Marriage is one of life's most sacred relationships. It's built on love, trust and the promise of "till death do you part." But when you're betrayed by the abuse of the one person you trusted with every aspect of your life, you wonder if the day will ever come when forgiveness will replace the pain and the devastation you've suffered at the hand of your husband.

Forgiveness is choosing to release yourself from the pain, bitterness and shame of the past in order to live a happier, healthier life now. It in no way excuses the wrong you endured or requires you to stay in an unsafe situation. It does, however, have the power to reshape your perspective, your life and your marriage, and it now places that very power in your own hands.

Once you've sought out the support you need to help guide you through the healing process, many new layers of your relationship with your husband - both past and present - will begin to unfold. The issues behind his behaviors will come into focus and will eventually soften the wounds of the past. Your ability to know whether or not he's doing his part to heal and change is also clearer once you're able to see through eyes no longer riddled with resentment.

Forgiving the man as opposed to his actions is one step to opening yourself up for healthier relationships with him as well as everyone else around you. In essence, it's the same as making a donation to a charity. You're giving from the heart with the hopes of improving someone's life regardless of who he is and what he's done. This type of contribution can free you both from your hurts, as well as encourage him to become the man you fell in love with and married - the man he's always wanted to be.

You'll also be able to see the lessons you were taught through your relationship with your husband. These lessons were there to draw you closer to your true, beautiful and whole self: a loving woman who requires a man only to complement her rather than complete her. Owning these characteristics will enable you to use the power of forgiveness to your advantage and make loving choices about the future of your marriage.

Forgiving your husband is the most self-loving and gratifying action you can take toward creating a new life for you and your family. It's like your favorite mug that was once broken but super-glued back together. You can choose to focus on its damage and faults every time you look at it. Or you can see it as having greater character and the strength to withstand the tests of time to continue blessing your life by doing what it was designed to do.

Whatever the outcome of the relationship with your husband will be, you are the one who is in control of its dynamics and destiny. Forgiveness makes the soil of your heart fertile ground for strength, love and wisdom. Allow those to guide you toward decisions that empower and uplift you. When all is said and done, you will know exactly who it was you forgave and all the reasons you did it.

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