April 21, 2022

marriage retreat for couples

Forgiving Yourself For The Sake Of Your Relationship

Self-forgiveness is the most challenging forgiveness of all. For example, you may find it very difficult to forgive yourself when you have hurt your partner, knowing that you have brought them pain. And yet, you must forgive yourself if you are to be able to love them and yourself again fully.

You will not always do or say things healthily or productively. You will sometimes fail because you are human and not perfect. AndLove Recon Seeking Forgiveness and Making Amends in a Relationship body sometimes, you will fail because you are selfish and knowingly hurt your spouse. That is harder to forgive because you knew better! Still, you must forgive yourself if you are to be healthy and have a healthy relationship that will be fulfilling to you both.

So, what are the steps to overcoming the guilt and shame and forgiving yourself?

  1. Accept Responsibility. When you make a mistake or fail, own it! The quicker you do, the sooner that you can move past it. You can avoid excessive, unhealthy guilt and regret by acknowledging it and taking responsibility for actions that have hurt yourself and others. Then, the healing for you and others can begin.
  2. Be Remorseful. Remorse is an appropriate feeling when you have caused pain. If you believe in God, pray and ask for His forgiveness. Guilt is a productive and healthy emotion when it prompts us to learn a lesson from our actions and take appropriate action, which is the next step.
  3. Make Reparations. Do your best to repair the damage you have done when possible. Make amends for what you have said or done. Make a sincere, heartfelt apology. Ask your partner to forgive you. If they don’t forgive you, they will harbor bitterness and resentment, which is harmful to them. To forgive you frees them from the toxic emotions caused by unforgiveness. They don’t have to trust you yet. That comes later. You might say something like, “I am so very sorry for the pain I have caused you. I was insensitive (or selfish or inconsiderate, etc., whatever the case may be). You don’t have to trust me, but please forgive me so that you can heal and be free of anger and bitterness. If you forgive me, I will do my best to earn your trust again. I’m very sorry. Will you forgive me?” Of course, you will want to use your own words, but you get the idea.
  4. Move Forward. Once you have done the first three steps, move forward! Don’t dwell on the failure or the past. Instead, forgive yourself, even if (or especially if) others won’t forgive you. Give grace to yourself. Learn the lesson. Use your experience to benefit others and possibly prevent them from experiencing the same pitfall. If someone has had the same or a similar experience, encourage or comfort them.

The steps to forgiving yourself for the sake of your relationship are outlined below. These work best if you have already forgiven your spouse and they have forgiven you. This is the next step – forgiving yourself. If you both need to forgive yourself for injury or offenses against each other, then alternately work through the steps below. Be supportive and non-judgmental of your mate. One of you is “A,” and the other is “B.”

A: Complete the following statements:

  • I feel remorse and need to forgive myself for…
  • To repair what damage that I can, I will…
  • What I have learned from this is…
  • I forgive myself for… (say it until you mean it!)
  • I love myself and will move forward with my life! (Repeat 3 times)

B: It’s your turn now:

  • I feel remorse and need to forgive myself for…
  • To repair what damage that I can, I will…
  • What I have learned from this is…
  • I forgive myself for… (say it until you mean it!)
  • I love myself and will move forward with my life! (Repeat 3 times)

End with a hug, a kiss, and a prayer or wish for your mate!

More on Love Recon Conference HERE

This exercise is taken from the book 40 Days to a Thriving Relationship, available in digital format online: https://www.amazon.com/40-Days-Thriving-Relationship-LoveRe-con-ebook/dp/B08CVS59X1. For paperback copies, call 1-866-218-1716 or email me at [email protected].

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.


Start Saving Your Relationship Today

Get our FREE 3-day guide and find out how
your marriage will change
in ways you've always dreamed.

>