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How To Forgive In A Relationship

Do you often feel that a sorry or a persistent plea for forgiveness from your partner or significant other sounds like “Hurry up and accept my apology so that I can stop feeling bad about it”? Do you find it difficult to feel the remorse behind their apologies? Is there a pressure of having to forgive when you are not over it in your head?

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If yes, ask yourself a few more questions:

Is there a possibility that even you could do something similar?

Is there a chance of him/her genuinely meaning to fix things?

There is a reason why forgiveness is an essential part of a relationship. It has the power to conduct damage control, and sometimes even eliminate many stressors that may otherwise impact your equation with your partner.

What is Forgiveness?

It is the intentional and voluntary process through which we experience a change in feelings and attitude regarding an act, which led to a lot of negative emotions in the past. We let go of these negative emotions, without feeling vengeful.

How do we feel when someone asks for forgiveness before we are ready ?

It’s more like somebody wanting to press a reset button.

We feel uncomfortable with persistent apologies as those apologies sound like a force compelling us to do something which we do not really want to do in that moment. The person apologizing may not look like they are actually guilty or remorseful, or it also might appear like one elixir for reconciliation. To some, it may also sound more like an inconvenience or discomfort they have been feeling that they are trying to get rid of. Eventually, the apology may seem more like a form of manipulation. It becomes more difficult since a part of us is not looking to forgive at that moment. There is a feeling that if we forgive, the other might think that we are okay with what they did to us.

Facts about Forgiveness:

Forgiveness comes when we are ready. We should respect the truth if we are not ready.

Forgiveness happens only when we are willing. An apology cannot force forgiveness.

Conditional forgiveness can give us a short term relief but will lead to disappointments in a long run.

Forgiveness needs keeping a check on actions that have had negative consequences, a commitment to fix the wrong, and a sincere apology.

Forgiveness is not equal to reconciliation.

Forgiveness means we have chosen to move on from the negative experience. It is about our choice, focusing completely on how we want to go about how we have felt.

Forgiveness is not declining the fact that we are hurt. It does not mean that we have accepted the feeling.

Forgiveness allows us to let go of being a sufferer and to move on to becoming someone who has shown courage and has overcome a difficult or unpleasant situation.

What can you do if the hurt is trivial but your reaction is magnified?

Empathize: Standing in the shoes of the person who is apologizing for what he/she has caused, helping us further to understand that he/she is also feeling guilty.

Respond Thoughtfully: Discuss with your partner or the significant other that the bond you share is bigger than the current situation that has occurred. This will help in easing their discomfort.

Understand and evaluate: A sorry means “I regret what I did”. Trust your instincts and see if the apology was real.

Take Your Time: Ask for some time to actually repair and be normal instead of feeling forced to be what you don’t want to be at that moment.

"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness." - Robert Muller

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