Do I Have to Forget to Forgive?
Amnesia is impossible. Now what?
Hurt feelings happen. Pain is a fact of life. Get used to it. It's not going anywhere. Create a strategy for dealing with it right now and spare yourself years and years of needless pain.
The good news is hurt feelings are not fatal. You don't have to die from your pain. Pain doesn't have to be a lifestyle. Contentment and happiness can be made in spite of it. The real question is, are you willing to do what it takes to have contentment and happiness anyway?
Maintaining a lasting relationship is impossible if you expect that your partner would not disappoint you if they truly loved you. Proximity alone makes this absolutely impossible. The mistake here is the "my feelings are hurt = my partner doesn't love me" assumption. News flash: the world doesn't revolve around your feelings. That's good news. It puts the control back where it should have been all along - in your hands.
You can be right or you can be in relationship. When you're really fortunate, you can be both. But there are times when you will have to choose. Here's something to keep in mind: forcing "right" makes you an enemy to your partner. How excited would you really be to be sleeping with your enemy? Don't set yourself up for the failure.
Listen, I understand that some things can, and should, not be negotiated. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about times when your pride becomes more important than fostering the kind of trust that creates the safety that makes true intimacy possible in any relationship. There will be more than enough situations in your partnership that will tend to divide you. If there's room to forgive, take it at every available opportunity. I promise you that you will soon be the one who needs the favor in return.
You will not get amnesia. If that's what it takes for you, then you've got much bigger relationship issues. Forgiveness isn't about forgetting. It's about making a conscious decision not to continue to hold an offense against someone. It is to know what the wrong was and to give up your "right" to revenge and retribution. To forgive, is to be willing to value your relationship above your feelings.
It's a tall order. Accept that your partner is not purposely trying to hurt you. Take responsibility for your own feelings and stop unfairly burdening the one you love. You will find that your relationship will improve right away.
Your partner in SatisFillment™,
The Intimacy Officer©
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