Archive for April, 2015

Is it possible to forgive someone who is deceased? If so, what would the forgiveness look like?

Yes, you can forgive someone who is deceased. Forgiveness includes thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. One can think of the other person as possessing inherent (unconditional) worth. One can cultivate feelings of compassion for the person, not because of what he or she did, but in spite of this. Even behaviors can be a part of the forgiveness.  For example, one might donate to the deceased person’s favorite charity. One might say a kind word about the deceased to family members. Depending on one’s religious beliefs, the forgiver can offer a prayer for the one who died.

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I am 46 years old and I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary last August. Last year was a difficult year for me. My husband travels for work. When he travels, his job includes ‘wining and dining’ his clients. He recently hired a young, female college graduate. He planned a week long trip with the ‘new girl’ to introduce her to their clients. He never shared or told me that he would traveling with her. I happened to ask him who he was traveling with, one day prior to his departure. I was completely shocked that he would go away with this young, single girl and never tell me. He admitted to keeping this information from me so that I wouldn’t worry. At first, he had a hard time admitting that there was anything wrong with planning such a trip without telling me about it. I do not feel that he had or has a sexual relationship with the ‘new girl’; however, I am incredibly hurt and disappointed by his choice of not telling me. I cry frequently about it. I don’t trust him. He is known to avoid difficult situations. I am tired of his ‘avoiding’ personality and I have developed an intolerance toward it. He has a history of not communicating important events and details of his life. If I ask the ‘right’ question, he will answer the question; but, he will not be forthright with information. He has apologized for his recent bad choice with the ‘new girl’; but I can’t let it go. I am very critical of everything he says and does. I want to forgive him, but I truly do not know how….

Perhaps a first step is to see your husband’s weaknesses. We all have weaknesses and so this is not saying that your husband is weak.

Here is a first step: You say that he has an “avoiding” personality. Why might that be? Has he been hurt in his past, even as far back as childhood? Sometimes people avoid conflict because they have been deeply emotionally wounded by others in conflict situations. If this has happened to your husband, then he, too, carries a wound from the wounded ones who hurt him.

If this is true, and when you see your husband’s inner wounds from others, how is your heart doing toward him? This is the beginning of forgiveness.

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