5 Ways to Forgive Your Partner After They’ve Hurt You

It’s true that a relationship needs love to get you through even the toughest of times, but there’s another component that must be present: trust. When you feel hurt from your partner’s words or unfair actions, you may feel like your trust in them has been compromised, and it might even be difficult imagining a future with them. If you’ve decided to give your partner one more chance, then it’s important to truly forgive them. Continuing internalize your hurt and angercould lead to resentment in the long run, which can completely sabotage your relationship. Here are a few ways to forgive your partner fully after they’ve hurt you.

1. Consider why the incident upset you

Man upset and sitting on the edge of the bed

Forgiveness is tough, but you can learn a little about yourself in the process. | iStock.com

Whether your partner said something hurtful or their actions showcased a dark side of them you didn’t like, there was something about the incident itself that upset you. Instead of angrily fuming during a conversation about it, now may be the time to step away and consider your own thoughts and feelings.

Dina Strada for The Huffington Post explains that when you’re upset with anyone in your life, you should try to look inward and ask yourself what really upset you about the incident. Is there something about your partner’s actions that seems to mirror something you intensely dislike about yourself? Can you take some responsibility as to why this incident took place at all? Our own resentments we’ve built over the years may resurface when our partners wrong us, so it’s important to acknowledge exactly why you’re feeling the way you feel in order to truly forgive them.

2. Forgive them for your own peace of mind

Couple fighting outside

Learn to forgive for your own benefit. | iStock.com

If you find yourself having trouble forgiving your partner’s actions, take a few minutes to think about why you’re forgiving them in the first place. If you forgive your partner for their sake or for the sake of the relationship,  you could be neglecting your own feelings. Learn to forgive your partner for you. Happify Daily goes so far as to say forgiving others is “a gift you give to yourself.” It’s not selfish to consider your own feelings, and you’ll be much more able to fully forgive this way.

3. Accept behaviors that are not likely to change

Gay Couple at Park

Accept and forgive the minor behaviors in your partner that probably won’t change in the future. | iStock.com/william87

Once you’ve pinpointed exactly what upset you about your partner’s behavior, you probably quickly moved on to what they can do better in the future. It’s not quite that simple. Psychology Today explains that when we first enter a relationship, we almost instinctively know what kind of behaviors our partner likes and adjust accordingly. As you grow together with a person, you both shed this persona and allow your true selves to shine, which also means you’re both likely to get annoyed with a few behaviors you didn’t see at first. If you know certain behaviors are definitely not going to change, then accept them and forgive them, or move on to someone new.

4. Don’t go to sleep angry

couple outside in the grass

Forgive your partner before you go to bed. | iStock.com

If your partner has angered you, this can sometimes lead to an all-night conversation about what happened, why it happened, and how to move forward. It might take a long time, but it’s worth it to hash things out right then and there. Lifehacker notes a study performed by UMass Amherst neuroscientists found negative emotional responses lessen in severity if you continue to stay awake. If you go right to sleep when you’re still feeling angry, you’re more likely to have the same angry reaction when you resume the conversation the next day.

When your partner hurts you, tell them (and yourself) that you’re going to resolve this before you go to sleep. This sets a deadline so that you can have a productive conversation, and it allows you to start the next day completely fresh.

5. Know that you have control over your own feelings

Female couple relax in bed with a laptop

Take ownership of how you feel. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Anger, sadness, and resentment can make you feel like you’ve completely lost control of your relationship. But it’s important to note you’re the keeper of your own emotion. Take ownership of your own emotions, and you may find that forgiveness becomes a lot easier.

Dr. Wayne Dyer notes that in times of forgiveness, sometimes it’s most important to be kind instead of right. You may feel like you want to “win” against your partner when they’ve hurt you, but this attitude will never lead to true forgiveness. Learn to be soft during conversations and more understanding. Your partner may be acting frantically, but you don’t have to respond in the same way. Controlling your own feelings will make you and your partner feel more able to move forward after an incident.