For some, one of the most challenging things to do in a marriage is to forgive. When your spouse triggers a memory of a past event, it is as if it just happened. We say we forgive with our mouth, but our minds, hearts, and actions still show remnants of unforgiveness. Have you ever considered that a memory is not a physical object that you can touch; how then does a memory present itself so real and tangible?
What is a Memory
To truly forgive you must not ‘re-member’ negative thoughts, emotions, and actions. To do so will cause you to relive the event and respond with the same emotional reactivity that was first experienced. Declaring that you will forgive but not forget is a roadblock to true forgiveness. At its core it is a decision to relive and ‘re-member,’ not allowing forgiveness to dismantle the remembering process.
Husbands sometimes feel they are being spoken down to, as if they were children or less intelligent, by an unyielding aggressive wife.
While it is true that the wife must respond to her husband differently, let us first deal with the husband’s role -passivity.
There are many reasons why marriages dissolve; however, it is never because God desires this. There is no scenario -go ahead think of them- where God would rather you divorce your spouse.
Forgiving an individual who has hurt you grants them the freedom to give new meaning and definition to their actions; it frees them from the past. When you stop the ‘re-membering’ process you no longer respond from a place of hurt and disappointment, you respond from a place of hope and optimism. You look to create something better. Instead of allowing your mind to generate a pattern of negative thoughts and emotions, begin to counter these patterns with Godly patterns -the mind of Christ.
As Christians, we are commanded to forgive those who have wronged us (Matthew 18:21-22) in response to the forgiveness Christ freely offers (Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:26). In a marriage, this is even more important to
Philippians 4:8 - Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
When an event happens, anything from you reading this article to a traumatic experience, your brain assigns it to specific brain neurons. Brain neurons are cells in your brain responsible for sending and receiving information about your environment. When something occurs in your life, it creates a pattern of signals between neurons in your brain. This pattern then becomes unique to all other neurological patterns occurring in your brain, causing each interaction with your environment to have its own specific neurological pattern.
When you think back to an experience, or a similar experience occurs, your brain goes through the same neurological pattern it originally created for that experience. It is at this time your brain immediately resurfaces the same thoughts and emotions, moving you to act out your unforgiveness.
While these patterns are being recreated in your brain, something else is happening -you are remembering. That is to say, you are ‘re-membering’ or putting together the thoughts, emotions, and actions that are associated with the triggering event. You are putting the bad pieces back together again. Continually reliving a hurtful time in your life may be a result of taking the negative thinking you told yourself, the painful emotions you felt, and regretful actions and putting them all together again as a ‘re-member’ experience.
practice, as we are committed to loving imperfect individuals. So, while you can’t stop a memory from forming in your mind, you can choose if you allow that memory to control your present and future.Give your spouse the free gift of forgiveness and the opportunity to create new memories.
With infidelity being one of the most difficult and damaging marital problems to treat it is important that couples are aware of risk factors.