like. You’re not telling him you don’t like what he did because you want a fight, or to provoke him or get at him, or to prove a point. That’s shouldn’t be your objective. If that’s your objective you’re working against peace in your marriage. That’s not the point in pointing out an issue to your partner. You must both learn to discuss an issue and move on. That gives marriage continuity without pregnant comas.

If you don’t learn to discuss issues and move on, you’re going to start creating a secondary character profile of your husband. I say secondary character profile because there was a primary profile you had. That’s what made you marry him. But this new profile will be an editorial work on the primary. You’ll start changing his profile characteristics. Only that this new editorial also contains your prejudice, even anger. You’ll start seeing him in a new light, start seeing him in negative light. That will soon affect every other thing in the marriage. When he makes a simple request there’ll be resentment. Under the old profile you’ll probably have rushed to give him what he asked for with love and joy. But under the new profile you’ll see someone trying to take advantage of you. When he gave you a present under the old profile you appreciated it, saw the sacrifice he made. Under the new profile you’ll see a stingy man who doesn’t value you. What then happens is that resentment builds up. Because your resentment is based on hidden parameters he won’t have a clue on what’s going on. He’ll have no understanding. Initially he’ll seek to please you, seek to find out what the issue is. This will only give you power to hurt him more and make a point.

Now, here’s the danger of resentment in marriage: it changes you. A dark mood envelopes you. You develop more insecurities, view everything through the lens of accusation. It’s a downward spiral from there and if you don’t catch yourself, you’re on your way to a custom-made hell. You will start blaming the guy for everything. When things don’t work out for you, you’ll somehow hold him responsible. And once you start resenting his person, you’ll start resenting his work and those who work with him. It’s a matter of time before you move on to righteous anger. In this mode, you’ll feel justified in your efforts to hurt him. Your attitude towards him soon turns you cynical and vindictive. Then it begins to affect your work. Your productivity will diminish and you’ll blame him for that as well. That marriage is going to be torn inside. The tear won’t be apparent initially. But the tear continues inside and soon arrives at the fabric on the outside. By now you’re both enduring each other. There’ll be so much unhappiness. You’ll both start seeking amelioration, in other worlds. You will be seeking justification. You’ll create a supporters’ club. There’s never a shortage of such supporters in life. They will chaperon your marriage to the edge of the abyss. And then one day when he can’t take it anymore, he’ll walk out. That now becomes your new justification – he walked out on me. Really?! And all because you won’t forgive and put things behind you in marriage.

We must develop short memories for offences in marriage. There are things you must forget. Forgive and move on. If you become vindictive, that vindictive spirit will haunt any marriage you contract. It’s always on, like a utility. It will wreck any marriage you go into. There are people with great attractive qualities but whose vindictive spirit keeps wrecking their matrimonial attempts. In some cases, vindictiveness has wrecked successive marriages. The strength of attraction contracts the marriage but the strength of vindictiveness wrecks the marriage. And because vindictiveness has its own logic, you’ll always be the victim even though you’re the one destroying your partner emotionally.

When an issue arises in your marriage you and your partner discuss it, resolve it, forget it and move on. Amassing negative power in a marriage through unforgiveness is counter-productive. When the marriage is over the power loses relevance. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. You must also want your marriage. If you want your marriage you forgive and move on. And sometimes the choice is stark – marriage or power of unforgiveness.

Never underestimate the value of a good marriage. There can be no good marriage without peace. And peace in marriage is not necessarily lack of fights. Where resentment is heavy, there’ll be no peace. Some people do passive violence in marriage. They don’t say much but they injure their spouse emotionally. They have passive aggression. And some are lords and ladies of darkness. They control the heavy pall in their home, the dark atmosphere in the house. They’re full of resentment and ill-feelings. Part of the delusion lies in the fact some imagine getting out of a marriage and jumping into another one is easy. They soon realise it’s not that easy. You’re young. You have a long way to go in this marriage, in life. Why lay a foundation of future unhappiness. Both of you have to create your own rhythm in marriage. You have to find a balance. You must generate your own stability. No one can do it for you. Marriage does not recognise “youth.” It applies same standard to all.

There are virtues you must both cultivate if you want your marriage to be pleasant and enjoyable. Patience is a very important virtue in marriage. Accommodation is another very important virtue in marriage. You must be accommodative. He cannot be perfect, you cannot be perfect. Recognise that as a fact of life. But you work hard to produce a good marriage. You just keep working at it, every day, sacrificing, being considerate, serving the other person, loving the other person. Sometimes you do these things out of dutiful obligation, sometimes out of feelings, but you keep working at your marriage. A good marriage is a verb. Whatever you do, get rid of resentment and other baggage in your marriage.

Discuss. Resolve. Forget. Move on. (DRFM). Think on these things.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

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Tags : Conflict resolution, marraige

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