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Shedding the burdens of resentment

February 15, 2011
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What Experts Say…

“For a marriage to go forward happily, you need to pardon each other and give up past resentments. This can be hard to do, but it is well worth it. When you forgive your spouse, you both benefit. Bitterness is a heavy burden.” (Marriage researcher, John Gottman in his book, The Seven Principles for Making Your Marriage Work, p. 153)

In Other Words…

Resentment is a heavy burden. Why carry it? Maybe our complaints against our partners make us feel justified. But damage to the relationship is a terrible price to pay for a little self-justification. When we gladly accept that we’re all human and willingly grant forgiveness, we set ourselves free to enjoy being together.

How This Applies to You…

In order for your relationship to flourish, you must let go of past offenses and pain. Dwelling on pain increases it! In contrast, when you remember the positive things about your partner, you open the door to loving connection. Think about the reasons you fell in love with your partner in the first place. Think of great times you have had together. Allow forgiveness to remove or soften the pains and disappointments.

To Find Out More…

For an excellent (and free!) program on marriage, see The Marriage Garden at Arkansas Families.

For an excellent book focused on marriage, read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman or The Marriage Garden by H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall.

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