The Intelligent Divorce

And further unorthodox advice on relationships, marriage and parenting

Will You Forgive?

Will you forgive? Bitterness, resentment and hurt can eat you up. We all know what that's like. Breathe deep and let go. You don't have to be religious to forgive—but can you do it? And, do you really want to? Read More

Yes, I want to

It is difficult to be betrayed by ONE person.

I am working on trying to forgive 200 people.

I am the one in pain/imprisoned....and they have no idea, and live their lives without any thought of what they did.

Thanks to your article.

Thanks to your article. Truly, forgiveness is the most beautiful thing in the human heart. It's a great and noble virtue so thank you for encouraging and enlightening people to forgive.


Dr. Banschick,

I always find your articles to be very helpful and full of wisdom. Thanks!

Thank You

I appreciate your feedback.
It is my hope to touch people's lives.
Pass it along if the piece warrants it.



I am the one that desires forgiveness... it is complicated because the person I would like to forgive me has betrayed me terribly in the past, and probably continues to do so without my knowledge. It doesn't matter to me at the moment because of how awful I feel about hurting this person and want them to be ok. We were not together at the time of the betrayal (not my choice) but they still say it has hurt them deeply, which I believe. They do seem to really enjoy punishing and humiliating me for behaviour that is similar to their own past behaviour which is upsetting.

I don't know whether sticking around and hoping for forgiveness is now worth the pain it causes us both. The unrealistic ultimatums and demands, in return for no hope of reconciliation is so hard. I must do these things for them, but they still make it clear that they have no desire to even consider beginning to forgive me.

I am unsure what to do as this has never been a positive relationship, and I wonder whether I am staying around because I want to make things work with them, or because I feel so guilty and just want them to feel good again. I love them with all of my heart, but sometimes I feel like letting go would be the best for both of us. Maybe I need to learn to forgive myself first?

Find Balance

Sometimes a neutral party, like a therapist, can help people find the objectivity they lack when in the midst of suffering.

Take a look at the comment to your agonizing post.
It may be of some help.


Don't allow yourself to be abused

Dear Anonymous,

I don't mean to oversimplify your situation, but if you were not in a relationship with this person, and it was because he/she wanted it that way, then how is it possible for you to betray him/her? It sounds like this person is not being fair to you. You said they have done the same thing. Were you in a relationship then? I encourage you to speak with a trusted counselor to explore the possibility that you are being exploited by someone who might not have your best interests at heart. When you break free from exploitative people, the whole world opens up, and it makes room for healthy relationships.

Take good care.

A Kind Remark

This is a supportive remark to someone that you don't know.
And there is great truth in it. Sometimes people are locked into terrible battles about hurt, victimhood and blame.

And, often there is a good deal of therapy required to find balance.

Thank you for taking the time to write.


This piece may be of use:

The Joy of Forgiveness

The ability to forgive is truly a remarkable quality, whether the person you are forgiving truly deserves it or not. The Bible tells us repeatedly that we are to forgive others and to turn the other cheek, but God also advises us that the person who is being forgiven needs to repent of their bad behavior and genuinely commit to doing better in the future. With that in mind, forgiveness, even undeserved, is a way to make yourself heal and get past the bad memories and on with your life.

"The stupid neither forgive

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”

Thomas S. Szasz

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Mark Banschick, M.D., is a psychiatrist and author of The Intelligent Divorce book series.


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