What do you recommend when someone is obviously mentally ill and they spread rumors about you to the family? I have a relative in another state who has been telling my nephews that I have a compulsive gambling problem. I have never gambled in my life. Do I forgive? I wonder because this relative does not seem to be doing something deliberately wrong, given the mental illness.
Whether the intent is deliberate or not, the outcome is hurtful and so, yes, I think it is legitimate to forgive. Knowing that the person has a mental illness, and I do not want to venture a speculation about what it is, should make it easier to forgive. We have to keep in mind that even if a personality disorder of some kind is involved here, there still is free will at least to a degree. In other words, even with most mental illnesses the person can choose to express himself or herself in a variety of ways. For some reason, this relative has chosen condemnation and has chosen you. That is forgivable.