My partner was very abusive for a long time at the beginning of our relationship. Verbally, emotionally, once physically. I stayed by her through it and through her hard process to fix herself. I didn’t realize that I had built up walls of self-preservation and anger in order to stay with her. I started to take that out on her and for 8 months was likely emotionally abusive as well. But I’ve since realized it and have begun to seek therapy and work on my anger towards her. She has decided to leave the relationship, but I think we can fix this. How can we both move forward and forgive each other? I know we have something good here.

Without having talked with your partner, it is difficult to know what her past has been like. I suspect that she was treated very unjustly at some time in her past. She needs to look at that first and, if she is willing, to forgive those responsible. It seems that her trust is damaged and it could stem from past injustice. Your relationship has its best chance to mend if she can see and confront past abuse and then forgive those responsible. She will then have learned the pathway to forgiveness when it is time for the both of you to forgive each other. I recommend Chapter 13 of the book, The Forgiving Life, when it is time for the two of you to work on mutual forgiveness with each other.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness