Forgiving and Forgetting

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Recently I have been thinking about forgiveness. They say that to err is human, but to forgive is divine. However, I sometimes find myself in situations where I cannot possibly forgive.

This isn’t a regular occurrence, I hastened to add. There are only a few people this applies to. The most recent one was a friend of mine who repeatedly cheated on his partner, also a friend of mine. I haven’t spoken to him since. There have been social occasions where we have been in the same room and he has attempted to talk to him and I have shunned him. Some people think that is unnecessary behaviour and that I am making things more awkward for everyone else, and that may be true. Not all of our friends feel the same way I do. However, I just can’t do it.

I am not someone who can pretend. I struggle to small talk with strangers, let alone with people I actively dislike. I don’t care how he is and I don’t want to tell him what’s going on with me. I don’t want to have a go at him, I just want us to pretend the other doesn’t exist. I cannot forgive, and even if I could, I could never forget. I actually had a really weird dream that we went on a long walk and talked for ages and I did forgive him, but I knew I could never be friends with him again. I can’t be friends with someone who treats people like that. I think I would feel the same way even if I hadn’t been friends with his partner.

Is that terribly judgemental of me? I know I’m not perfect, but I don’t think I treat people so callously. If I did, to be honest, I wouldn’t expect forgiveness. I think that is what keeps this issue burning for me; he does expect forgiveness, and I know other people think it is time to get over it. It does make me wonder if I am just milking it, but I don’t think I am. Unfortunately it’s just the way I feel.

What’s your opinion? Do you think we should always forgive and forget, or are there some times when it is ok so just completely end a friendship?

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