Forgiveness in Relationships

Forgiveness in Relationships In dating, relationships, and marriage there is one thing you can predict and count on. That is that sometimes your partner will say or do something to offend or hurt you. Sometimes they will be acting intentionally hurtful, other times no offense was intended. In either event, hurt feelings result. And then what? Well, some partners will hold onto the offense and develop a grudge, whereas others will work to let go of the offense and forgive pretty quickly. Most of the time the result will be somewhere in between.

So why is it important to forgive your partner quickly and completely? There are many reasons but one of the biggest involves supporting the quality of the relationship. Getting along beats…not getting along. When a spirit of peace, harmony, and love exists in a relationship, it is much more enjoyable. Otherwise, offenses lead to resentment and grudges which lead to lower relationship satisfaction. With enough dissatisfaction, eventually you may break up and lose the relationship altogether. Was the grudge worth it? No.

So why do we hold grudges and refuse to forgive? I have heard grudge holding described as a way to try to maintain maximum control over the other person, while at the same time also risking minimum vulnerability and intimacy. It is a prideful and hurtful thing to do. Not a good recipe for a relationship. Instead when you work to forgive and let go of offenses as soon as you reasonably can, then you can get back to enjoying the relationship, getting along, and being happy.

Suggestions to Forgive:

*Try to talk it out when possible. It is somewhat easier to forgive your partner when you better understand where they were coming from, as well as them also understanding where you are coming from. If you are willing to be civil and respectful and so is the other person, discuss the situation to better understand each together. And if your partner apologizes to you along the way, please accept it. Many people never receive any kind of apology for offenses, so please take and accept what you can get.

*Sell yourself on why to forgive. Remind yourself why you will be forgiving the other person. Meaning, sell yourself on what you will personally get out of working to forgive the other and how that will benefit you. Doing so out of obligation alone is usually a tough sell to yourself. Perhaps you can remind yourself that by forgiving the other person you can then enjoy the evening, sleep better, be in a better mood, or role model forgiveness so that the other person will better forgive your own offenses to them.

*Remember that you are commanded to forgive everyone. Remember that by forgiving others, the Lord will forgive you for your issues, problems, and sins as well. It is scriptural and doctrinal. Accordingly, here are some forgiveness scriptures to remind you of this principle:

Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.
--Doctrine & Covenants 64:9-11

Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.
--Doctrine & Covenants 82:1

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
--Matthew 6:14-15

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
--Matthew 18:32-35

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
--Colossians 3:12-15

Final Thoughts:

Offering forgiveness in a Christlike thing to do, as well as a healthy thing to do for yourself, the other person, and the relationship. Please drop your pride, forgive, let go, and move on. This will be a gift that you will be giving to both the other person and yourself. Forgiveness renews and refreshes a relationship. The healthy and happy path involves this type of letting go. So, I invite you to please do so. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at

2023-04-02 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to