How to Forgive

Forgiving someone in your life—whether it’s an ex-boyfriend, a player who ruined your life, or a cheating husband—can be an emotionally exhausting experience. The first thought that probably enters your mind is:

“It’s not fair! He hasn’t shown ANY regret at all. He doesn’t care about my pain or what I lost. It’s all about him!”

I understand what you’re feeling. And if it’s true that he doesn’t seem to feel bad about what pain he’s caused you, it sounds like he may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (Look it up sometime to see if the symptoms match)

On the other hand, it’s also POSSIBLE that he does feel bad about the way the relationship ended but doesn’t know how to express his regret. He doesn’t know how to apologize or make peace with you. Accept that MAYBE this could also be true.

Because frankly, forgiving someone for their sins against you is NOT about excusing their behavior. It’s about forgiving yourself. It’s about moving on with your life and letting go of the bitterness and resentment that holds you back from finding real happiness.

Let’s take three different scenarios: an ex-boyfriend, a player, and a cheating husband, and explain three ways to forgive them in a way that benefits YOU, not them.

1. Forgive Your Ex-Boyfriend

When it comes to forgiving an ex-boyfriend, it’s important to realize one simple fact: this relationship didn’t work out because the two of you were ultimately incompatible. You can go on for hours blaming him for everything, or he can blame you for all these mistakes he thinks you made. But at the end of the day, all you can agree on is that it didn’t work. You were not a good match because you ended up hating each other.

Allow yourself to grieve. Allow yourself to remember the good memories, but to be realistic and admit that the negative ones outweighed the good ones. What’s important is that you both learned something about yourselves—what you want and what you don’t want. Being more analytical about a failed relationship allows us to exercise better judgment for the future—both in choosing a partner (hopefully not with the exact same flaws as the first partner had) and in avoiding mistakes you might have made in the past.

Let go of the resentment towards your ex, feeling as if he still “owns a part of you” that you’ll never get back. That’s not true. What you shared together was something special, but it ended. Hating him and feeling as if he still owns you only gives him absolute power over your life and death, your happiness, and your misery.

It’s far better to accept that you made a mistake, learned from it, and moved on. And the best way to do that is to forgive him for everything…so that you can stop thinking about it. So that you don’t need any more validation from him, you don’t need any more apologies from him to feel right.

What matters is that you find happiness independently from him.

2. Forgive That Player Who Ruined Your Life

I know a few friends like this, and I feel terrible for them. It wasn’t even a romantic relationship…it was a fling. But in that fling, the jerk broke her heart and left her with an emotional wound that still hasn’t healed. Does that sound like your case?

If you still feel hateful and vitriolic towards your “ex” or your short-term boyfriend, then rest assured, you have every right to condemn his behavior. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with warning other people about him or refusing to speak with him for your own sanity.

BUT…you still need to forgive him, at least in the sense that you decide not to obsess over what he’s done to you. As if his injustice towards you defines your life. You only give him power when you let a man, who doesn’t care about you, limit your life and control your future.

Release that burden. I recommend either seeing a therapist for closure or perhaps talking to a trusted friend or family member. During these counseling sessions make it a point to allow yourself to grieve and to express how you feel, how you’ve been affected, and what you’ve learned.

It’s not a good idea to go through a stage of denial. No, FEEL everything. You’re allowed to feel and express negative thoughts. Let it out.

But after that, it’s time to stop talking about it. It’s time to get active again, work out to combat stress, and distract your mind by finding new goals in life, new friends, and new outlooks entirely. Leave behind the “Old You” just as you’ve left him.

It was a mistake—his mistake. He failed to impress you in bed and as a person, and you’re glad it’s over. That’s the best way to look at the experience. Now forgive him for his stupidity and start looking for a man who deserves your attention.

3. Forgive Your Cheating Husband or Dumb Boyfriend.

This could be a case of a cheating husband or boyfriend, or perhaps a boyfriend that broke up with you initially, but now wants you back.

In either case, this is a different kind of forgiveness. In this scenario, you understand that your man was not acting vindictively. And the relationship didn’t end because of incompatibility.

It was just a mistake. A BIG mistake, but one caused by human error and weakness.

Only you can decide whether to forgive him or not, but once you do forgive him, you must let go of the resentment or else the relationship is doomed.

In my opinion, if he’s hurt you that badly, it’s almost a requirement that the two of you take a break and spend some time apart. He needs to reflect on his mistake and you need to take a time-out to consider if reconciling is what he wants.

Generally, I do believe that the best “revenge” for a woman against a boyfriend who dumped her IS to get him chasing her and begging for her attention all over again. After all, if she still loves him and he still loves her, there’s no need to hold on to resentment, is there? All that’s needed is a shift in the psychology of the relationship.

She needs to encourage his independence and BECOME more independent on her own. This builds attraction.

But when it comes to forgiving a man who has committed a major offense and hurt you deeply, then much more honest communication is required.

Honesty is required, in order to understand his motivations, and why he didn’t actually mean to hurt you—he just made a mistake.

But it’s also important that she gets time to herself to rethink the relationship and determine what it is she wants for the future. If he cheated on her, maybe she wants to experience a short-term affair—whether for spite or out of curiosity.

It’s better that she get this period of independence rather than forgive him but still hold onto that resentment moving forward.

Holding onto resentment is the death knell for any relationship. When it’s all said and done, you either want to forgive a person and wipe the slate clean, or you want to respectfully bid them farewell and move on without them.

As you can see, forgiveness is as much forgiving YOURSELF as it is forgiving a man who has hurt you.

When you take the “high road” so to speak, you prove your strength. You take back your life, your health, and your happiness. You’re oblivious to your evil ex’s life, but he’s still obsessing over you. Maybe he’s even in love with you, but now realizes it’s too late.

That means you get the last laugh. Forgiveness is about laughing, not in spite, but in the joy of life that you get back!

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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