Relationship Advice: 5 Barriers to Forgiveness

Most barriers to forgiveness come in the form of a "but."

For example –

"But I do not feel like forgiving ."

And you may not for a while. Ultimately, forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling.

"But if I forgive someone, does not that mean I approve of what they did?"

No, not at all. Forgiveness does not condone what was done.

"But if I forgive, does not that open me up to be hurt again?"

Well, yes and no.

The yes part is that if we are going to risk closeness in relationships, we are going to risk being hurt. It's just part of the territory.

The no part is that while forgiving, you can still protect yourself from further hurt. One way to do this is in relationships is to set clear boundaries with equally clear consequences if the boundaries are violated.

"But if I forgive, does not that let the other person off the hook?"

Not necessarily.

There are consequences for actions, even after forgiveness. What forgiveness can do is let you off the hook of bitterness and resentment.

"But I forgave, and I still feel bad."

Unfortunately, that can happen. While it's true that forgiveness is a decision, it's also a process. So is the healing. It can take time.