4 Lessons On Why 'Hamilton' Is The Ultimate Story Of Forgiveness

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4 Lessons On Why 'Hamilton' is The Ultimate Story Of Forgiveness
Heartbreak

Forgiveness in marriage, especially after a betrayal, can be difficult. But, there is much to learn about forgiveness in Hamilton.

I'm not a proficient theatergoer, but I have to say that I totally loved Hamilton, the Tony-award winning musical by Lin Manuel Miranda, which debuted on Disney+ earlier this month.

RELATED: The 42 Best Quotes From 'Hamilton' Song Lyrics About Fighting For Freedom And Love

There are several reasons to love this musical.

For one, it takes a very important part of the founding of our nation and gives it an upbeat feeling by using hip-hop lyrics to tell the story.

The diverse cast of color gave me the opportunity to see myself as one of the characters.

And the experience is substantiated by a young Asian girl featured in a Twitter post that went viral for her connection to Eliza, played by Phillipa Soo, who is also of Asian descent.

And, importantly to me, was the fact that Hamilton was the ultimate love story, giving us important lessons on forgiveness.

If you haven’t seen Hamilton yet, you should stop reading this right now, because there are definitely spoilers. And if you have seen it — whether in theaters or the movie — let me set the scene...

Hamilton features a classic rom-com story. Man meets woman. Man woos woman. Man marries woman. Man betrays woman.

What’s different in this play and what makes it so great is how the woman handles betrayal and how her response led to greatness — the only way this story in history became the phenomenon it is today.

Here are 4 lessons Hamilton teaches us about forgiveness in marriage.

1. Forgive your spouse for who they are.

Alexander Hamilton was an orphan at a young age. He was young, scrappy, and hungry, and felt that his brashness and intelligence would take him far if he got the right breaks and met the right people.

Elizabeth Schuyler was one of those people. Eliza as she was known, was part of the elite Schuyler sisters, and would become smitten — almost breathless — when she met Alexander.

The romance quickly blossomed as they began the old-school romance of writing letters to each other.

Isn’t it amazing, exciting, and electric when new relationships begin? They soon marry and have children during the height of the Revolutionary War.

Nonetheless, they created a seemingly nice family life when Eliza sings: "Look around, look around... Look at where you are... Look at where you started... That fact that you're alive is a miracle... Just stay alive, that would be enough..."

Eliza also realized that Alexander had more things that he needed to accomplish and even though she didn’t really understand why, she knew to hold him back would be a detriment to their relationship.

She sang: "I don’t pretend to know the challenges you’re facing... The worlds you keep erasing... But I’m not afraid... I know who I married... So long as you come home at the end of the day... That would be enough."

2. Forgive your partner for their choices.

Your life may be going along great.

Your status in the community is good, your family life seems to be operating on all cylinders, and your relationship is rock solid. Then, suddenly, a bad choice turns your world upside-down.

This is evident in a pivotal scene as Hamilton works day and night on a Congressional plan and skips a family vacation to upstate New York.

While his family is away, he has a weak moment and engages in an affair. Shortly after, he is extorted for money by the other woman's husband to keep quiet.

Instead of telling his wife about his indiscretion, he penned what was called "The Reynolds Pamphlet," which in today’s time would be considered a modern-day Instagram post that went viral.

Hamilton felt his admission would preserve his legacy, but it pretty much destroyed his political career and damaged his marriage.

Such public humiliation is often what happens in affairs. It’s easy to lash out and take revenge.

Even though Eliza was clearly angered — she burned most of the love letters that she and Alexander shared in the early years of their relationship — she wasn’t going to retaliate or let others see her revenge.

She sang: "The world has no right to my heart... The world has no place in our bed... They don’t get to know what I said..."

In other words, even though the affair became a public spectacle, Eliza chose to handle the affair as she handled all of her life affairs — with style and grace.

How often do we do that when we have been betrayed by the person that we love the most?

RELATED: 8 Strategies To Survive The Emotional Pain Of Infidelity & Betrayal In Marriage

3. Forgive yourself for the choices you made.

When something like this happens, you can also not forgive yourself for actually choosing to love this person.

But, if you hold on to old hurts, disappointments, petty annoyances, betrayals, insensitivity, and anger, you're wasting both your time and energy.

Nursing your hurt — whether real or perceived — for too long can eventually turn into something more. Hate and extreme bitterness can damage and be detrimental to your health.

Just because he made a bad choice doesn’t negate why you chose to be with this person.

4. Forgive your partner for the mistakes they made.

Towards the end of the play, the Hamiltons exemplified the ultimate recipe for forgiveness.

Alexander gives a heartfelt apology for his role in the downfall of their marriage and is patient enough to allow Eliza to return to him on her terms.

He sang: "I don’t pretend to know the challenges we're facing... I know there’s no replacing what we’ve lost and you need time... But I’m not afraid... I know who I married... Just let me stay here by your side... That would be enough..."

The third and final steps to forgiveness involve Eliza as she's willing to make amends for the hurt Alexander caused. She's willing to rebuild trust as she finally takes his hand.

It’s forgiveness that not only allows them to create a second act in their marriage, but also gives her the opportunity to carve out her own legacy by telling Alexander’s story and creating the first orphanage in the United States.

If you're in a marriage long enough, pain is inevitable. How you handle it is optional.

Would you rather spend your energy to stay in pain and anger? Or would you rather do the unimaginable and forgive?

RELATED: 14 Signs It's Safe To Forgive Your Partner For Cheating

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Keith Dent is a Certified Empowerment Coach by The Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (IPEC). He has 10 years’ experience and is the author of In the Paint – How to Win at the Game of Love. Contact Coach Keith for a free consultation at info@keithdent.com.

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