The Power of Forgiveness: Healing Marital and Family Wounds By Surojit Bhattacharjee

The Power of Forgiveness: Healing Marital and Family Wounds By Surojit Bhattacharjee

Problems between spouses affect not only the two of them, but the entire family. It's inevitable that the spouses will have conflicts in the long-term.

“There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love”

It is inevitable that the spouses will have conflicts in long-term marriages. Multiple studies across the world have shown there is positive correlation between forgiveness and marital satisfaction. Marital quality usually predicts forgiveness, and forgiveness often predicts marital quality. 

“Your soul is much too deserving of freedom to stay stuck”

10 Point to Reflect Upon

  1. Offenses from the closest one hurt most.
    1. We all hurt - & get hurt by - the nearest one at some point.
    2. It happens as some emotional leverage is handed over in love.
    3. Do not change that. It’s how love works. Its how we feel connected.
    4. Your key is how successfully you can process that hurt.
    5. You can make it a turn that lends strength to the bond and does not weaken it. 
  2. Happiness in marriage depends a lot on responding to and recovering from hurt feelings
    1. Know how to navigate through it. It saves you the emotional trauma
    2. Remember, your marriage draws strength from emotional wellbeing of both of you
    3. You cannot gain emotional wellness by deducting it from the partner
    4. Keep telling yourself: “Our happiness depends on happiness of both of us” 
  3. To forgive, justice between two of you is not necessary.
    1. First justice you can do: do it to yourself.
    2. It’s not a symmetrical shape that a relationship should take at every point of time.
    3. It’s not about “getting even”, it is about “getting better”.
    4. The two of you are not prosecutor and respondent. 
    5. The hurt is the prosecutor questioning the love and validity of the relationship. 
    6. Both of you are respondents. Win that battle.
  4. Forgiveness is more about the person doing the forgiving
    1. Your forgiveness benefits you most of all.
    2. It lightens your burden of stuck emotions.
    3. Forgiving reduces your anxiety that something is pending.
    4. It is good for your health. It lets you sleep better, reduces muscle tension, improves self-esteem too. 
    5. These are definitely things you value.
  5. First step is internal reconciliation: with yourself, automatically
    1. Do not try to make peace with the partner before making peace with yourself
    2. Reconciliation with yourself is enabler to forgive the partner
    3. Self-reconciliation will reset your mind to the right starting point.
    4. Self-healing gets you to a healthy state of mind to look outwards.
  6. A mere ceasefire does not re-build trust
    1.  It is not about just holding onto your weapons and being ready for war
    2.  It is about abandoning negative or offensive emotions.
    3.  Take time off if you want, but not to gather aggression, but to gather good memories.
    4.  Practice self-love and see how important the marriage is for you to feel great.
  7. No shame in requesting a third party to intermediate, but only after reconciling with yourself
    1. Bring on external help if you want.
    2. Remember to talk to yourself first. Then talk to your partner and build a consensus.
    3. Only if both of you want it, intermediation can be good, 
    4. Trust for the third party is paramount.
    5. Both partners should have reconciled implicitly before bringing an intermediary.
  8. Forgiveness may induce greater commitment to the relationship
    1. This works the other way too: commitment induces forgiveness.
    2.  Once we forgive or are forgiven, and emerge from the incident together, we can value how much the relationship means to us.
    3.  This greater respect for the relationship can make a later hurtful experience more tolerable.          
  9. Seeking forgiveness also contributes to marital satisfaction
    1. It often takes as much strength to seek forgiveness genuinely as it takes to forgive.
    2. Do not seek forgiveness to just reconcile, do it to feel better and to give respect to the relationship.
    3. Non-verbal expressions for seeking forgiveness are also important. 
    4. Emphasize on what has gone wrong and how you strive to make it better from your end than to just utter “sorry”.
    5. Seek help from your partner too. It can make you do better next time. It only makes the bond stringer.
  10. Believe: Your need to feel a close connection is stronger than your predisposition to revenge
    1. All of us are somewhat predisposed to vengeance when we get hurt.
    2. All of us also have urge to feel loved and be connected and contribute.
    3. Taking perspective of others often requires considerable effort.
    4. Consider what strengths you draw from the relationship. 
    5. Think what it does to your own emotional wellbeing.


Forgiveness IS NOT your compulsion to your partner. 

It IS NOT one even to the marriage. 

It IS one however, TO YOURSELF. 

Finally, Nelson Mandella recollected the moment he was coming out of jail after 27 years: 

“… I knew if I did not leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison”

Surojit Bhattacharjee

Article Authored By

Surojit Bhattacharjee

Surojit Bhattacharjee has over 25 years of experience dealing with different Mental Health and Developmental issues within his family context.

He is an engineer with over two decades of experience, and has recently formally entered the field of Psychology and Counselling. 

Disclaimer: This article has been written by a guest author as part of a mental wellbeing awareness campaign. You are advised to properly verify any advice given with qualified practitioners before following it. Also, for that reason it may not meet our usual standards. PsychoTech Services, Psychology Learners or any of its partner organisations, members or employees cannot be held liable for any damage or loss caused due to following the advice and recommendations given herein.

Join the discussion!
MJ Singh image
MJ Singh said…
A topic that is so important, yet so rarely discussed!
March 26, 2024 at 11:53 PM
Ap vashisht image
Ap vashisht said…
This is a powerful reminder that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. Thank you for sharing this important message.
April 1, 2024 at 3:14 PM
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