What would you say to someone who refuses to reconcile with another after that other shows legitimate remorse, has apologized, and is very ready to reconcile?

The one who was hurt may have trust issues with the one who did the injuring. In other words, this could be the 25th incident of hurt. Try to discern how often the person has been hurt by the other. If there is a pattern, then it is understandable why the injured person is hesitant to reconcile.

In this kind of case, I recommend being aware of small steps, done by the injuring person, to truly change and be trustworthy. If the one who acted unfairly does not characteristically engage in hurtful actions, then perhaps there is a trust issue (in the one who refuses to forgive) that goes back a long way, even to childhood. Those who are mistreated by parents, for example, have difficulty establishing trust in their later relationships with others. If this is the case, then practicing forgiving of parents may help the person to more easily trust people in the present and move toward a healthy reconciliation.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


  1. My question is has the person who was hurt in today’s article forgiven the person who caused the pain. Isn’t forgiveness different from reconciliation? Was there a real relationship in the beginning?

    • directorifi says:

      Hello, Darlene. Yes, the one who was hurt did forgive. Yes, you are correct that to forgive and to reconcile are quite different. Therefore, the one who forgives may or may not choose to reconcile. There is a trust issue here and reconciliation has a great deal to do with trust. So, the one who was hurt has extended forgiveness, but because of on-going injuries from the past, the person is legitimately fearful of more incidents of hurt. This does not mean that reconciliation will never occur. Instead, it means that the one who was hurt needs more time.


  2. Thank you. I understand!


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