My partner says that he forgives me, but he seems kind of smug about it.  His attitude seems to be “I am better than you.”  Is this really an act of forgiving?

In 1978 the psychiatrist R.C.A. Hunter made the important point in a journal article that most of us can tell if an act of forgiving is legitimate or not based on the sincerity of the words and actions.  If the other seems to be using forgiving as a way to dominate, to feel superior toward you, then this likely is not genuine forgiveness.  You could try having a conversation with him about this and gently state that his actions do not seem to suggest a true sense of forgiving in which you meet person-to-person in a genuine spirit of respect and love.

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