The Importance of Forgiveness

Filed in Relationships by on November 23, 2013 8 Comments

A man tries to consol his sad loverAs a relationship coach and someone who writes for the premier matchmaker in the country, I have the tools and resources to deal with relationship issues not only for others but in my own situations as well.  Before I decided to take this journey to study and learn about the science of relationships, how they work and what makes us do the things we do within the context of a relationship, I had a good sense of self and how to treat a woman.  That said, like most men, I wasn’t without my challenges on how to deal with women.  I want to discuss one of those here.

I was lucky enough to date a woman who was very charismatic and a lot of fun.  She was around my age and she was well-educated.  She was the mother of two beautiful children who I got to know very well and I was very fond of.  She came from a two parent home with a strong moral upbringing and spiritual values.

This woman had come out of a tough marriage in which her husband had cheated on her.  I was her first serious relationship after the divorce.  Although we were attracted to each other and we had a lot in common, the first few months were very difficult.  She was having trouble dealing with the pain of the divorce.  I want to insert a footnote here that it’s important to grieve a relationship with a difficult break-up.  You can’t continue to look back if you truly want to move forward, so you must allow your heart AND your head time to truly close one chapter so you may start another one.  Months passed by and things were progressing.  She was handling the divorce much better and we were getting closer.

As we were getting closer, two things really stuck out that were giving me problems with our relationship.  First of all, I had female friends and acquaintances and she was very uncomfortable with that.  This was understandable to me as her trust had been betrayed to the highest level.  I tried to make sure that was not an issue for her, but any association with women on my part was simply unacceptable to her.  This was trying on my part, but I was attempting to make the relationship work, so I tried to limit that type of contact as much as possible.

The second issue, which was ultimately our undoing was her inability to forgive those who wronged her in the past; specifically, her children’s father.  Another important footnote: Divorce is painful, and adults are scarred, but children never fully recover.  Nothing takes the place of two loving parents being together raising and loving their children.  Nothing.  The children in this instance were well-adjusted, but definitely impacted by the father no longer being in the home.  The fact she was raised in a good home with both parents was something she fiercely wanted for her children.   Also considering the fact that financial support for the children was an issue for the father, the mother had a tough time forgiving him.  Each time she had to talk to the father, it was a blow-up.  He didn’t handle it well and he would disrespect her during their conversations, bring up the affair, etc.  It was a volatile situation.

This brings me to the issue which ultimately ended our relationship, her inability to forgive.  When we were getting serious, I let her know that if we decide to take our relationship to the next level, (1) financial support for her children would not be an issue, because I would take that responsibility (2) she couldn’t have this lack of trust when I interact with women and (3) she had to forgive him.  She couldn’t harbor this resentment anymore.  It was draining on her and it was draining me.  Ultimately, she couldn’t “let go” of my relationships with friends and associates.  She couldn’t forgive her ex.  It was too much for me to handle and eventually, we went our separate ways.

Again, she was an awesome woman who was dealt an unfair hand.  She has since married and has a great family.  This article isn’t about her, it’s about how we handle these situations.  Forgiveness is a learned trait.  It’s tough when we have someone in our lives that won’t forgive.  Although that’s the case, in a marriage, it’s important to love unconditionally.  How would you have handled my situation?  What might have you done differently?

 

Jay Hurt © 2013

About the Author ()

Jay Hurt is the author of The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship-for Singles. Personal experience, a liberation through faith and an appreciation for his perspective led Jay to share his insight on relationships. Dealing with challenging topics by confronting them with faith and common sense, Jay aspires to share wisdom to help others become fulfilled and blessed in their relationships. Jay lives in Nashville, TN and has two daughters, Kristina and Jalen.

Comments (8)

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  1. starlette says:

    Hello, thank you for developing this website. Forgiveness is so important because we hold ourselves in bondage. We do not become free until that bondage is broken. I look at unforgiveness as being shackled in the mind and heart. Although the person may not be able to physically see the shackles, they exist. I truly believe this bondage is far worse than any other. When we forgive, we free the other person as well as ourselves. How free do we become! As an African American woman, I find that it is harder for us to forgive, but it is definitely not impossible. I am living proof. Forgiving someone who wronged me is a choice. Because I choose not to live in bondage, I have allowed myself to be free of the pain, dishonesty, and rejection. Thank you for reading this reply.

    • Jay Hurt says:

      Starlette, I agree that we do not become free until the bondage is broken. When we choose to forgive, we open our world to many new possibilities and opportunities for ourselves. We leave the old in the past and look forward to what great things life has in store for us Thanks for sharing!

  2. Starlette says:

    You are very welcome.)

  3. Starlette says:

    Hello, I have a few questions for you.) I reread your blog above. Do you believe it is okay for men and women to develop or keep female and male friends, once they begin a new relationship? Let’s just say the relationship is taken to a higher level and marriage is the next step. What then? What makes us want to keep those friends if we have the love of our life? Thank you again for reading and responding.

    Starlette

    • Jay Hurt says:

      Your first question was is it Ok for men and women to develop and keep friends of the opposite sex. Yes, I think it’s Ok. I think there are boundaries that should be set with that friendship as with any friendship. People who are just friends for example, don’t sleep together.

      If we are in a serious relationship or married, that changes the context of every friendship. The key here is a legitimate friendship-only relationship. If it’s a friendship, then when things change–such as your time becomes limited for each other, or the could jeopardize an intimate relationship, then a friend knows who to allow the person in the relationship plenty of space.

      Specifically discussing this article: My ex didn’t like me talking to women. She didn’t like any female friend I had and if I got a phone call from any woman, drama was coming! It was quite exhausting. It extended to women I worked with. I don’t hide anything, so I was upfront about every woman I interacted with. I had not dated any of them in the past, I had not slept with any of them in the past. She was coming out of a bad relationship and her trust level just wasn’t there yet–for any man, not just me.

      If you notice one of my posts, I got engaged not long ago. I already extend her every courtesy and the respect she deserves where female friends are concerned and this will continue in our marriage.

      Ultimately, openness and honesty in communication are key in having mature relationships. Thanks again for your comments!

      • Starlette says:

        Hello,
        Congratulations! I am truly excited for you!

        I totally agree that it is fine to have friends of the opposite sex. When my ex cheated on me, it did hurt tremendously. But as I was going through it, I was never upset with the women or held a grudge against them, or my ex.
        My relationship with Christ was and still is so deep, that I knew he was with me. I stayed with him so long because I truly wanted him to get himself together. I kept telling him that. Eventually, I knew I had to do what was best for me, and FINALLY I did.

        Counseling didn’t help him. He continued with the lies and adulterous affairs. I never blamed him, instead, I had compassion for him. He had a difficult childhood as a child, and his father committed several adulterous affairs as well. He had no role models. Although this was not an excuse, and I’m certainly not condoning what he did, but my heart went out to him. I am just not the judge. We have only one judge. I even told the women that I forgave them while it was happening. I am friends with one of the young ladies. She asked for my forgiveness, and of course I said yes. I believe everyone has a story to tell. I truly don’t know what is going on inside a person’s heart, so my heart goes out to others in a loving way.

        Although he has tried to reconcile, I decided that relationship was not healthy for me. I do not believe he truly wanted the marriage, he was just didn’t want me to leave because I was his token wife. He was trying to fill voids with the other women, and yet, was still empty on the inside. He couldn’t understand how God could fill those voids for him. To continue, I took care of the home and the 3 children he had by 2 different women. I loved doing it. I truly treated them as if they were truly from my womb. I still keep in touch with the children.
        It has been 5 years now, and Christ has blessed me with a “New Beginning” in my life. I am enjoying it, and praising Him through my trials.

        I have a ministry called “Crystal Veils.” God’s vision for this ministry is to Enlighten, Encourage, and Empower all women. Women come from behind the veil to share their hurt, anger, frustration, rejection, and loneliness. As His servant, I share my testimonies, hoping this will help so many to be free or become free. Many ask how did I do it. My answer, “I didn’t. The Holy Spirit that is in me guided me. If I were in the flesh, it would not have ever happened. The flesh is weak and carries many negative feelings. My spirit is strong because of Christ.”

        So please continue with these blogs, articles, and comments. They are truly helping both men and women. I apologize for the length.)
        I guess I analyze too much.)

        Dear Lord, bless Mr. Hurt and his fiancée on their new beginning. Anoint them with your precious blood, and I thank You for your hedge of protection around them. Thank you for stopping every fiery dart that is aimed at them from the enemy. Father, I thank you for being their anchor. You deserve all the praise, glory and honor. In the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

        • Jay Hurt says:

          New beginnings combined with praising Him through all of your adversity is a recipe for nothing but good things to come your way. I appreciate the prayer and the heart felt comments. Be blessed!

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