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Forgive and forget? How to forgive and how it can strengthen your relationship

May 23, 2024

Forgiving someone can be a challenging process, especially if you’ve been hurt or wronged. However, forgiveness can be a powerful tool for healing and personal growth. There are certain situations where it may be harder than others to forgive someone, and it’s important to reflect on your goals when it comes to this relationship, your values, and if you feel respected by this person enough to continue to pursue a healthy relationship with them.

Here are some tips form our therapists on how you can forgive someone

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: Before you can forgive, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings of anger, hurt, resentment, or betrayal. Allow yourself to feel and process these emotions without judgment.

2. Understand the Benefits of Forgiveness: Recognize that forgiveness is primarily for your own well-being. It can release you from the burden of holding onto negative emotions and can promote emotional healing and growth.

3. Empathize: Try to understand the other person’s perspective and motivations. This doesn’t mean you condone their actions, but it can help you see the situation from a broader viewpoint and recognize that people make mistakes.

4. Accept Imperfection: Understand that everyone makes mistakes, including yourself. Recognize that no one is perfect, and holding onto grudges can prevent personal growth and healing.

5. Make a Decision: Forgiveness is a conscious choice. Decide that you want to forgive the person and release the negative emotions associated with the situation.

6. Talk About It: In some cases, discussing the issue with the person involved can be helpful. Open and honest communication can lead to better understanding and resolution.

7. Set Boundaries: If the person’s actions or behavior continue to be harmful or toxic, it’s important to set and enforce boundaries to protect yourself. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to tolerate ongoing harm.

8. Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or your therapist about your feelings and the process of forgiveness. Supportive individuals can provide insight, empathy, and encouragement.

9. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind and compassionate toward yourself. Understand that it’s okay to have experienced hurt, and you deserve healing and peace.

10. Let Go of Resentment: Forgiveness involves letting go of resentment and the desire for revenge or retribution. Holding onto these negative feelings can be toxic for your own mental and emotional well-being.

11. Release Negative Emotions: Find healthy ways to release negative emotions, such as through journaling, physical activity, meditation, or mindfulness practices. This can help you process your feelings and move forward.

12. Focus on the Present and Future: Shift your focus away from dwelling on the past and the hurtful event. Concentrate on the present and the positive changes you want to make in your life.

13. Give Time Time: Forgiveness is not always immediate. It may take time for you to fully let go of negative emotions and move forward. Be patient with yourself in the process.

14. Rebuild Trust (if appropriate): Forgiveness does not necessarily mean trust is automatically restored. Rebuilding trust may be a separate process that requires consistent positive actions from the other person.

15. Reconnect or Let Go: Depending on the circumstances, you may choose to reconnect with the person or decide that it’s best to let them go from your life. This decision should align with your own well-being and values.

Remember that forgiveness is a personal journey, and it doesn’t mean you have to forget what happened. It’s about freeing yourself from the emotional burden of the past and moving forward with greater peace and resilience. It’s also important to acknowledge that forgiveness may not always be possible or appropriate in every situation, and that’s okay too. The most important thing is to prioritize your own emotional well-being and growth.

If appropriate, forgiveness can be a powerful force for strengthening a relationship in various ways

1. Promotes Emotional Healing: Forgiveness allows both partners to heal emotionally from past hurts or conflicts. When forgiveness is granted and accepted, it can release the emotional baggage associated with the offense, creating space for emotional healing and growth.

2. Enhances Communication: Forgiveness often involves open and honest communication about the issue at hand. Discussing the incident or conflict can lead to better understanding and improved communication between partners.

3. Fosters Empathy: Forgiving and being forgiven require empathy and understanding. It encourages both partners to see the situation from each other’s perspectives and to acknowledge each other’s feelings and needs.

4. Rebuilds Trust: In cases where trust has been damaged, forgiveness is a crucial step in the process of rebuilding it. By forgiving, you are showing a willingness to move past the offense and give your partner a chance to rebuild trust.

5. Strengthens Commitment: Forgiveness can demonstrate a commitment to the relationship. It signals that both partners are willing to work through challenges and conflicts rather than allowing them to erode the partnership.

6. Prevents Resentment: Unresolved conflicts and grudges can lead to resentment over time. Forgiveness helps prevent the buildup of resentment, which can be toxic to a relationship.

7. Encourages Personal Growth: Both granting and receiving forgiveness can lead to personal growth. It encourages self-reflection, the acknowledgment of mistakes, and a commitment to improving oneself and the relationship.

8. Promotes Problem Solving: Forgiveness often leads to constructive problem-solving. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, partners can focus on finding solutions and making positive changes for the future.

9. Improves Intimacy: As emotional healing occurs and trust is rebuilt, forgiveness can lead to increased emotional intimacy. Partners may feel closer and more connected to each other after working through conflicts.

10. Reduces Negative Patterns: Forgiveness can break negative patterns of behavior in the relationship. When partners are willing to forgive and learn from their mistakes, they are less likely to repeat hurtful actions.

11. Enhances Resilience: Forgiving and overcoming challenges together can make a relationship more resilient. Partners who have successfully navigated conflicts are better prepared to handle future difficulties.

12. Promotes Gratitude: Forgiveness can lead to a greater sense of gratitude for the positive aspects of the relationship. It reminds partners of the value of the partnership and the positive qualities of each other.

13. Cultivates a Positive Environment: A relationship that practices forgiveness tends to have a more positive and nurturing environment. Partners feel safer expressing themselves, knowing that mistakes will not be held against them indefinitely.

It’s important to note that forgiveness is a process, and it may not always be easy or immediate. It requires willingness, empathy, and effort from both partners. In some cases, couples therapy may be beneficial to navigate the process of forgiveness and healing together. Ultimately, forgiveness can be a key component of a healthy and enduring relationship.


If your relationship could use some extra support, our team of trained couples therapists are here to help. We understand that every relationship is different and at times can be a bit  complicated to navigate on your own. Do you find you and your partner having the ame disagreements over and over? Are you and your partner having difficulty communicating effectively? Our therapists are here to guide you and your partner to develop strategies for finding fulfillment in the life you are building together. Through therapy, you can gain insights into patterns of thinking and behavior, identify areas for growth and receive guidance on building a positive and meaningful life together.

  1. Submit a Contact Form or Email Us at
  2. Learn More About Our Team of Female Therapists and Our Areas of Expertise
  3. Let’s Talk About How We Can Help You Feel Empowered & Ready To Take The Next Step. 


At Manhattan Wellness, our therapists are here to support you in navigating life. This is why we offer a variety of services to ensure you get the support, care, and guidance necessary. The therapy services we offer are Therapy for Maternal Mental Health, Self-Esteem Counseling, and Anxiety Treatment. Along with Dating/Relationship Counseling, Counseling for College Students, and more. Feel as if you are not living the life you deserve? Let’s talk about it. 

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