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Can You Forgive and Forget?
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Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
When your partner does something you need to forgive and forget which is harder for you to do, forgive or forget?

It seems it's easier to forgive, but forgetting can eat away at you, and possibly the relationship.

Are you able to truly forgive and forget, have you ever had to?
Chrissy~

Life is too short, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly.
Author Unknown
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Aspartate responded:
If you don't forget, and whatever happened still bothers you, then doesn't it kind of count as not fully forgiving?
 
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jadedstar responded:
Forgiving can be done and I was married a long time and my now ex cheated on me lied to me and done it again and again I honestly forgave him the first couple times, but he wasnt truely sorry and refused to stop, so I got out. trust is an issues in that situation . Forgiving was possible but forgetting is not always possible. WHen it is something major it will eat at the back of your mind and you will wonder and for me wondering was needed since it didnt stop i honestly tried for over 3 years to fix our marriage but i was only one trying and it takes two to fix it and it takes 2 to screw it up.

i will never forget what him and her did. she was my best friend of 15 yrs. I have forgiven him. I will not let the ugly head of hate and unfirgivenss eat me alive. I didnt forgive him for a long time and it dont hurt the other person it hurts yourself. we are civil now, share custody of our daughter and generally get along,, that came with truly forgiving him. HER on the other hand i wouldn't P*SS on her if she was on fire, I guess i expected more from her she was in my life longer. I miss my friendship, but came to realize it never was what it seemed or the things that did happen, wouldn't have. and just another note they are not together now if they were i wouldnt let my child go over there she was abusive toward our mine and his child, and he didnt care so it wasnt just the cheating it was a whole bucket of crap. i may be little bitter LOL but i have 2 great kids and am actually happy for the first time in many years
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to jadedstar's response:
Um wow...that's like the ultimate betrayal! I believe everything happens for a reason though. Obviously it was time for her to be out of your life! And possibly that's what you really needed to be able to walk away from your ex. Sorry to assume or seem to be making light of a horrible situation. I just feel really bad for all the pain you had to of gone through. I'm sure you are even a stronger woman now.
 
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Aspartate replied to jadedstar's response:
Your situation sounds terrible, I'm so sorry. But it did spark a question in me, why does it seem like most women can forgive their boyfriend/husband but refuse to forgive the woman? It seems like the guy would be cause of all the pain yet they're the first to be forgiven. I wonder why that is.
 
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An_216159 responded:
can forgive but i can never forget. once i forgive its time to move on n make things better but if it happens again thts it, thrs no second chances
 
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pjs54 replied to jadedstar's response:
I am so sorry for the pain you went through. I think it is great that you were able to forgive him. It is so hard to do, but you are right, if you are bitter and do not forgive, you are the one who suffers. I found this out as well w/ my ex-husband. Since we had two children together, we are always "connected" somehow, like it or not. But, I would not chose him as a friend, as I have no respect for him or the woman he chose to cheat on me with. She meant nothing to me, so there is no reason to forgive her, why? It's not worth the effort or energy. I think it's hard to forget things that have happened to you, esp. things that people who you once trusted and cared about did to you. How we handle things shape who were are. If we can forgive and move one, we are better people as a result. Congrats to you for moving on and making a better life for you and your kids!
 
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alaska_mommy replied to Aspartate's response:
I think it is easier to forgive the man perhaps because there is some relationship base there, some sort of love or past love that makes it somewhat easier to forgive. But the "other woman" easily becomes the scapegoat for all the anger, so that the victim doesn't have to expend so much energy trying to reconcile the feelings of love with the feelings of hatred towards the man. She can put all the hatred on the other woman and keep it separate from the loving feelings towards the man. That's my theory anyway...

I have a hard time with both forgiving and forgetting, but usually the forgetting is the hardest for me. I can think I've forgiven but then if he does something repeatedly then all the other times all compound my anger toward the current situation. (And I'm talking more about little annoying things than a big thing.)
 
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3point14 replied to Aspartate's response:
hahaha It's funny, when I found out my ex cheated on me, the girl he cheated on me with sent me an apology e-mail. I told her that it didn't matter if she sat on his face, it was his responsibility as my boyfriend to respect the relationship, not hers.

I think it's so dumb that the uninvolved person is usually looked at with such hatred and the person who did the actual betrayal isn't held accountable for their actions. I think it's because it's easier for people to look at the other person as "bad" rather than look at the person they care for as unworthy. I mean, obviously this isn't the case all the time, sometimes the cheater and accomplice are friends with the injured party so it is a betrayal on all counts, but in general it does seem like people look at it like "Why would he/she cheat on me with THAT person!?". I don't think cheating is indicitive of anything except the cheaters' selfishness.
 
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Mikeysgirl317 responded:
It is wasy to forgive but so hard to forget
 
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jjchosenjj replied to Mikeysgirl317's response:
Some have it in their heart to forgive and others dont. And thats ok. For all of us and most importantly those that can forgive.......none of us forget, nor should we. With that being said though, not forgeting has its place. before any of us have been wronged we put our loyalty, trust, insecurities and everything intimate from an emotional perspective into our relationship. Your whole essence is given to another person and thats a very precious thing to give. When your betrayed.....you'll never forget. But if you intend to salvage a relationship you have to put not forgetting in its place. I like to think of it as away intuitively using what happened to guide you in the future to key things that may be red flags. And we all know deep down inside when its a red flag or us being paranoid, and if you cant discern the two then the relationship isnt going to work. I beleive no matter what though......the relationship will never be the same on the intimate lvl i explained above. Could still be good, but not what it was.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to jjchosenjj's response:
I recently listened to Jack Kornfield, a renowned meditation teacher, speak and I was struck by his explanation of forgiveness. He said that forgiveness is a vow not to carry bitterness into the future and that it is a decision "to give up hope for a better past." Importantly, he does not talk about forgetting because forgiving is about finding a way to accept what has happened and moving forward.
 
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BalconyBelle replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
I have a terrible short term memory--so I'll frequently involuntarily 'forgive & forget'--but the emotion from whatever was done to me will remain. I'll be angry, sad, mad---but I won't remember the reason why. As a result, I make every effort to try to truly resolve things quickly, before hostility carries over past my ability to recall why I'm upset. If I succeed, the slate is truly wiped clean. It's as if whatever it was never happened.

That doesn't apply to something important enough to make it into my long term memory. Those issues are generally hurtful or infuriating enough that they're more or less burned into my brain. I couldn't actually forget them even if I wanted to...and there are days I wish I could. It always brings me down when something happens that reminds me of them.

I try to do a better job of forgiving, though I don't always succeed. The bad part about not having good recall unless it's something important is that there's less...'filler' I guess? It messes up my perception of time--I'll lose track of whole days, weeks, months--but something that happened two years ago is as fresh as if it happened that morning, something that happened two months ago could have happened last hour, ect... Time doesn't blur my memories--it's as though my brain goes into overdrive to hold onto to the ones it has. So when the past comes back to bite me it always hits me hard. I can't distance myself from it--so I try to work for a resolution I agree with, and that will usually help it to hurt less. It may not be 'true' forgiveness, but at least my fiance and I give it our best shot--and I can honestly say that on important issues, he's never made the same mistake twice.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to BalconyBelle's response:
It sounds like you have a particular problem with your memory that is not an issue for everyone. But, the experience and intensity of emotions are often not dictated by time.

My days are filled helping people who struggle with things that happened a long time ago, but that emotionally alive and 'well' in them. This often happens with experiences that feel too painful to let exist; or when they are unable to really move through them. For instance, I have treated a number of people for their grief years after someone died. They managed to avoid fully feeling and moving through their grief at the time, but then found- for whatever reason- that they finally could no longer avoid it. Similarly, trust is a big issue that is often triggered (with intense feelings) in relationships even years after an affair. As you suggested, the best way to deal with this is to work through or find resolution to the feelings.
 
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littlesnail replied to Aspartate's response:
http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/08/what-you-told-us-about-women-infidelity/
you might consider this. maybe it's a load of BS, but I think it makes sense.


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