Relationships aren’t easy by far. But they can be especially difficult once a trust or code is violated. Just ask Robin Thicke, who recently spoke on love and forgiveness to a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden.
“We gotta learn to forgive each other, you know, learn to love each other, no matter who it is in your family or relationship . . . Hold on tight to the one you love.”
The singer was obviously making a reference to his strained marriage to highschool sweetheart Paula Patton, who reportedly chose to separate from the marriage after Robin’s alleged infidelity. Though the future of their marriage is uncertain, what many couples can take away from them is what it looks like in a relationship without forgiveness.
Whether you’re married or in a long-term relationship, forgiveness for a wrongdoing is one of the most powerful things you can do, because it not only signifies that the love you share outweighs your personal strife, but it also says you’re willing to put aside whatever’s hurt you for the greater benefit of your relationship.
That’s not to say forgiveness is easy. Not only does the wrongdoer in the relationship have to show great remorse for his or her transgressions, but the one who has been hurt or violated has to go through the initial stages of hurt and anger before arriving at the possibility of forgiveness. But once forgiveness has taken place, it builds greater intimacy between you and your partner, it clears the conscious of the one who’s violated, and it gives the one who’s been hurt the opportunity to let happiness back into their life.
But forgiving your partner doesn’t mean you have take them back. Sometimes forgiveness is important in order to move forward so that you don’t carry that pain and hurt into your life and future relationship, also known as “emotional baggage.” Far too many people fail to detach themselves from their past relationship woes and, in turn, sabotage their own happiness and the ability for them to properly receive love from someone else.
However, forgiveness doesn’t just come from the person who’s been hurt. It’s just as important for the wrongdoer to forgive himself or herself as it is for them to be forgiven. Everyone makes mistakes, and violating the person you love doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person...it just means you’ve made some bad choices. But whether or not your partner decides to take you back, it’s crucial to live in your truth, assume accountability and use it as a learning experience to never hurt someone else again.
Whether Patton decides to forgive him or not, it appears that Thicke is learning that hurting the one you love has serious consequences. Hopefully, he forgives himself in the process.