When people are working on forgiving someone who has wronged them, they often say they're doing it because their offender deserves it. Maybe he or she has shown remorse, or the victim believes they should be pardoned for their offense. But interestingly, not everyone chooses forgiveness. The non-forgiver believes that his or her offender does not deserve forgiveness, so they refuse to even try. Unfortunately, this makes that person live in fear of being hurt again—which never feels good.
Almost invariably, people think of forgiveness as something you do for the person who has hurt you and that it is predicated on whether you feel your offender’s genuine remorse, whether you like him or her and want them back in your life, or whether you can trust him again. These considerations are especially important in a case such as infidelity, in which you're evaluating whether or not to resume a relationship with your offender.
There's no question that forgiveness can be a useful first step in reconciling a damaged relationship—but there's a lot more to it. Here's what you should know.