Should I forgive my friend

Learning to forgive for couples: 6 tips for jumping over the shadows

Precisely because our life partner is so important to us, we forgive him more than anyone else in life. Except for our family, of course. Because it is part of a well-functioning partnership to cope with setbacks, to forgive mistakes and to look forward together instead of crawling away full of resentment and anger.

But what if this is not the case? There is this saying: "Whoever lies once is not believed, even if he speaks the truth." Forgive an affair - many cannot or do not want to. But forgiveness is often difficult even for "minor" offenses.

There are people who are very resentful. With whom you messed about exactly once and then don't get another chance. Because not all of us can be equally lenient and cross negative actions from the list of our loved ones. Forgiveness seems impossible. Pain and injury are too great.

For some people cheating and infidelity is an absolute reason for separation, for others it is the moment when they begin to rethink their relationship and change things that were wrong. Forgiveness or kicking the ass: That is an absolute question of type and here everyone has to decide for themselves whether they can forgive or not.

Expert advice in the video: What to do if a partner has cheated?

Video from the editorial team

It doesn't work without a line

However, if we stay resentful and suspicious in the relationship despite our apologies, because we believe that the mistake our partner made could be repeated at any time, then it puts an immense strain on the relationship. All thoughts then only revolve around the injury suffered and the disappointment.

Anyone who cannot draw a line here and trust the other person will never be as happy and inexperienced as at the beginning of the relationship. And so the failure of the relationship is actually inevitable.

Forgive: Recognize and name the problem

Sometimes both of them don't even know what the triggering error or triggering behavior was. There was no particular action that led to the falling out. But no matter whether rightly or wrongly: This "something" still puts a lasting strain on the relationship and repeatedly causes disputes and misunderstandings.

If a partner is offended because he feels betrayed and not valued, for example if the other person flirts with strangers from time to time, he will always unconsciously make him atone for it a little. He will always demand a little more attention and tokens of love so that what happened is made up for - at least so that it feels that way to him. That will also put a strain on the relationship.

Forgiveness is work

If a solution to the dilemma is to be found, only one thing helps: talk. And openly. It cannot be about one being stylized as a perpetrator and the other as a victim and the conversation is only about what one did wrong and how he can iron it out again. That would have little chance of success.

Ultimately, it is both sides that have come out of the mistake with damage. Both are not doing well. One because he was the cause of the mistake, and the other because he became the victim through no fault of his own.

One always likes to forget here that the person who caused it also suffers from his mistake and regrets it, but cannot undo it. This is a burden, especially when he feels that the other person cannot forgive him.

Also read:Secret affair: why so many cheat and what it REALLY means for the relationship

Forgive: Both must be ready

Ultimately, the person who is not in debt also has to ask himself why he does not forgive his partner. Is it because he's still too hurt? Is it to make the other atonement and fidget so that they can get closer to you again and put more effort into the relationship? Is it anger or is it a strict attitude that makes forgiveness impossible?

It is not uncommon for him to feel that he is in some way agreeing with the other person in his wrongdoing if he forgives him. Which of course is not the case. And even paying for it, i.e. a form of punishment, is hardly what one should do to one another among lovers. That is not very helpful for the continuation of the partnership. At least not permanently. The one of the two, who was so injured by a mistake, has to honestly ask himself: Do I even want to forgive my partner?

Also read:7 problems EVERY couple has to go through at some point

6 tips for couples to forgive

The prerequisite for forgiveness is, of course, that the person who caused the anger is also honestly trying to make up for his mistake and to learn from the whole thing. So if both agree that the relationship is worth fighting for, then of course work begins first - yes, work.

First of all, the person who disappointed, lied, cheated, or otherwise hurt the other must apologize. In fact, sincerely and honestly. Only then can both actively begin to deal with what has happened and to come to terms with it.

Here are the most important tips on what to consider:

# 1 Give your time

Nobody demands that you are right back to the old dream couple. Often the pain is simply deep and it takes a little until the injuries are processed and forgotten. You should plan this time and not get impatient if everything is not all sunshine again.

# 2 Create a battle plan

The danger is usually that both persist in their role as perpetrator and victim and that the injury on the one hand and the feeling of guilt on the other hand prevail. Here it helps - as stupid as that may sound - to come up with a few rules and behaviors and to create a kind of battle plan together:
-> What do we want to change?
-> What do we agree on so that it gets better and the mistake can no longer happen?

It is of course the culprit who has to stick to agreements from now on and who should prove that he has earned the trust of his partner. Ideally, he himself suggests measures to restore trust.

Mind you: The point here is not that someone in penitential garb should take blame on himself and punish himself for it. Rather, it is about not passively suppressing the mistake, but actively considering: What can we do better from now on so that forgiveness and trust are possible again?

Also read: Arguing with your partner: How to resolve conflicts fairly

# 3 With different eyes

Put yourself in each other's shoes. This is an absolutely simple but actually always helpful means of checking one's behavior. How does the other person have to feel when I act one way or the other? Treat your counterpart as you would like to be treated in the same situation.

# 4 Forgive on both sides

In other words: Not only those who have been injured must have forgiven. The "guilty party" must also be able to forgive himself. And that's not as easy as it sounds.

Also read: Critical phase: after so many years, most people cheat

# 5 Handle guilt issues with caution

And both have to ask themselves: How could the mistake come about, for example an affair or a breach of trust? Don't some of the causes lie in the relationship itself? And asking this question shouldn't mean blaming one another, but rather working together to prevent something like this from happening again. So rather a common arming for the future.

Even if it sounds absurd at first, the question arises: Don't both partners now have the opportunity to improve the relationship from the ground up and emerge stronger from the chaos?

Also read: Put an end to suffering: this is how you can fight your jealousy

# 6 Forgive out of love

Ultimately, there is no better reason to forgive one another than feeling for one another. To show the other: You are worth it to me to fight for you, even if you have made a mistake. The trust that you give to the other in this moment is a real gift. That should be clear to both of you. And give them the strength and confidence that they can emerge stronger from the cause.

Mistakes happen in every relationship - minor or major. Of course, they shouldn't happen, but if the offended part can forgive, then he also frees himself from the victim role and shows strength of character. At that moment he is the strongest part - no longer the victim, the betrayed and deceived. That, too, can help both to overcome the victim-perpetrator constellation and put it aside.

In the video: Where does cheating start? And would you forgive an affair?

Video by Fiona Rohde

But: forgiving does not always make sense

Of course there are also mistakes that cannot be forgiven, for example when it comes to physical violence and repeatedly. Or when someone is constantly betraying and cheating on you. These are things that you may forgive once, maybe twice, but not afterwards.

Whoever forgives everything without ifs and buts, will also notice that he falls into a constantly giving victim role, which also seduces the other to maintain his bad behavior permanently. There are therefore also cases in which forgiveness is not the best solution.