Tagged: “emotional forgiveness”

Might forgiving induce guilt feelings if I forgive someone and my family members think it is not time to forgive?

We have to remember that forgiveness is your choice.  If you are ready to do so, this is up to you.  Others need to see that your view and theirs may differ.  This difference should not make you feel guilty because you are doing something very noble in extending good will as well as good feelings, thoughts, and possibly even behaviors toward someone who acted badly.  Such a heroic effort need not cause guilt if you see it accurately.

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I think that giving up legitimate anger when treated deeply unjustly can be re-traumatizing.  What do you think of that?

If we have legitimate anger shortly after being treated unjustly, yes it is a good thing to acknowledge this and not to deny or suppress it.  If a person does not allow for a legitimate period of healthy anger (anger that is not so deep as to disrupt relationships, work, and rest), then this could re-traumatize.  On the other hand, if a person clings to unhealthy anger (the deep kind that disrupts a life and relationships) for long periods of time, this can be a re-traumatization of the original injustice.

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Sometimes institutions pressure people into forgiving.  Do you think this is as ridiculous as I think it is?

I am not aware of institutions exerting pressure on people to forgive. Yes, there are exhortations to forgive, and if this is not filled with pressure but instead with encouragement, it can be good. This is the case because the institutions are pointing to forgiveness as a moral good worth trying. In this circumstance, the encouragement is good.

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I am being accused of indifference toward my partner.  Yet, I see a difference between my actions and my intentions.  I have been under a lot of pressure at work lately and have had to work very long hours.  I do not mean to neglect my partner.  In contrast, my partner is accusing me of ignoring.  What do I do now?

A key issue is to forthrightly examine how long this work pattern has been occurring.  Has it been for a week, a month, or many months?  If this pattern has been for a long time, it is important for both of you to find some balance in the work and life pattern so that your partner does not feel neglected.  If this has been a short time, then you need to engender hope in the partner by showing that this work pressure is temporary and will end soon.  If it will not end soon, then I think you need to work with your partner on how to change the pattern, at least to a degree, so that you have both fairness at work and fairness with your partner.  Even though your intentions are honorable, if your behavior is frustrating your partner for good reasons, then you might ask the partner to forgive you as you strive for more balance in the relationship.

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How can I reconcile with a person who: a) never listens to my side of the story; b) is not trustworthy; and c) he continues to hurt me?

You may have to wait for now to reconcile because the other person still hurts you and is not trustworthy.  It is possible that this person is deeply emotionally wounded from injustices suffered by others and the pain is being displaced onto you.  A hope of reconciliation is this: Can you explore with this person any deep wounds he may have from his past that are getting in his way now?  If he is open to this and forgives these other people, then he might be open to working with you on a better relationship that no longer hurts you.

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