I witnessed the most amazing transformation in a young couple’s marriage this week. I saw this couple for about two years after the discovery of the wife’s affair with a coworker. The wife was psychologically out of the marriage, and immersed in shame. The husband was traumatized and obcessed with the betrayal, often in a rage. Through shear force of will we all hung in there working through the crisis, with the prospect of forgiveness almost unimaginable at times. But this week they returned for a checkup session after a few months off, with their new baby daughter, proud and beaming, peaceful and filled with joy, which we all knew was no miracle. They had worked diligently to face the crisis, understand it and their roles in it, and to do the daily work of healing and growth. The wife had to forgive herself for the transgression, the husband had to forgive her for the betrayal, and they each had to commit to changing the culture of their relationship so it wouldn’t be so vulnerable again. They had to confront their own humanity in their capacity to hurt eachother, but also to forgive and deepen intimacy. They reminded me that genuine forgiveness usually happens when couples make it a relentless, daily practice, like athletes training for the olympics. It’s not a lazy, haphazard process, it’s grueling and exhausting, but the ultimate “gold medal” is the sweetest ever….
P.S. Stay tuned for more about the issue of forgiveness and letting go, in articles, teleseminars, and Ebooks you’ll find on my new website www.HowToBeABetterCouple.com in July!