Couple Therapy: How can I forgive you?

Couple Therapy: How can I forgive you?

Couple Therapy: How can I forgive you?

What is authentic forgiveness?

Unlike Refusing to Forgive, Cheap Forgiveness, or Acceptance, genuine and sincere forgiveness is an interpersonal asset. It requires the sincere participation of both. Here are your three basic interpersonal characteristics.

1. Genuine Forgiveness is a transaction, the Genuine Forgiveness is not forgiveness granted unilaterally by the aggrieved, it is a joint venture, an exchange between two people united by a violation, a transgression of a pact, or an interpersonal commitment.

2. Genuine forgiveness is conditional; it must be earned. It comes with a price that the offender must be willing to pay. In return, the injured party must allow you to pay your debt. While working hard to earn forgiveness through genuine and generous acts of repentance and restitution, the aggrieved party works hard to shed their resentment and need for retribution. If either of you does not do the required work, there may be no Genuine Forgiveness.

3. Genuine forgiveness requires a surveillance transfer After a traumatic injury, the injured party is likely to become hypervigilant, patrolling the border between the deceived person and the deceiver, ensuring that they will never be deceived again. You can live and breathe the injury, obsessed with its dirty details.

The person who has cheated, on the other hand, may want to suppress, deny, or minimize their misconduct. With genuine forgiveness, a profound change occurs and the concern to overcome the situation is shared. The transgressor shows that he is fully aware of his transgression and intends never to repeat it.

The injured party worries less about the injury and begins to let it go.

With genuine forgiveness, they both address the question, “What am I willing to give to create a climate in which forgiveness is possible? While the offender is never entitled to be forcibly turned over, he is more likely to win this coin if he tries to repair the damage he caused. While the aggrieved party is never obligated to forgive you, they are more likely to forgive you and resurrect the relationship, if you give them the opportunity to do things right.

This provisional exchange, this "giving to receive", is at the heart of Genuine Forgiveness. As forgiveness expert Terry Hargrave notes, "Forgiveness is achieved when the victimized person no longer has to hold the offender accountable for the injustice; the offender holds himself and herself accountable."

Healing, like love, flourishes in the context of a loving relationship. I would dare to say that we cannot love alone and that we cannot forgive alone.

How can I forgive you?


It is your repentance and atonement that generally opens the door to forgiveness.

According to experts, there are six critical tasks that the cheater must tackle to

earn forgiveness.


1: Look at your flawed assumptions about forgiveness and see how they block your efforts to earn it. (Example: I am not worthy of forgiveness)

2: Witness the pain you caused and its consequences.

3: Apologize in a genuine, non-defensive, and responsible way.

4: Try to understand your behaviour and reveal the inglorious truth about yourself to the person you hurt.

5: Work to regain confidence.

6: Forgive yourself for hurting someone else and yourself.

What makes a good apology?

To make a good apology, I suggest the following seven guidelines:

1: Take responsibility for the damage you caused.

2: Make your personal apology.

The most effective apology is exquisitely personal. It is an admission that "I did something wrong"

3: Make your apology specific.

4: Make it a deep apology.

5: Apologize from the bottom of your heart.

6. Make your apology clear and direct. Frank and honest.

7. Apologize repeatedly.

For "superficial wounds", a single apology may be enough to earn forgiveness. But in the case of more serious injuries, you may need to apologize over and over again, especially if you hope to reconcile.

Remember that you are not responsible for the damage done to you, but you are responsible for your recovery.

In other words, your freedom does not lie in protesting the injustice of the violation of your partner's commitment or infidelity, but in making the infidel or transgressor worry and become aware of what he did and the consequences of it. Your freedom, perhaps your only freedom, is to decide how to survive and transcend the wound. Do not underestimate this freedom, it is huge. With that decision comes the power to decide how you are going to live the rest of your life. By taking the task of healing and forgiveness into your own hands, you empower yourself and make peace with the past.

Carmen Martinez - Psicóloga y Coaching

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Celia Martínez Psicóloga
Exeter, Devon, England,
United Kingdom

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