“Asking for and receiving forgiveness from another person takes courage.—Jan Dargatz

forgive me

Forgiveness is one of those words that gets put out there a lot, and yet what does it really look like in a marriage?

What does it look like to be the one to ask for forgiveness? To go beyond saying I’m sorry and get to a place where transformation is happening within the marriage?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “to forgive” means to cease to feel resentment against or to give up resentment of or claim to requital. That said, in each where couples are struggling with the need for forgiveness in their marriage and the need to have trust rebuilt in a way that the marriage feels solid forgiveness is not either/or.

Rather, it’s both/and—both forgiveness and rebuilding trust.

Nobody’s actions exist in a vacuum. What you choose to do affects your spouse even if they don’t know about it.


You act differently around them. They get treated differently. You respond differently.

When you have done something that is damaging to the marriage, even if they don’t know about it, you have changed the dynamic and everything eventually comes out somehow, someway.

The challenge is what to do when your actions cause your spouse pain, disappointment, or heartache.

We’re taught from an early age to apologize. How many of you remember your parents walking you up to a sibling or a friend and saying “Ok, now say you’re sorry.” and you grudgingly said it, even though you didn’t want to.

Often, I’m sorry is all about you. You’re going through the motion that you’ve been doing since you were two. “I’m sorry” is helpful, and yet it’s not necessarily relationship building because it requires nothing from the person who has experienced hurt.

Will you forgive me?

That’s different. This statement goes deeper into the relationship. It’s about an exchange of emotion. It’s not something that is easily walked away from, but is a tool to begin the repair process.

Get help if you need it. In many situations where trust has been broken and pain is in the marriage, working with a marriage coach or a counselor can help to identify the source of the pain and create strategies around it.

The Trust Factor: How to Rebuild Trust in Your Marriage

Called to Love: Experiencing Your Best Marriage Through the Words of Jesus

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