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How is it possible to forgive but not forget?

I am a happy positive person by nature and my husband is the opposite. I find that I have the ability to forgive someone for doing wrong, but my husband can't. He feels like if you're forgiving them then you are letting them off the hook. Even though I feel like I can forgive, I am having a very hard time trying to explain it to my husband. I could really use some help! This is affecting our marriage quite a bit :(

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:14 PM on Nov. 5, 2008 in Relationships

Answers (14)
  • Forgiving is just finding peace for yourself about a situation. Therefore you don't spend time stewing over the past, you can get on with your life without brining it up over and over again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:18 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • For different people different parts of the brain work in their own ways. Research has proven that certain people use the part of their brain for logic more resulting in forgiveness and certain people use the emotional irrational part more resulting in a grudge. Its nothing he can control. Try to be sensitive to it.

    Answer by amber710 at 7:22 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • I have trouble forgiving people. I dwell a lot on shit people have done. It's a bad way to be. I don't like being like that. Tell her DH that the past is exactly that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:22 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • forgiveness is not permission, acceptance or forgetting what has happens. it is a personal step in "bettering" yourself from the situation.

    Answer by chyna_doll at 7:23 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • Maybe you can remind him if he sins God forgives him the moment he asks for forgiveness, and never holds it against you have to look at it from that concept, if God can forgive us as messed up as we are as humans then who do we think we are for not forgiving and letting it go. We all make mistakes and we all want forgiveness he needs to expand his mind and absorb that :)

    Answer by 1countrygal at 7:47 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • In regards to what amber710 husband actually is the one who uses logic while I am the one who is more of the emotional one.

    He says he doesn't live by the past, but I believe he does because he feels like the way to judge someones future behavior is by their past behavior...which is correct. That's one of the reasons I am having such a hard time with this. He uses logic very well and everything he says makes sense, but yet I can't seem to explain my side very well. He believes by forgiving you're forgetting and by forgetting means it could happen again. I hope I'm making sense lol...and thanks for all the answers!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:50 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • forgiveness isn't about letting someone(who did wrong to you) off the hook..forgiveness is about letting yourself off the hook of holding this wrong against that person. you can't control anyone's actions, just your own reaction. when you forgive someone, you are the one who feels better, because you no longer have to lug that garbage around in your heart. you can forgive someone, without them even knowing its been done. afterall, if the person who did the wrong isn't a big enough person, or cares enough about you to ask for forgiveness, chances are they don't feel bad at all! so the only person hurting is you...ergo, the only person who can make it better is you. (or your dh, as in this case)

    Answer by thehairnazi at 8:04 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • Thehairnazi: you make sense, but how can someone truly forgive without being wronged again? I have learned to forgive in my own life but I haven't been wronged as much as my husband. He's been wronged by many people and he feels like he needs to remember everyone who wronged him so he can prevent it from happening again. I think it's some sort of protective mechanism or something. He also believes the saying "an eye for an eye". He believes in equality which sounds like a good thing but if someone wrongs him he wants revenge. He says its not out of hate he just feels like if he seeks some sort vengence then they won't wrong him again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:19 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • again, you can't control someone else's actions. 'violence begets violence'(for some reason, that quote came to me, maybe biblical, not sure...sorry) ask him 'how is doing something wrong to that person going to make you feel? vindicated? mightier?' i can't begin to assume i know how to tell him how to forgive someone..only that vengence isn't an option. if someone murdered his loved one, would he feel better about the wrongful death, if he turned and murdered the other guy's loved one? no..then he'd need to forgive himself, and that's usually harder than forgiving others. it is nearly impossible to forget wrongs done to us; however, it shapes us and sometimes, ruins us, when we can't let it go.(cont.)

    Answer by thehairnazi at 8:33 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

  • i'm assuming the 'eye for an eye' you're referring to is biblical scripture, no? then, you may point out to him that when asked specifically about forgiving others ('how many times should i forgive my brother....?''matthew 18:22), Christ said, ''70x7'', meaning, as many times as is needed.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 8:36 PM on Nov. 5, 2008

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