Longevity in a
marriage is not possible without “forgiveness”. Forgetting simply will
not do. Human beings are wired not to forget very much of anything. So
if something impacts an individual, one might just as well forget about
forgetting altogether! If a relationship is to last, it must commit to
endure the “for better or worse” part. “Forgiveness” is the key.
According to my
friend, Webster, to forgive is to give up, pardon, remit and cease to
blame. When we forgive, we overlook an offense and treat the offender
as not guilty. In a sense, there is a tacit collusion between the
forgiver and the forgiven.
It is not that the
forgiver is not offended and it is not that the forgiven is not guilty.
Rather each intercedes on behalf of self and other by way of other to
self, to stop the coming punitive blow.
To forgive or be
forgiven implies something from inside-out; to pardon or be pardoned
implies something from outside-in.
Words and deeds may be
pardoned yet not forgiven, or if forgiven, not pardoned.
To complicate matters
further, if marriage is also viewed as a “wedding” of the disparate
parts of self into a unified self, for each to each and each to the
other, then to forgive is to give forth as in “surrender” to a higher
In my opinion, that
higher principle is one of mature love; the lesser principle is one of
righteous indignation coupled with moral superiority. Mature love gives
forth of self to other; immature love gives not of self to other.
To forgive is at once
to be “for” and to “give” to another. And if there is equivalence in
the exchange over the life of a marriage, then the marriage shall endure
the entirety of its life! “Forgiveness” is the key.
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