FACT: We have all made mistakes in marriage, whether they be big or small.
I know when I make mistakes in my marriage I tend to be hard on myself for it, especially if it’s something I am continually working on but don’t seem to be getting better at quite yet. The feeling lasts for a few days while I still feel bad for whatever I did or said, and as I consider ways to become better. For some people, however, it lasts for much longer because either they continue to beat themselves up for it or their spouse won’t let them forget about it.
Being a big fan of the Back to the Future movies, I randomly think about what I would change in my past if I could go back and change words said or something done. We all have had a conversation where we walk away from it saying, “Oh man, I wish I hadn’t said that.” I can think of a few specific ones in my close relationships where this happened, haha. When we regret saying or doing certain things, it’s typically because it lead to a series of unfortunate events immediately afterwards, right? Well guess what, we can’t change that! We can’t press rewind and start the scene fresh as if it had never happened. Life doesn’t work like that so neither does marriage.
To those of you who beat yourself up about making a mistake in marriage:
Moving forward is possible, whether it’s a small offense or big offense. Some things require more time and healing for forgiveness to occur, but it’s possible too. As long as you continue putting forth the effort necessary to avoid that same mistake again, you are succeeding. And you can give yourself a pat on the back instead of a kick in the pants!
To those of you who keep bringing up a spouse’s mistake over and over again:
This seriously needs to be addressed. For every time you bring it up, it’s another drop into your jar of resentment towards your spouse. I get it, you’re hurt and don’t feel like your spouse sees that or tries to become better. That feeling sucks, but I have seen the aftermath of heavy resentment and it is absolutely unhealthy for a marriage’s longevity. Just remember that your spouse can’t take back that scene you keep rewinding back to! Maybe they have accepted that after doing their best to apologize and never do it again, but you haven’t accepted it. So address it, no matter how scary, mean, or miserable it might be dealing with it.
I know all this is so much easier said than done. Telling yourself to just “let it go” is so much easier to sing than to actually do! I know that when I truly see my spouse trying to work on a flaw that affects our marriage, I am more able to move forward because “A FOR EFFORT!” Right?! It’s hard to sum up subjects like these in one post so there will be more to come focused on forgiveness, moving forward, and letting mistakes strengthen your unity. But until then, give yourself more credit for trying to overcome your mistakes, or give your spouse credit for trying to overcome their mistakes.
We are imperfect people coming together in an imperfect union, so we are bound to make mistakes. It’s important to remember that because since we can’t go back and change the mistake, the only way to go is forward.