It depends on a few things. First, while you’re most certainly hurt, angry and struggling to understand the scenario, it’s important not to rush into any decision. The decision you make at this time may be different from a decision you’d make once you’re able to make sense and meaning out of your experience.
If you feel safe and valued, forgiveness (when you’re ready) can make you feel better. If you don’t feel safe and valued, then you forgive, you’ll actually feel worse. How do you feel safe and valued?
Does your partner show empathy, remorse and restitution? For example, remorse is deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed. Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions. Restitution is an act of restoring or a condition of being restored. When it comes to forgiveness, these three conditions work beautifully together and lay the foundation for forgiveness.
Now, sometimes an action can’t be fixed but is there something you can do to show your willingness to right the wrong? Here’s what these three together may sound like: “I’m so terribly sorry (remorse). I understand why you’d be upset. I get it and I’d be upset and hurt if you did that to me (empathy). What can I do to make it up to you?” (restitution). It’s that combination that encourages and helps someone move toward forgiveness.
Contributors: Debi Silber from The Silber Center for Personal Growth and Healing