How to Forgive and Forget When Someone Hurts You

Love Hurts

We have all experienced the gut-wrenching pain of losing a relationship we thought would last forever. How do you forgive the one who tells you he has met someone else, and he hopes you understand? What so you do say to your fiancé when she tells you she really isn’t ready to get married, and it’s two weeks until the wedding? What about the long-term relationship that comes to an unexpected end? You’ve spent 45 years loving, nurturing and relying on your partner, and now he tells you he needs his space. Alfred Lord Tennyson said “Tis better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all,” but what do you do with your feelings of anger, hurt, and abandonment?

Great Expectations
Your mother was never the nurturing type, but when you were giving birth to her first grandchild, she promised to be there. Your husband called her on the way to the hospital. You watched the door, waiting for her, as you had so many times before. She never showed up. You know this isn’t the last time she will let you down, but she’s your mother, so you keep hoping.

Cruel Words Can Sneak Up on You
You walk into the break room, and your colleagues are standing by the coffeepot in a huddle. As you approach the group, you hear your name, and realize they are talking about you. Their stinging comments about your weight are cruel and unexpected. How do you continue to work with them every day, without feeling bitter and hurt?

Let it Go
People hurt each other. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it just happens. When someone hurts you, don’t be a victim. If you hold on to bitterness and pain, you will never be free. Choose to forgive and then do it. Each of us is responsible for our own happiness, so don’t allow someone else to control yours.

Determine what each relationship in your life means to you. In the case of a romantic relationship, it takes two to make it work. If you are let down or betrayed by a partner, give yourself permission to move on and be happy.

If a family member is consistently insensitive, try to lead by example, and offer the hand of friendship. If that doesn’t work, accept the situation, and continue to be kind. If you have workplace gossips or troublemakers, be the one who never says an unkind word about anyone. Take what they say with a grain of salt, and smile. The best reaction to insulting words is no reaction at all. Don’t let the actions of others define your happiness. Take control, do what’s right, and set yourself free.

Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How to Forgive and Forget When Someone Hurts You," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 25, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-forgive-and-forget-when-someone-hurts-you/ (accessed December 13, 2018).
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