Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some things are too Serious to be Forgiven

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I was discussing the Evelyn Lozada and Ochocinco divorce [resulting from infidelity and domestic violence] as well this recent Rihanna revelations about her love for Chris Brown with Atala and he decided to write down his thoughts and share with us. Read and chip into the discussion...

I see a lot conflict in relationships where one person did something that causes the other person to be hurt. Even though the transgressor swears blind, “I didn’t really mean to hurt him/her”, the victim is still deeply pained. Even before we consider the effect of such hurtful actions, one question that arises in response to the claim of "I didn't mean..." is, “really?” If the actions in this case are of several deliberate steps, like those involved in maintaining a series of extramarital affairs, or in long running violence to their partner, it’s a hard claim to believe.

I feel that if people know their actions will cause someone hurt; and they had the presence of mind to stop themselves but go ahead in carrying out those actions, it rings hollow to claim it wasn’t their intention to cause any hurt. It’s like a person who, without compulsion, drives while drunk, kills someone and then claims that they never intended to take a life. The fact is that such protestations will not bring the dead to life.

I remember as a child, a china plate would sometimes slip from my hands and break in the course of bringing my parent's food to the dining table. My parents used to be exceedingly displeased at what they termed my carelessness, and would scold me accordingly, saying that I should be more careful. I never did see it that way. In fact, I thought they were being unfair, after all, my intention was never to break the plate. I wished my parents understood that I felt as bad at its breakage as they did, but it seemed all they cared about was the precious plate. I felt they should have been consoling me instead!

Fast forward many years later, and as an adult, I am looking at things from my parents’ of view. I can see that no matter what my intentions may have been, it was the effects of my actions that we would all have to live with. No amount of good intentions could repair a plate that might have cost them a significant amount of money to buy, and whose loss would make serving meals more inconvenient.

But then, I have to bear in mind that not all actions that cause hurt are deliberate, and here, things become harder to call out. What if, in the example above, the person who hurt his or her partner had not engaged in a long-running extramarital affair, but a one-night stand? What if there was just one incident of violence? What if his or her actions weren’t because of a clear decision that he or she was not happy with the spouse, but they were because of a night of foolish, drunken partying? What if they deeply regret their action and want to make it right? Shouldn't the one who has been hurt just let it go?

I know in real life, letting go is not as easy as it is for me to write about it. I believe that everyone wants some certainty of happiness in their relationships, and being able to depend on their partner for some of that. If they can be sure they won’t be hurt again, then that’s something that would make it easier to forgive, even if it’s impossible to forget. in such a scenario, the onus is on the transgressor to make tangible amends and solid plans that indicate how they will change and not revert to their hurtful ways in the future.

However, if the person who has been hurt feels that their peace of mind is gone, then who am I to preach forgiveness? This is not at all to say that I don't think the victim or the person who has been hurt is without any obligations to forgive. Nobody is perfect, and he or she should remember that tomorrow, the tables might be reversed. Would they want be judged as harshly as they are judging the person who has hurt them today? It is important to hear the other person out, consider their intentions, and not make a snap judgement.

However, while the nice side of me understands that intentions are important and about being considerate in deciding to forgive and move on, another part thinks, "surely some things are just too serious to be forgiven no matter how good intentioned the ‘sinner’ was, no matter how sorry for them he or she is?"

Sometimes also, the result of their action makes it hard to forget, even if it’s possible to forgive. For example, it could result in broken trust in the relationship, a contraction of a sexually transmitted disease or a child for another person. Even after the incident is past, these are things that still remain to be dealt with, and dealing with them continuously serves as a reminder as to what has happened. How then will the partners be able to genuinely move on?


So what do you think, are there some things too serious to be forgotten and pushed aside, even if we have forgiven?


  1. I really like most of the words Atala used!! it speaks mostly about my situation,where he wrote and I quote that"Nobody is perfect and he/she should remember that tomorrow,the tables might be reversed,would they want to be judged as harshly as they are judging the person who has hurt them today,it is important to hear the other person out and consider their intentions and not make snap judgement,it talks about my case of been in a relationship faithfully for 7yrs,and one day the guy decided to call it off cos my father made a comment about him,which I decided to tell him,and he got angry that my father has no right to say that about him,and said I did not take his side,he never gave me a chance to explain anythin, throught the relationship he hurt me so many times but because of the love I had for him I always forgive him,whenever he does something for me,he never fails to let me remember that without him it would not have been done even after years of doing anything he claims he did,so he decided to call it off by making me a laughing stock in front of my Friends and family whom I have told that I would be getting married soon,I begged and pleaded all to no avail,we should learn to forgive and forget,I decided to let him go and i have handed him over to God, because no one knows tomorrow,especially when the person deeply regrets their actions and want to make it right,if God can forgive us of our sins daily then who are we not to forgive.

    1. Babes, I've realised that when a man loves you and wants to stay, nothing can make him leave you...Trust me, I'm talking from experience.

      PS: You seem to be more worried about getting married and what people will say than anything else. Take heart and keep busy, the right man will come when you least expect

  2. I cant say if somethings are too difficult to forgive or not. Especially as Atala said people hurt you and deny any pre-conceived intention? I think it makes it difficult to forgive and forget because they would still not acknowledge they were wrong. I recently left a relationship because he will constantly play the victim. even when he hurts me he will turn round and accuse me of being the instigator of his actions. It is not that i couldnt forgive his actions but i could no longer consent to an individual that continually refuse to take responsibility for his actions and inactions. I refuse to be played the guilt card. I was in the relationship for 2 years and now that it is done, i only have sighs of reliefs and no iota of pain or broken heart.

    1. Goodness gracious, looks like we dated the same guy. He was always the victiom and never the villan with everyone... me, his family, colleagues, even pastor sef. So glad I left man! So glad I left

  3. Forgiveness is God's plan
    I have been able to forgive
    That you forgive does not mean you don't get hurt
    It just means you refuse to be controlled by the hurt
    there is nothing unforgivable
    But don't put yourself in a position where you
    have to be consistently forgiving one.

    Forgive it is.
    But the person in question should not be bugged to
    forgive, the timinig is up to the person who was hurt.
    So its real and not an act!

    Nuff said!
    First comment that is not anonymous

  4. Myne I always enjoy your writings. I do not know you personally but I am happy to say you are actually one of the sources of my inspiration to keep on doing what I do here in blogville. That being said, I cannot differ from truth and that is - except for when someone blasphemes against God's Hol Spirit, there is nothing too serious that it cannot be forgiven. I wrote on the topic of forgiveness recently that it is not an option, but a necessity. And as Tisha Smith quite rightly said, forgiveness is God's plan. We must forgive those who have trespassed against us in order for us to receive forgiveness from God for our own sins. How many times must we forgive? The bible says 70 x 7 (490 times)Would we have someone wrong us so many times in our lifetime? Yes, maybe not! Truth is forgiveness is liberating, it frees our body soul and spirit from toxins that could eventually lead to cancer and other forms of diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases etc. When we forgive we are free to move on and embrace life in a new and meaningful way.

  5. Thank you so much for this post, Myne. I can't believe I've been checking out your site for the past 2hrs and at 1.15a.m, I'm still here!lol
    Well, I think my case is a bit different as I discovered a few months back that my husband slept with another lady. This was less than 2mths after our second child,a nd 2 months to our fourth year wedding anniversary. To say that I was deeply hurt is putting it mildly.... I wept like never before and some of my thoughts included divorce and even suicide. When I confronted him, he opened up and told me it was just a one-night stand and apologised for his actions. I forgave him (or looking back now, so I thought), but the whole event still plays in my mind/head and I just feel a surge of hatred all over again. I think what makes it worse is the fact that in spite of all taht happened, I am the one who's trying to put things right(reading books, etc) and my hubby just seems to be all engrossed in his work and all, and never wants to re-visit the issue; liek all is/was well.
    We are both christians but I need to confess that sometimes I feel that getting even may make me feel better 'cos the lady is white and we're both from naija(I feel he just wanted some adventure)... It's really eating me up as I still ahve a lot of questions to ask but he doesn't like talking about it, saying it's not easy for him...I hope I'll get some closure here... Thank you and God bless.

  6. Forgiveness doesn't mean you are a weakling, it actually means you are strong enough not to allow someone else determine your happiness.
    @ Anon 10.17, give your husband time, I guess he feels gulity for what he did, prayerfully commit it to God, ask Him to help you forgive both your husband and the lady, with time, your husband will be strong enough to talk to you about it. Get rid of the thought of getting even, remember what the Bible says in Romans 12: 17 - 21

    Check my post on forgiveness for more

    May God help you to truly forgive

  7. My dear, I don't pray to do what will make a person feel bad as to having to be struggling with severe pains to forgive..its not easy..some pple are just d devil demselves..maybe it is time that can heal..its equal to madness..I'm still shedding tears...may God help us all, amen!


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