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Can you really ever forgive if you can't forget?

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Asked by AngiDas at 6:16 AM on Feb. 2, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 15 (1,898 Credits)
Answers (26)
  • yes I think you can. I think it is more about understanding something before you can forgive. I was in a relationship that ended badly and I have a child from that relationship. It took a long time to get over the pain and to forgive my EX. Now 14 years later we have a great relationship and while I don't forget what happened I understand and have forgiven him. I think the only way I got on with my life was by forgiving him.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 6:20 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • There's no doubt that it is hard but I think you have to for your own sake. Somehow you have to or you're just miserable.

    Answer by SweetLoveofMine at 6:28 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Yes. There's a quote that I think explains this very well. "You can ask me to forgive, but to ask me to forget is to ask me to give up a lifetime of experience."

    For example in a personal sense, I was sexually abused growing up. That's not something that I can forget, but I have made my peace with it and forgave the person who did it (though my abuser is dead - he killed himself rather than facing jail time). Also, in a lot of ways, my mom wasn't a good mom while I was growing up. But again, I made peace with it and forgave her for that yrs ago - yrs and yrs before she ever admitted that maybe she wasn't the best mom (she apologized recently during a conversation - one she instigated on the subject - I hadn't brought it up since I had forgiven her in my heart).


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 6:29 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Yes. Forgiveness is a process and takes much time. It cannot be hurried. And although you don't forget, you can change the way you think about something, and pain can ease with time...

    Answer by Anna92464 at 6:37 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • You can forgive but the idea behind not forgetting is that you have learned a lesson. It will forever be embedded in your mind so you won't do it again

    Answer by JuJubean1979 at 7:21 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Yes it's possible.
    It took me YEARS to forgive my birth mother for her abuse and abandonment. I will never forget what she could I?! But I learned to forgive her for my own sake. It IS possible!!

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:26 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Yes. It would be maladaptive to forget, but it is also not healthy to harbor resentment towards anyone. Depending on how badly you were hurt, it will take time or lots of time and thinking/introspection to be able to truly forgive someone.

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 7:37 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Yes, it's quite possible, but as others have pointed out sometimes it takes a long time to forgive. There's a difference between remembering, so you learn something from the experience and try not to let it happen again and DWELLING on the experience and reliving it over and over stirring up old anger and hurt each time you get close to letting it go. I'm not going to FORGET being in an abusive relationship; I'm going to learn from it and learn the signs that it's heading that way so it never happens to me again or I get out before it goes too far. I had an abusive relationship in high school, but I've never been in a situation like that since. I remember in a sort of detached way all these years later, but I don't ever want to allow someone to treat me like that again. I remember, but I forgive his immaturity and fear and I let it go. I rarely think about it or let old emotions surface, but it took years to get here.

    Answer by pam19 at 9:30 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Forgiving and forgetting are 2 different things. Forgiving doesn't mean that you even SHOULD forget. It doesn't mean you should trust that person again either, or even that you should have a relationship with them still. If someone does something hurtful to you.....sometimes the lesson is that this isn't a safe person to have a relationship depends on how serious what they did was. It doesn't mean you can't or even haven't forgiven them, just that you also need to be smart enough to learn from the experience, and sometimes protect yourself or your family....or business, depending on the situation. Forgiving means you no longer harbor anger, not that the experience didn't happen...or that you don't have to take action.

    Answer by ohwrite at 9:36 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Yes.. I think you don't forget so that you don't make the same mistake twice.

    Answer by virgo550 at 10:08 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

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