Step One: Forgiving Your Partner
Step One to forgiving your partner is for the hurt partner to communicate his or her pain. This may be very painful and frightening step for the hurt partner. The goal is for this partner to describe the wound rather than focusing on condemning the partner.
Hurt Partner Is To Be Specific
The hurt partner should be specific in what happened, when the situation occurred, and especially how it affected his or her sense of safety with the partner. Part of the job of the marriage counselor is to help the hurt partner connect with the emotions that come up.
Questions To Get To The Hurt
The counselor can ask:
- At a moment of urgent need, did I feel deprived of comfort?
- Did I feel deserted and alone?
- did I feel devalued by my partner when I desperately need validation that I and my feelings were important?
- Did my partner suddenly appear to be a source of danger to me rather than the haven of safety that I needed?
“Guilty” Partner Must Understand The Hurt
These questions can help get to the center of the hurt. It won’t be easy for the “guilty” partner to face the other partner’s pain. This partner should work hard to tune into the other’s painful emotions and be aware of his or her own triggers for feeling shame. It is important for this partner to understand the underlying attachment hurts, needs, and fears in order to work through them. Once the guilty partner comprehends and can identify the hurt partner’s wound, the healing can begin.
Begin Marriage Counseling
I started Hope Counseling with a goal to help couples and individuals work through past pain and wounds, repair the breaks in attachment, and restore the marriage so that both partners can face future challenges. I believe that God can and will provide His great Love and Power to help with the marriage counseling process. Please contact me today to begin couples counseling using Emotionally Focused Therapy.