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Forgiveness in Marriage: Current Status and Future Directions


* Frank D. Fincham is an Eminent Scholar at the Family Institute, Sandels Building, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1491 (

Julie Hall is an Intern in the Psychology Department, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260 (

Steven R. H. Beach is a Professor at the Institute for Behavioral Research, Barrow Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-3013 (


Abstract: Interest in forgiveness has exploded in recent years as researchers and clinicians have begun to recognize its value for maintaining emotional well-being, physical health, and healthy intimate relationships. Forgiveness appears to be especially important in the marital relationship. This article offers an overview of forgiveness in marriage including a review of major research and clinical efforts in this area. A number of recommendations are offered for practitioners and future research directions are outlined. Marital forgiveness is seen as an exciting area for future exploration and one that is ripe with possibility.