Great Relationship Advice: The Ability to Apologize and Forgive

I'm sorry can be words that are much too easy to say. The notion of apology and forgiveness in relationships takes "I'm sorry" into new territory that can be very healing and actually have meaning.

The ability to apologize and to forgive is crucial to any long-term relationship. Many of us find it difficult to apologize.

In order for an apology to be genuine, at least three elements need to be present:

1) genuine remorse

2) a commitment to 'turning away' from similar behavior in the future

3) a willingness to make whatever amends might be necessary

Forgiveness can be very healing, and very difficult

There are many times in long term relationships when you just do not feel like forgiving. Forgiveness, much like genuine love, is an act of will, not just a feeling. When you forgive someone, you're not condoning his or her behavior. Your forgiveness releases you from the pain and hurt of that person's actions.

In long-term relationships there are two important parts to apology and forgiveness. The first is to clean up and put aside any old hurts and resentments. The second part involves keeping the slate clean. As issues come up, apologize, forgive and move on.

One last tip - forgive as much, or more, as you would like to be forgiven.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

In The News:

How to Have a Relationship and a Career  Harvard Business Review
Is Lack of Gratitude Dragging Down Your Relationship?  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
The Key to Relationships  Psychology Today

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