Forgiveness within a relationship, whether an ongoing or a fractured one, is paramount. Without engaging in the constant dance of risk-taking, wronging, and repair of the relationship, couples never grow beyond the tiny, safe patch of grass where they graze.
This means knowing the right time to consider things carefully and when to release things. Most people fall on the side of the coin where a resolution is desired.
What drives this? What are some signs it has been long enough? Is there such a thing as a correct time to make up?
These and other questions create a possible environment where couples remain in a holding pattern. Understanding each question and then making decisions according to what needs to happen means taking several factors into account and seeing how they piece together.
What is the drive?
It seems natural to say everyone wants to be forgiven. However, we all know people who either seem constantly content to pursue their own whims and desires without a care for the damage this behavior causes. These individuals are sometimes the hardest to forgive because they appear to want it the least.
This points to an important factor in making up. The act rarely, if ever, is for the other person. Think back to the last fight had with someone important and the feelings left in the wake of the disagreement. If being honest, one’s personal feelings dominated the initial thoughts because it grows hard to imagine the other person hurting as much as we do in a given moment.
Because pain is such great motivator, it can push us to make snap decisions. Pain can also be an excellent teacher. Taking a little time to discover the source of the pain, one’s role in its manifestation and how the pain causes us to respond makes us better equipped to change. Part of that change is in repairing the relationship damaged in the disagreement.
What are the signs it has been long enough?
While sounding cliche, one will know when adequate time has passed to bring about reconciliation. One must be aware of the signs because a lack of awareness leads to being locked in a cold place where forgiveness refuses to flourish. Let’s look at some possible signs.
* Sting is Lessened: Memory of the event or disagreement does not seem quite so fresh. This does not mean all the pain is gone. It just isn’t as sharp.
- Sense of Lack: When thinking of the other person, they come to mind first and not the offense. One needs to be aware they miss the other person and want them back in the relationship fully.
Ability to Discuss: The processing of things has been done and now the person can talk about it in all the facets necessary without the sensation of being cut by it. One needs to stay in touch with their feelings. Being robotic in their handling of the matter increases the chance for recurrence rather than forgiveness and repair.
Is There a Correct Time?
In short, this goes with the caveat that it varies from person to person. Far greater damage can be done if one forces a timetable on someone before they are ready.
Maybe because of modeling from their family, one person forgives quickly. The other side may need time to ponder everything while getting in touch with their feelings without them being so raw. When enough signs from the area above align for both people, making up becomes an option for both people.
Forgiveness forges deeper bonds within couples. Always bailing on tough conversations or situations only serve to weaken the structure of the overall relationship. One needs to resist rushing the process. Neither can they ignore the opportunity offered by disagreements and reconciliation. Take the right time and then reach out because everyone will feel better afterward.
If you’re in a difficult relationship right now, you may want to check out The Magic of Making Up. You will discover how to make up in a way that makes your relationship stronger and more satisfying. For more information, click here: