The ‘F’ Word: Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a voluntary and intentional process by which you have a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense.

The rule is simply this: forgive. This is sincerely the best thing you can do in your marriage and really the only way to keep your marriage intact for the rest of your life. It takes letting go of negative emotions such as anger or vengefulness, and the ability to wish the offender well. Studies have shown that forgiveness inspires love and can be healing in many ways.

Use these tips to keep forgiveness at the heart of your marriage:

1.      Look at both sides of the story.

There are often simple explanations for frustrating behavior, but you have to be willing to see both sides. Too often, spouses jump to conclusions and immediately go into a blaming or defensive mode instead of looking reasonably at both sides of the story. If everyone looked at themselves first before attacking their partners, many fights would be dispersed before they even began. When you can view both sides honestly, it is easier to find forgiveness because you see what part you contributed in the fight.

2.      Practice a policy of open honesty, but not necessarily all the time.

Some spouses operate on the premise that honesty is the best policy no matter the circumstances. In reality, this is not true in marriage. When you hear that honesty is important in a marriage, it is. But it doesn’t mean cruelty or lack of tact is necessary. Honesty means not lying about how much you spent shopping and if your husband asks how you are, do not say ‘fine’ when you don’t mean it. If you need to, schedule a time each week that is your ‘honest’ time. When you have both had a chance to air your grievances, it will be easier to follow number 1 above.

3.      Imagine your spouse dying or leaving you.

This isn’t something that you usually hear recommended in a marriage. But it is a simple and powerful way to remind yourself of how much you love your spouse. When you are feeling especially angry, think about how you would feel if he or she died before you sorted out your feelings. Would this incident be of importance? This is not to say that you should pretend to be happy all the time because he or she might die. This is just another way to look at your marriage and realize how much you do love each other and want the marriage to go forward.

4.      Think about how forgiving will also help you.

Holding on to negative feelings and grudges is extra emotional weight you don’t need. You have likely upset your spouse at times too. There is  no way to exist in any long term relationship without some misunderstandings and doing unintentional harm. Forgiving will be freeing for you and is likely to bring you the same in return from your partner.


By following these simple guidelines, you will find that you can forgive your husband or wife more quickly. Throughout your relationship, you will frequently have moments of “rupture and repair.”  There are times you both go off course and will need to correct it. This is quite normal. Love always follows forgiveness. So, put these ideas into practice to strengthen your bond and ensure that you are truly together until death do you part.

At Star Point Counseling Center, there are two convenient locations for you to choose from in Brandon and Tampa. Call or Text us today, to schedule your appointment. (813) 244.1251
 To view the Brandon website, click here.

We provide counseling services to individuals, couples, families, children, teens, and adults with any type of crises.  We help you build tools as well as help design and implement individualized goals and objectives, help you sort out beliefs, thoughts, and behavior patterns that may be hindering you in your relationship(s) whether at the work place or in other areas of your life.  
We have the tools you need for managing pain, anxiety, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, or anger resulting from circumstances that interfere in achieving a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.  By working together, we will show you how to set and achieve goals and objectives therapeutically designed to meet your needs that will allow you to live the life you know that you deserve.






Forgiveness… For You, or For Me?

For most of us it is easy to identify specific instances where someone has offended us. Whether you have received an ugly look in the grocery store for blocking the aisle, or cheated on by your significant other, the feelings that reside are often the same (different levels of hurt, but still ultimately the same core feeling). But how do we deal with these feelings of hurt, pain, fear, shame, and vengefulness? Well, we can lash back and seek justice for the violations others have done to offend us. We can hold on to the offense resulting in ongoing resentment, hardening our heart and providing us a sense of stress that almost traps us into misery. Or, we can choose to impart our forgiveness on the offender and everyone lives happily ever after.
Forgiveness gives the offender the right to violate me again, and allows them a pass for the hurt and anguish right? WRONG! Forgiveness is actually meant to help and heal the victim of the offense. Think of all of the heartache the wrong doing has caused, and continues to cause you. Would you want that to continue to linger, or to vanish away? Chances are that you would pick the latter. The pain rarely ever just “disappears” however. Forgiveness is a process that can take days, months, or even years depending on the offense. And even after working diligently at this task, it may only be possible to enter a place of acceptance, which is okay too. It is also okay to enlist the help of a therapist, pastor, friend, or family member that has some knowledge on the subject. You will do the work on your own, but tips and moral support are very big helpers.
For more information on forgiveness and its benefits, visit our website at Or, if you would like to make an appointment at our Tampa or Brandon offices give us a call at 813-244-1251.