Danielle Jagoda, MA, LMFT
Let go of resentments
I often have couples coming in and there are a lot of resentments or issues with forgiveness. And one partner will be saying, “I don’t know how to forgive, let’s say, I don’t know how to forgive her for this. It’s just something that she did and I can’t forget it and I’m having a hard time moving on.” Obviously, it depends on the nature of the crime on what happened, what took place, but I really always encourage someone to really process what happened because we have what we call cheap forgiveness and forgiving too quickly and that’s where someone really doesn’t take the time to process what happened and they just kind of forgive their partner.
And I, a lot of times, feel that this is fear-based and it’s based on the fact that they don’t want to lose their partner. They’re afraid if they confront them or they discuss how hurtful it was that maybe this partner will leave them so they kind of are walking on eggshells around their partner and they just kind of think, “You know what? I’ll let this go. I’ll push it under the rug, let it go,” but meanwhile, they’re walking around with feelings of hurt or pain and they really haven’t forgiven their partner.
So I really definitely believe that forgiveness takes time and I talk about this with my clients. It’s rebuilding trust in the relationship. It really is important for the wrongdoer to take responsibility and be accountable and take ownership, and to take action and to make changes about whatever it is that they did that they feel was harmful to the other partner.
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