How Can You Forgive Your Partner After They've Hurt You? 11 Women Explain How They Did It
Even the most loving of partners can hurt you from time to time. The real question is how to move past the hurt. How can you forgive your partner after they've hurt you? Well, in a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies who have been hurt by their partners shared how they made it past the heartbreak and restored their relationships.
Therapy helped them overcome their struggles.
He was "emotionally unavailable" - which I summed up as, his view towards me was, "If you are not happy or horny, then F*CK OFF!
"Any sadness, worries, insecurity - deal with that sh*t on your own. That's what I do!"
He told me I was "too sensitive & too needy" when I pressed him to connect & be supportive of me, and open up so I could be supportive back. For a sickeningly long time, he had me convinced he was right and I WAS too needy. & if he empathized, I'd just 'wallow' in misery & it would be worse.
To overcome it, he went to therapy & learned the truth - it's impossible to selectively repress emotions & opening up & sharing with loved ones, especially your wife, is healthy.
He said he was profusely sorry and she believed him.
It was before we were official, when we were in the "talking" stage or whatever. It was new years Eve and he was having a party. I told him earlier in the day that I wanted to slow down a bit because I had just gotten out of a relationship. At the party he got sh*tfaced drunk and spent a majority of it with his tongue down some other girl's throat. I was devastated. I would walk into a room and there they were, wrapped around each other. Not the best night. But I couldn't leave because I was my best friend's DD and she was busy hooking up with someone.The next day he sent me a pages long text apology trying to explain himself and ask for forgiveness. I was angry and hurt and he understood. He gave me space for a while and then I guess decided he was all in. He wanted to make it up to me, he wanted to fight for me, and he was willing to do whatever to be together. It took a few weeks for us to start actually hanging out again, but it's been four years together now and he's never given me any reason to doubt him.
They promised to be honest with each other.
My SO, whilst on holiday, cheated on me with another girl (not sex). We were in an argument at the time. He told me a week later, rather than me finding out, which I appreciated. But it hurt so much and took a very long time to forgive. I don't think I've totally forgotten, even now I sometimes think about it (8 years or so later).What made it worse for me was that he had continued to be in contact with this girl in the week before he told me because he was too nice to say f*ck off. (Although in my head, I didn't understand why he was being nice seeing as I was more important than this random girl).We overcame it by promising to be honest with each other when we'd upset each other or upset in general. Trust is so important. We've been together 10 years this year.
They took a four-month-long break.
He struggled for a long time with the 'what if the grass is greener' mindset since I was one of his only truly serious, long term relationships. While I never doubted that he loved me, these destructive thoughts eventually manifested as him interacting inappropriately with other women. He never physically cheated, but the realization that he hadn't been fully committed to the relationship for months was a HUGE blow. We ultimately broke up with the understanding that if we were to get back together, he had to show me that he had done some serious soul searching and was really ready to commit. Fast forward 4 months, he reached out asking to talk. I basically told him to take a hike, but he persisted and I agreed to see him with the mindset that this would finally give me closure. When I arrived, he had my favorite meal ready and an EXTREMELY thoughtful belated birthday gift (it was while we were separated). He told me that he had started meditating daily to better control his thoughts and emotions, apologized more times than I could count, and said that he was ready to commit for real. I very tentatively agreed to let him take me out on a date the following week, and we cautiously began dating again on the condition that he was gone the second he slipped even one bit. That was almost two years ago. While I still have days where I struggle with everything that happened, he has shown me every single day that he is committed to me, he's 100% transparent with me (no more lock code on the phone and never gets upset when I have a moment of weakness and look through his texts), and he 'walks the walk', so to speak. While I wouldn't wish the experience on my worst enemy, it taught us both the importance of communication and honesty in a relationship, and we are much stronger now than we ever were before his slip up.
She stopped taking it personally when he messed up.
My husband had a lying problem. Not about things he wanted to hide from me, more telling me things he thought I wanted to hear.We almost divorced over it. Ultimately when he saw my narc mother use similar behavior he was repulsed and went to therapy. It took a while, and he still messes up from time to time, but I stopped taking it personally.It started after a severe childhood trauma. In many ways I am incredibly proud of the amount of work he has put in to fix the issue.16 years and counting.
She decided to move past it.
My now husband, slept with his ex while we were in the talking stage of our relationship. He then slept with me the next day and asked to make it official. I had no idea he had been seeing her still or I wouldn’t have agreed to be his girlfriend. I found out from a friend and he didn’t deny it. He told me he had done it, and the confessed that he’d made her cry after because he’d told her it was a mistake. I decided to just move past it because we hadn’t agreed to not see other people yet. It still stung though.He also repeatedly texted another girl inappropriate things. I found the messages 3 separate times and it killed me every time. It was always the same girl. I’d ask him to stop, and he’d just start again. Eventually I told him that I didn’t trust him and if he didn’t stop I would leave him. I fully meant it, too. Finally, what he was doing sunk in and he stopped. That was 4 years ago. It’s taken a long time to build that trust back, and he’s grown a lot as a person. We’re married now and I trust him completely.
She's still worries about it from time to time.
My husband wasn't upfront about important financial information while we were dating and engaged. I found out after we got married that he had wrecked his credit and had debt collectors after him. He had defaulted on loans. I was really upset at first because it felt like a betrayal of trust, and I also felt like I didn't even know that whole facet of him. He has worked hard to turn things around and he is back on track now, with a lot of help from me (making him keep a budget, etc). There was another setback about a year ago due to his own negligence and irresponsibility, though, and it brought everything back to the surface. He is dealing with that setback and things are getting back to normal, but financially I am nowhere near where I imagined we'd be, and part of it is because of his poor money management skills. To be honest, every once in a while I get really bitter about it. I still feel betrayed that he didn't tell me the extent of his financial issues until after we were legally hitched together. And I sometimes worry about if another bombshell is around the corner. He has worked hard to get better, though, and overall he has become more responsible. We finally got a joint bank account a couple years ago, but I still keep my personal bank account active just in case something catastrophic happens, because I am not 100% there yet.
Counseling helped them realize they both have flaws.
I have been with my partner for 5 years. I’ve moved away twice for jobs that lasted about 6 months each. Both times out relationship suffered. We tried really hard last time to make it better than the previous time but we both messed up (no cheating or anything, just neglecting communication). It’s been hard since I moved back but we did counseling a bit ago and I think it’s helped us realize that we both have weaknesses that tend to make the others worse. It’s not ones fault, we just have to work on cherishing each other even when we are not physically around.
He realized he was in the wrong and she now trusts him completely.
My SO worked with an ex that he was still friends with. She had an extra ticket to a football game and invited him. He really wanted to go. I wasn't nuts about it but I wanted to be fair since he was kind about me communicating with an ex of mine. Well, turns out that football game was the Northwestern Ohio State game at Lucas Oil stadium, a 5 hour drive away. That would be a whole weekend trip, with an ex. I finally lost it and accused him of trying to go back to her. I was livid. When he realized what he was thinking about doing he got cold feet and backed out of going, and spent 3 hours on the phone with me to make sure that we were okay. By the end of the night we were both crying, and he promised to never do something like that again because he realized how horrifying and hurtful it was to me. I love him for that. I trust him completely, and I know that he's committed to our relationship. We're still together and planning on getting engaged when I get back from my jobs rotational program.
She's still not over what he put her through entirely, but she's in therapy trying to sort through her feelings.
He went to business school and turned into a totally selfish person. He made decisions to optimize his life for him alone, and it really negatively effected my life. I had to do all the travel when we didn't distance, even though I was in law school. I moved for him and ended up living in a group house with his friends and leaving my dog with my parents for a year. (Before you freak out they love her, they have two dogs who love her and a huge house with a huge yard and she was very happy and had a great year.) Then he committed to a cross country move I didn't want to make.It's been tough getting over all the resentment that built up from him putting himself first, exclusively, for two years, and I'm still not all the way over it. But I love him. I'm in therapy to learn how to ask for what I need better and help me forgive. He has admitted he is ashamed of his behavior and wishes he made different choices. He's a good man. I love him. And hearing him reasonable admit he was wrong and he hurt me felt good. It has also helped he is supporting me through this bar and has been really showing me he is committed and loves and values me.
They invested months into repairing their communication skills.
My SO (now fiancé) did not feel like he could talk to me about how he felt so he turned to a few friends that happened to be girls instead. I happenstance saw some messages when I logged into Facebook and his was already opened. Not knowing it was his, saw the message notification and read it. I confronted him and after a big fight, a few serious conversations, he finally admitted the real reason, which broke my heart. I thought he was cheating, but after showing me the conversations, I saw that it was really him just leaning on them, instead of me. We’ve spent months repairing our communication and found a way to comfortably communicate with each other about everything and he proposed last fall.
The first step in forgiveness? You have to want to forgive them. And, if you don't want to, that's OK as well! You are not forced to be with anyone who hurt you.