10 thoughts on “Forgiving When It Isn’t Deserved

  • May 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Of all the lessons I have learned — and at 69, I’ve learned many — forgiveness has been the most important one. Your article captures it beautifully! Especially the sentence about forgiveness not always being required nor rarely earned. Until I understood this my attempts at pure forgiveness always fell short. I used to take an almost perverse pride in holding on to slights, real or imagined. I could say the words forgiveness requires, but I held the hurtful experiences in a death grip! And I wondered why I never experienced the calming peace that was promised. You are right…forgiveness helps me more than it could ever affect the ” offender.” I am accountable for my own joy. Thank you for reminding me!

    • May 27, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Forgiveness is most definitely a hard lesson to learn – and one that you have to keep learning over and over again. But what peace you receive once it’s mastered!

  • May 27, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Lately, I have been reading about The Drama Triangle and Victim Consciousness. I am understanding a bit more about the dynamic of feeling victimised and playing on that. I am slowly extricating myself out of these dynamics. If you abuse me, in any shape or form, then I will not be in a hurry to have contact with you. Depending on the situation, I will block your number…Goodbye and goodluck!!

    • May 31, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Quite true – it’s sometimes easy to fall into the role of victim instead of taking control over the areas without your realm of influence

  • May 28, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Amy – Forgiveness is usually associated with something that was done in the past..and most pieces I read are based on this model. How do you forgive someone for behavior they are currently exercising? in this case, it is my ex. Due to his very limited emotional capabilities as a parent, my children (2 girls, 14 & 11) are at a great disadvantage. He’s the “well at least’ guy. He does the bare minimum to not be labeled a deadbeat dad – but his inability to step up and be a strong, involved, unselfish parent will most certainly have long term effects on them, and I find that ‘unforgivable.’ I try and remind myself every minute of every day that it’s because he’s a very limited individual and just does not have the capacity… but it’s really difficult to forgive, particularly since I feel he doesn’t deserve forgiveness – even though I know the forgiveness is for me, not him.

    • May 28, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Maggi, I was married to a man just like your ex. It pained me to realize he didn’t know how to love his kids like I thought he should. His way of showing love was so…well, emotionless. It was like he just went through the motions, no real expressions of joy or pride or even appreciation for his children (or me, for that matter). The kids seemed to accept this more than I could, but I just knew hey would be happier if their dad was more “into” them. But a wise counselor pointed out to me that we each have our own relationships. The relationship between parent and child is singular. It is theirs alone to develop or wither, with no actual influence from the other parent. It is not my responsibility to make sure their dad expresses his love in a way I would approve. It’s his. Children, especially by the time they reach the age yours are, know well the capabilities of each parent to show love, anger, pride, support, or any other emotion. Children judge on actions, not intent. You have no control over how your ex relates to anyone, even his own children. But you do have control over how you respond to what you see. And your children look to you to show them how to do this. I can tell you from experience that if you react to your ex with disappointment, anger, suspicion or hurt, this is how your children will react to him. You need to teach your children that YOUR relationship with the ex is not THEIRS. They have the right to establish their own set of behaviors and feelings with their dad. And you have to accept that they will be all right with that…even if, in your judgement, there’s a lot lacking. Be the best mom you can be to them. Give them the tools to form good choices about themselves and the people in their lives. Let others be others.

      • May 31, 2016 at 10:27 am

        So true Linda! It’s hard as a parent to let go of certain areas in your kids lives – especially ones that have such a large impact as parenting does. But, what a great gift it is for them. They need to chance to learn on their own and to build the relationships that they need, instead of what we want them to have.

    • May 31, 2016 at 10:25 am

      This is such a hard situation to be in – the area of, I’m ok with the past but I’m not ok that it keeps happening. It’s hard to ‘move on’ or forgive when a person has to stay in your life that you would be better off leaving behind. Sometimes the greatest thing holding us back is our own expectations. You are wanting your ex to be someone he’s not capable of being. You are, rightfully, comparing his lack of action and feelings to what you know a good parent is and it’s hard to see our kids get less than what they deserve. But here’s the thing, your kids don’t have another father to compare him to. To them, he’s just dad. Not bad dad or emotionally distant dad. Sometimes the best thing to do is to be there to comfort your kids when they need it but otherwise try not to place your own feelings onto them. With time they will likely learn that he missed the mark, but that’s their lesson to learn, not your lesson to give. I know from personal expirience that this is a hard line to walk, but what your kids need more than anything is the chance to build their own relationship with their dad outside of your personal feelings on it. Kids often take a more – it is what it is – approach then us adults can which will actually make it easier on them. Good luck!

  • May 28, 2016 at 10:23 am

    True, forgiveness is important for your own happiness. But how do i forgive and truell let go? How do i stop hurting and obsessing over the wrong done to me? What are the practical steps to forgiving and letting go?


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