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Shedding the burdens of resentment

March 23, 2015

A Great Idea …

In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Your Marriage Work, John Gottman says, “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” (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…

about couple relationships, check out our FREE resources: The Marriage Garden or the Getting Our Hearts Right programs at uaex.edu/marriage, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also like to read the book The Seven Principles for Making Your Marriage Work.

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