Is Forgiveness Synonymous with Trust?

When someone you love or care about has deeply hurt you, it can be a complicated process restoring everything you once had back to what it used to be. Contrary to what many people think, complete reconciliation doesn’t come with these three words: I forgive you. Forgiveness is but a step in the process of restoring a relationship that has been broken by betrayal. Forgiving someone does not mean you now need to completely trust him or forget what happened. Here’s a more in-depth look at the differences between trust and forgiveness:

Forgiveness and Trust Are NOT One and the Same

Simply put, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It sets you free from the bitterness and hurt you’re feeling inside. All the pain you keep in your heart that almost feels tangible will be lifted and will evaporate once you decide to forgive.

Forgiveness is a solo endeavor. It’s something you have to work through independent of the other party. For instance, you can forgive someone who you may never see again or someone who has passed away. While a genuine apology can make forgiveness easier, ultimately, it isn’t necessary. Forgiveness is a decision you make on your own.  When you do, it will feel liberating like a weight or burden has been removed..

On the other hand, Trust is not the same as forgiveness. Trust requires consistent action by the offender in order for trust  to be granted. Trust has to be rebuilt, and while forgiveness is a part of that rebuilding process, granting forgiveness does not mean you’re granting trust, too.

If you’re the person who broke the trust, you may think that once you’ve been forgiven, things can go back to the way they were. This is not true and you should not expect this, as doing so will prolong the reconciliation process. The person who chooses to forgive you gets to set boundaries and then decide when to grant trust based on your consequent actions and if you prove you’re trustworthy.

Forgiveness is Given Freely While Trust Has to Be Earned

When you decide to forgive, you’re not letting the offender off the hook. You’re not all of a sudden alleviating the person of his accountability and responsibility toward the situation. Once again, forgiveness is for YOU, not the other person. It shouldn’t even be based on the other person’s actions. You can still choose to forgive even if the person who hurt you is not remorseful or does not want to change.

However, if you’re offering forgiveness and want to reconcile (and therefore offer trust) as the next step, you should expect the other person to show that he’s worthy of trust and reconciliation. Forgiving shouldn’t change anything when it comes to the behavior you now expect from the offender. It’s just as important for the forgiver to understand this as for the person you’re forgiving, so that more misunderstandings (like the offender thinking he doesn’t need to follow boundaries because he’s been forgiven) don’t take place.

Reconciling with someone, which is completely separate from forgiving someone, is a much more complicated and grueling process. Why? It requires participation and a willingness to change on the part of the offender. Earning trust moves beyond forgiveness. It’s an interpersonal process—a joint venture that requires the offender to apologize, to show he’s sorry, and to offer hope that there can be a future for both of you again. Sometimes, however, trust and reconciliation aren’t possible. If the two of you can’t find a way to work through the hurt and betrayal and simply can’t get along, you may have to accept that reconciliation won’t happen. But remember that forgiveness is always, always possible.

Forgiveness and Trust Are Both Processes that Take Time

Forgiveness is an internal and unilateral process based solely on your ability to do the following:

  • Gain a clear understanding of what happened
  • Work through the hurt and anger
  • Learn how to feel safe again
  • Let go of the grudge and let the memory heal
  • Be willing to remember the past with compassion and hope instead of with a sense of injustice

This is not an easy process, and the timeline for forgiveness can either be short or extremely long, based on what happened. It helps to remember that forgiveness is not an event that happens at one time, in one place, or in one moment. Forgiveness is a process, which means you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you can’t forgive someone right away, even if you want to.

Once again, forgiveness should not be based on the offender’s actions but on your own attitude and your willingness to see that forgiveness will set you free. Holding onto the grudge isn’t punishing the offender, even though it may feel like being mad at him is a sort of revenge. “Getting back” at someone by refusing to forgive does nothing to set things right. It only makes life harder for you.

While forgiveness should be offered freely, trust should be offered slowly. Rebuilding trust, which is a part of the reconciliation process, takes the two of you. You need to talk about what happened, listen to his side of the story, express your hurt feelings, listen for his remorse, and evaluate whether you both want to get to a point where you want to reconcile and give and receive trust again. It’s a process that takes time because you need to see if he’s willing to follow the set boundaries and show that he’s trustworthy over the next few weeks, months, and years. You also need to show that you’ve truly forgiven him by not throwing what happened back in his face every time you’re feeling hurt. You need to let yourself create a new way of remembering what happened—a way that allows you to change the memory of the past into a hope for the future that has both of you in it.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-therapy/201303/forgiveness-vs-reconciliation

http://refineus.org/forgiveness-and-trust/

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/forgiveness-and-restoration/forgiveness-what-it-is-and-what-it-isnt

 

5 Signs There’s Still Hope for Your Marriage

5 Signs There’s Still Hope for Your Marriageretreats for couples

Perhaps you’re at a point in your marriage where things are hanging by a thread. You’ve heard of the wonderful benefits of attending LIFE retreats for couples, but you’re still wondering if there’s any hope for your marriage. If you and your partner feel this way, don’t despair. There is still hope, and these five signs will show you why:

 

  1.    Neither of you is ready to make things final. Perhaps you have not only contemplated divorce, but also brought it up several times. So why hasn’t it happened yet? Deep down, neither of you is quite ready to make that final decision, and you both know it. The fact that the divorce hasn’t happened yet is reason enough to give you hope.
  2.    You’re both interested in attending a LIFE marriage retreat. If you’re both willing to seek outside help by going to a LIFE couples retreat, that’s a positive sign. A shared interest in participating in something that could save your marriage is certainly a sign there’s still hope.
  3.    There’s still  love left. Even if you and your spouse can only believe that there’s still some love left in your relationship, that’s enough to work with. The smallest bud of love can blossom again if it’s properly nourished. Hold on to that belief of love, no matter how small it may be.
  4.     You both want to find happiness again. Does the thought of being happy together again bring you a sense of strength? Maybe you’re not yet willing to admit it, but more than likely you do want to find happiness with your spouse again. If both of you want this, there’s still hope.
  5.     Both of you are simply looking for hope. The fact that you and your spouse are both looking for hope in your marriage is a sign in and of itself that there is hope. It’s a sign that you don’t want the relationship to end and that you aren’t ready to give up. If you’re both trying to find hope, that’s a good indication there is hope.

Remember to focus your energy on hope, especially if you’re attending one of our LIFE marital retreats. Sometimes couples think the solution is through marriage counseling Colorado Springs offers or marriage counseling Fort Collins offers. However, the best place to find hope for your marriage is at a LIFE marriage retreat. Book a retreat today by calling 877-376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com.

3 Human and Relationship Laws Couples Learn at LIFE Marriage Retreats

3 Human and Relationship Laws Couples Learn at LIFE Marriage Retreatsmarriage counseling coloardo springs

If your marriage is in a place that warrants you searching for marriage counseling Colorado Springs offers, take a minute to reflect what LIFE marriage retreats can offer you. At a LIFE couples retreat, you’ll be taught certain Human and Relationship Principles that, if allowed to govern your marriage, will bring you and your spouse happiness. Here are three of those principles:

1.     Trust and trustworthiness. Being able to trust and be trusted is essential, even vital, in marriage. In fact, integrity, which leads to trust and trustworthiness, is one of the most basic foundations in any relationship. A lack of integrity (keeping secrets, telling lies, having affairs) always leads to broken trust and broken hearts. If you and your spouse are dealing with this absence of truthfulness and trust in your marriage, it is time to do something about it. Fortunately, the marriage counselors at LIFE marriage retreats can teach you how to work through issues of trust and to find mutual trustworthiness once again.

2.     Forgiveness. Another fundamental element of successful marriages is forgiveness. It can be extremely difficult to apologize for something, but it can be even harder to forgive your spouse for doing that something. However, if you refuse to extend forgiveness, the bruises and wounds caused by the hurt won’t heal—they’ll get worse. In order to make your marriage happier and healthier, you must learn to forgive without holding resentment.

3.     Commitment. When two marriage partners are bound to each other by their commitment to stay together, the chances of that marriage lasting are exponentially higher. It takes a resilient, firm commitment from both of you to truly make things work. If one or both of you is lacking the resolve to be committed, things will inevitably start to fall apart. At a LIFE marriage retreat, however, you can learn how to strengthen that resolve to be committed.

Don’t give up hope if your marriage isn’t what you want it to be. By going to LIFE retreats for couples, you can learn more about these Human and Relationship Laws that will strengthen your marriage. Instead of investing in marriage counseling Fort Collins offers, invest in the marital retreats LIFE offers. You will see life-changing results if you come willingly. Book a retreat today by calling 877-376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com.

4 Things You Can Do Every Day to Strengthen Your Marriage

Whether you’re at a point in your marriage where searching for marriage counseling Fort Collins offers is your only hope, or you’re newly married and wanting to build a strong foundation, these four things can help you create a marriage that will make it through those difficult times:

marriage counseling fort collins

1. Exercise. Believe it or not, exercising is an important key to having a healthy marriage. When you exercise, you have more energy, you feel better about yourself, you boost that feel-good serotonin chemical in your brain, and you alleviate stress and tension in your body. Consider walking or biking together for an even stronger positive connection. The results will be more positive emotions to your marriage, you will be more inclined to feel compassion, kindness, and happiness rather than anger, irritation, and despair.
2. Touch. A simple shoulder squeeze, hand on the arm, or caress on the cheek can sometimes speak louder than words when it comes to expressing love. Simple physical touch can go a long way in a marriage because it shows that you’re aware of your spouse and that you’re there for him or her. It’s a reassuring, comforting gesture that many couples forget is important.
3. Talk. Talking is one of the most fundamental and essential elements of strong marriages. However, talking is more than just a one or two-word exchange a day. It’s sitting down, looking each other in the eyes, and genuinely sharing and listening. It’s a way of reconnecting in our busy lives.
4. Be accountable. Take responsibility not only for your actions, but also for how you manifest your emotions. Avoid blaming your spouse for your negative feelings and behaviors. If you want change in your relationship, work to change yourself first. This will be the best way to invite appropriate change from your partner.

If you have been trying these things and your marriage is still struggling don’t give up hope. LIFE marriage retreats are designed specifically for couples that feel like their marriages are hanging on by a thread. Give our retreats for couples a chance by calling 877-376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com and booking a retreat today.

3 Signs Your Marriage Needs a LIFE Marriage Retreat

3 Signs Your Marriage Needs a LIFE Marriage Retreat

 

marriage counseling San AntonioEvery couple will experience challenging times from both internal and external sources. Those times, though painful, will actually make a relationship stronger as the couple works through them in healthy ways.  However, some couples find themselves in the “down” spectrum of the happy scale for long periods of time, unable to rediscover the path to higher and happier ground, and end up searching for marriage counseling San Antonio offers or marriage counseling Las Vegas offers. These couples with unhappy and seemingly crumbling marriages can turn to a LIFE marriage retreat. If you’re not sure if your marriage is a good fit for a Retreat, evaluate if you are experiencing any of the following signs in your relationship:

 

  1.       Damaged or eroded Trust. Trust can be damaged by significant betrayals, whether infidelity or other forms of dishonesty. But couples also experience an erosion of trust over time as busy lives and distractions come between them. This can lead a couple to feel more like roommates than intimate companions, and result in their questioning whether they can really find happiness and fulfillment together. A LIFE marriage retreat will help you both express your deepest feelings and work through the difficult issue to become united again.
  2.       Lack of healthy and effective Communication.  Dwindling and/or damaging communication is almost always both a cause and result of a struggling relationship. It becomes difficult for partners to understand one another’s perspective and communication often ends up a fight to be right. At a LIFE Marriage Retreat you will communicate at the highest level at which you have ever communicated. You will build a foundation made up of the principles and skills that define every successful marriage, and will feel safety and respect as you discover the healthiest solutions to heal your relationship.
  3.       Serious, damaging effects from addiction. If you or your spouse is suffering from an addiction that has not been treated or overcome, the effects on the addict and the spouse are heartbreaking. There are no words for the turmoil that addiction causes in a marriage and family. Come to a LIFE marriage retreat to learn how healing, strength, and redemption can be found even in the case of addiction.

 

If you relate to even one of these three signs, it’s time to seriously consider attending a LIFE couples retreat. Instead of looking for marriage counseling San Antonio offers, book a retreat with us at our Texas Hill Country location. With the help of a LIFE marriage retreat, you can find peace and happiness in your marriage once again. Book a retreat today by calling (877) 376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com.

3 Reasons to Attend a LIFE Marriage Retreat

marriage retreat3 Reasons to Attend a LIFE Marriage Retreat

A LIFE marriage retreat is a four-day journey toward positive growth in your relationship with your spouse. It’s meant to help you find hope and healing in a marriage that is barely surviving, whether from severe addictions, broken trust, or an inability to communicate and solve problems. Couples who are experiencing the damaging effects of contention-causing issues in their marriages should attend a LIFE marriage retreat for the following reasons:

 

  1.       Experiential activities. At each LIFE retreat, couples participate in experiential activities that are designed to be a hands-on teaching tool for understanding fundamental relationship principles. Couples discover what these experiential activities are when they get to the retreat so that they have the opportunity to truly experience something new together. These activities help give participants that “aha” moment when it comes to understanding what makes a marriage work.
  2.       One-on-one counseling sessions. Each couple will get a chance to work one-on-one with marriage coaches during the retreat. These marriage coaches are experienced, professional counselors who give spouses guidance on how to express their feelings about difficult issues. As both husbands and wives open up about how these issues are affecting them, they can learn how to listen and how to solve problems more effectively.
  3.      Free time. The free time couples have during a LIFE retreat is extremely vital to their relationship growth. It’s during this free time that they get a chance to spend quality time together—something most of the couples attending the retreat haven’t had. Whether it’s walking hand-in-hand on the beach or riding bikes in the mountains, it’s important for couples to do something fun and enjoyable together.

 

If you’ve been looking for couples retreats or marriage counseling Las Vegas offers, you’ve come to the right place. LIFE offers a one-of-a-kind marriage retreat program to couples experiencing relationship trauma. There is hope for finding healing in your marriage. Book a retreat today at any of our three locations by calling (877) 376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com.

3 Ways Couples Find Success at LIFE Marriage Retreats

Couples RetreatsFor some couples, it’s difficult to find couples retreats that actually help repair relationships and that reunite husbands and wives in love and harmony. Fortunately, that’s not the case with couples that attend LIFE marriage retreats.

If your marriage is on the brink of despair and destruction, you can find hope. Hundreds of other couples before you have saved their marriage through their commitment to their relationship and the remarkable support of LIFE Marriage Retreats in providing the environment, experiential training, and private counseling sessions that lead to the success they sought. The following three examples show specific ways you will find success at LIFE marriage retreats:

  1.       Couples set high relationship objectives. We work with couples before their Retreat to help them set realistic but lofty goals and objectives for what they want to achieve at the Retreat, both on a personal and relationship level.  It is our experience that couples truly committed to rebuilding their relationship find lasting positive change at the Retreat and find their way to the higher and happier ground they crave. Husbands and wives that want to resolve the issues of their past and develop a greater awareness of and love for each other, and that are striving for a warm and fulfilling emotional and physical intimacy rediscover those gifts at a LIFE retreat. We will help you to come with an open mind and heart and a willingness to achieve the relationship objectives you’ve set.
  2.       They embrace each component of the retreat. Couples who see the most success at LIFE retreats are the ones who put both feet in, so to speak, during the experiential activities, one-on-one counseling sessions, and small group sessions. Together, you and your spouse will embrace each element of the Retreat with a sense of hope and trust, knowing that LIFE Retreats provide these one-of-a-kind experiences knowing the positive effect they will have on you both as you truly engage yourselves.
  3.       They participate in the AfterCare program. Once couples leave the retreat, they are not left on their own to hope that everything they’ve learned will stick. The LIFE counselors they worked with will schedule follow-up phone or Skype sessions to check in, help you to remain accountable to your commitments and direction,  and offer additional support. If you are willing to participate in these after-care sessions and be accountable for the relationship goals they’ve set, they will undoubtedly see growth and happiness in their marriage.

LIFE couples retreats have helped hundreds of couples seeking hope for their marriages find success. If you’ve been looking for a marriage retreat that will help you and your spouse repair the damage in your relationship and find joy again, call now. You can book your retreat today by calling (877) 376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com.

3 Ways LIFE Marriage Retreats Differ from Traditional Marriage Counseling

3 Ways LIFE Marriage Retreats Differ from Traditional Marriage Counseling

marriage counseling san diego caWhen a couple whose marriage is on the rocks is seeking guidance, they often turn to marriage counseling. San Diego is a popular place for searching for such counseling because it’s a beautiful, relaxing place. However, couples who search for LIFE Marriage Retreats in San Diego often find more success. LIFE Marriage Retreats are different from marriage counseling sessions in the following ways:

1.       LIFE Marriage Retreats take you to locations that elicit a sense of peace and harmony.

Location matters for those seeking an environment of reconciliation and change. If there’s already tension in your relationship, would you prefer an austere and impersonal counseling office or a beautiful and peaceful beachfront?

The beautiful surroundings of an outdoor location become the backdrop for meaningful personal and relationship growth. San Diego is LIFE’s most popular Retreat in part because the beach and waves form the backdrop to the amazing Retreat experience.

2.       LIFE Marriage Retreats expedite the healing and growth process in relationships.

Experiential activities help couples experience and internalize (not just talk about) key principles and skills. These activities are designed to help each participant have “aha” moments where he or she finally grasps what the principle or skill really means and how it shows up in the relationship.

Couples work with LIFE counselors in extraordinarily effective private, one-on-one sessions that lead to resolution of issues and reestablishment of emotional connection.

LIFE retreats are also four enjoyable days that immerse couples in training and counseling in an environment where healing occurs, communication flourishes, and trust grows.

3.       LIFE Marriage Retreats offer the results you are seeking.

In a four-day retreat couples will experience:

  • The highest level of safe and meaningful communication ever experienced
  • A clarity of and respect for one another’s perspectives, leading to mutually satisfying solutions
  • A liberating sense of mutual accountability based not on blame or scorekeeping, but honesty and respect
  • From this strong foundation you will take your marriage to higher and happier ground

If you and your spouse are desperate for hope, consider attending a LIFE Marriage Retreat instead of marriage counseling. San Diego is waiting to welcome you with its sunny beaches and breezy climate. LIFE couple retreats really do provide the guidance and nourishment your relationship needs. For more information or to register, call (877) 376-7127 or visit lifemarriageretreats.com.

Top 5 Reasons to Attend a LIFE Marriage Retreat in San Diego

marriage counseling san diegoWhen it comes to marriage counseling, San Diego is a popular place to look. Even more popular and effective than marriage counseling, though, are LIFE Marriage Retreats in San Diego. LIFE Marriage Retreats differ from marriage counseling in that they immerse couples in a four-day marriage growth and renewal experience that is healing, strengthening, and enjoyable. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you to attend a Retreat, here are five more reasons:

1.       LIFE Marriage Retreats are more successful than traditional marriage counseling sessions.

The average relationship perceived improvement by couples after just one retreat is 62%. This means that LIFE Marriage Retreats are successful in strengthening marriages.  You will communicate at the highest level, reconnect on an emotional level, and handle the issues that have plagued you. Simply said, you will be happier. Not just a little happier but much happier.

LIFE’s unique combination of training, experiential activities, and highly effective private sessions create the perfect environment for couples to learn, experience, and internalize the relationship principles and skills that define every successful relationship. LIFE counselors will guide you through handling issues of resentment and eroded trust to the higher and happier ground that is found on the other side.

2.       LIFE Marriage Retreats offer all-inclusive pricing.

To attend a LIFE Marriage Retreat, couples pay one fair price for first-class accommodations, outstanding dining, exciting activities, private sessions, and the exclusive LIFE AfterCare program. This will help you and your spouse to focus on your relationship rather than being burdened with additional stressful and expensive travel arrangements.

3.       San Diego is a relaxing, peaceful location.

San Diego is known for its perfect climate and endless vistas of ocean and sky. Everything about the atmosphere is conducive to healing and the melting away of stress. The beach and all its sights, sounds, and activities lay right outside your door. The sound of ocean waves and sight of dolphins and seabirds will touch your heart and heal your soul.

4.       You will be in an environment of perfect safety.

A key element of a LIFE Marriage Retreat is the deep sense of safety that each couple experiences. When a couple feel safe they can talk about the things that matter most in healthy and calm ways. We will help you to build that foundation of emotional connection and safety from which you can resolve your issues and build the relationship of your dreams.

5.       LIFE Marriage Retreats offers an AfterCare Support Program

LIFE counselors will continue to work with you and your spouse in personal ways for months after the retreat. These coaches help you stay accountable to your relationship goals and commitments. They also give you the support and encouragement you need to keep growing and progressing. Marriage strengthening doesn’t end when the retreat is over.

LIFE Marriage Retreats are designed to bring hope back into a marriage. After just four days, couples learn the skills and principles necessary for success, which could take months or years to learn in traditional marriage counseling. San Diego is waiting for you. Register for one of our couple retreats today by calling (877)376-7127 or by visiting lifemarriageretreats.com.

3 Key Factors of Best Marriage Retreats

3 Key Factors of Best Marriage Retreats

Searching for a marriage retreat that’s right for you can be a challenge; after all, you do have options. To help you on your way to success with your partner, take into account these three key factors of best marriage retreats. 3 factors of best marriage retreats

  1. Location and accommodations: You are planning to spend a few precious days with your spouse without kids, work, or other normal life distractions, so you should choose a location that will enhance the time you have together. Many marriage retreats are held in hotel meeting rooms or similar charmless locations that do nothing to add to the experience you are looking for. Choose a marriage retreat that offers natural beauty and harmony, conducive to learning, healing, and change. Whether you lean towards beaches, mountains, or rolling hills, select the site best for you. And don’t forget about accommodations. The best marriage retreats are all inclusive, so you can focus on your relationship, not on all the details of where to stay and eat. You need to feel comfortable as you work toward a more fulfilling relationship. The best marriage retreats will offer 5 star accommodations no matter where you go.
  2. One-on-one counseling and real progress: Most marriage retreats will have group activities for all of the participating couples at a retreat. The best retreats will work with very small groups and also offer one-on-one private counseling sessions for you and your spouse. Privacy is key as you work through the issues of your relationship. Your counselor should have the experience to guide you toward success and progress in your marriage, at any stage you might be.
  3. Follow-up: Since marriage retreats are considered a concentrated road to success in your marriage, it is important to continue using the tools and strategies you learned when you return home from the retreat. The best marriage retreats offer follow-up support with the counselors with whom you worked at the retreat, helping you to ensure lasting positive growth and change.

There are many wonderful benefits to be found at the best marriage retreats, however, these three factors can help you select the right program and set you on the course for the best possible experience.

LIFE Marriage Retreats offers each of the three key factors of best marriage retreats, including four sublime locations, one-on-one counseling by caring professionals, and a carefully developed AfterCare post-retreat program. Let us guide you in your journey to a better marriage and a happier life together. Contact us or learn more about our marriage retreats on our website.