Understanding Forgiveness in a Relationship

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When betrayal, lack of communication, and emotional roller coasters are present in an individual’s life, often time, forgiveness is not a priority. It is human nature to want answers or closures from the offending person, as a lack of answers places one in a state of confusion and frustration!

It is important to understand how people function in relationships. There are two culprits, abandonment and rejection, that can hinder the progression of a relationship and it all depends on how one handles the two. No one is immune to these two culprits and everyone will experience the two at some point in life. How one functions in their relationship, depends on how one is able to cope and manage the two. The job of a parent is so important, as parents are their child’s first teachers and the premier example of relationship functioning. If the parents are actively abandoning and rejecting their child or each other, the foundation for future inappropriate relationships has been created.

Combating abandonment and rejection behaviors initially begins with admitting that these issues exist. If there is a tendency to cheat in a relationship, to emotionally cut off a significant other, manipulating and trying to control a person, or to display neediness or overbearing behaviors, all suggest symptoms of abandonment and rejection functioning. Typically, these behaviors are used to try to ward off anxiety around the feelings of “ no one wants me” or  “I’m not good enough” .

Understanding how one functions in a relationship, provides a bit more capacity to forgive, but yet also discuss how to function more appropriately. Always take the time to clarify, as assumptions will activate those abandonment and rejection responses. Moreover, forgiveness is never about the offending person, but for the one offended. The offender has moved on from the situation and still holding on to the pain that may have been caused by the betrayal stunts emotional growth and the ability to function more appropriately in the next relationship.

Dr. Roselyn V. Aker-Black has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a freelance writer, life coach, psychological consultant, relationship expert, and owner of www.tildeathinfo.com, an interactive website dedicated to providing realistic relationship advice. If you would like to comment on this article or ask Dr. Roz a question, she can be reached at askdrroz@gmail.com

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