There will come a time in your relationship when your lover hurts you and you have to grieve the wound.  Perhaps your spouse has an affair, or you may simply be hurt by a fundamental difference in beliefs or habits.  Experiencing such pain does not mean there is anything wrong with you or the relationship. . .  A period of pain and anger will follow as you deal with the loss.  This period is commonly called “grieving,” and it’s an important part of the process of forgiveness.

It is normal to experience emotional distress when our world is shaken.  It is also human nature to grieve losses and to suffer when we are mistreated. . . .

Every time you disagree with or are hurt by your lover, you must acknowledge the pain you are dealing with.  Most of the time the pain will last only for a moment, and then you can remember why you love your partner, come up with a benign explanation, and get over it.  In those situations, the grief response will be very quick.  Your gut will suddenly feel tight, or there will be a swear word on your lips. . . .

Not all difficulties, hoever, are ones that we can move through without an active and extended time of grieving.  The period of grief begins when we fully embrace the reality that there is a painful experience in our relationship that we do not want and we cannot change.  We accept our inability to make a change, and this acceptance allows us to then feel the sadness, anger, and fear that come with loss.

An ability to grieve appropriately is a necessary part of a successful marriage, but many couples do not realize this.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Love, p. 173-174

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