Seven years ago, Mindy was having the worst thoughts about the one she was supposed to love the most, Matt. They were headed for a weekend away to watch their older girls volleyball matches. A discussion took place on what time they needed to head to the airport. Mindy was up, showered, packed and ready to go. Matt was so looking forward to a weekend away, he was already in “Relax Mode” just taking his time (whistling, in fact); not aware that he was running a bit behind with packing and being ready to go.
They headed out, 20 minutes later than planned, and as they drove to the airport, Mindy started feeling anxious; having an interior battle inside…Matt started to have somewhat of a sense that Mindy wasn’t thrilled with him when he notified her that the vehicle needed gas – which meant later arrival. Mindy surrendered her pride; “Matt, I need to ask for forgiveness.””For what?” He asked. “For the negative thoughts that have been exploding in my head all morning long. Will you forgive me?” “Yes, I forgive you.” Then Matt proceeded to ask forgiveness for his selfishness. If Mindy had not asked for forgiveness, their entire weekend might have been spent arguing and growing distant from one another.
The foundation of our Marriage Coaching process is built on forgiveness; stating what we are sorry for and stating the words, “Will you forgive me?” As one another’s authentic helpmate, we are saying, “Will you help me when I am weak? Will you help me be a better husband/father – wife/mother?” Unfortunately, with a lot of the couples we meet with, their hearts are so hardened, they come in pointing the finger at their spouse; never taking a look at themselves and how they contributed to the disagreement(s). Some couples carry around resentment and hurt and pain for years. The important piece is to take an interior look and ask ourselves, “How did I contribute to that argument? Could I have spoken in a more charitable manner? Was I stuffing my feelings; not sharing my heart?” (Matt 7:3 “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?”)
God, give me the grace to ask for forgiveness so that I can grant my spouse forgiveness.
Pope Francis says it well, “The perfect family doesn’t exist, nor is there a perfect husband or a perfect wife, and let’s not talk about the perfect mother-in-law! It’s just us sinners. If we learn to say we’re sorry and ask forgiveness, the marriage will last.”
You want your marriage to last? Go seek forgiveness from your spouse and grant them forgiveness as well.