Think about your childhood days. A friend or family member may have betrayed you, so you talked about your disagreement with an adult. The offender was probably told to apologize, and you were encouraged to forgive. In the scenario, there may have been an apology and an acceptance. However, the words from all parties may have been forced.

It is not unusual for people to make mistakes in their relationships or betray each other. If someone offers an apology, you may question if it is sincere or have trouble forgiving the act. However, keep in mind that choosing to forgive does not require the person to apologize. It simply requires you to make a decision and have the desire to forgive. As an adult, it is entirely your choice.  Forgiveness is not about condoning the behavior of the other person(s); forgiveness is about removing yourself from the anger, hurt and negative feelings associated with what happened. Forgiveness frees you to heal and move forward.

Examine your relationships and feelings, so you can decide whether to forgive, whether it be your spouse, partner, family, friend or a stranger . Forgiving will allow you to put the action or deception behind you, focus on the positive aspects of your relationship and heal.

Forgiving may not happen instantly.  You may be tempted to bring up the incident in an argument. Revisiting the action will put stress on your relationship and remind you of the pain it caused. If you are unable to forgive , your attitude can affect your ability to improve your relationship.

There are times that an apology does not happen at all, because there is a cut off in the relationship or because the person who has wronged you has died.  Being empowered to forgive is important because the control and power resides in you, not the other person. You cannot control what somebody does or says to you but you do have the power and control to decide how that will continue to effect your life.

Forgiveness will allow you to release negative thoughts and heal. If you have been deceived, by a spouse, loved one or anybody, my counseling services can help you recognize how you feel and determine if you want to forgive. I can help you through the process of forgiving. Each day you may need to remind yourself to forgive and move forward. For a decade, I have been helping individuals forgive and helping couples improve their relationships.

If you want your relationship to thrive, it is vital to be able to forgive. The inability to forgive can keep your pain alive. Individual and marital counseling can help you begin the process of forgiving, so your mental outlook focuses on improving your relationship.