Can Forgiveness Kill Your Relationship?

Some Counterintuitive Wisdom on Infidelity

We’ve all been told to forgive those who wrong us. But sometimes, holding it in can be the wrong approach. That’s what one study suggests, saying that constructive expression of anger can be far more positive in the long run.

The Business Insider Reports:

While many relationship counselors (or friends that think they are relationship counselors) will say the best way to get over a couple clash is to “forgive and forget,” a new study of married couples indicates that when it comes to serious problems, sometimes you and your honey just need to hash it out.

There is a hidden cost of the “forgiveness” part of the “forgive and forget” equation, the researchers said. Forgiveness may hurt the relationship in the long run, even if moving on keeps things calm in the moment.

“We all experience a time in a relationship in which a partner transgresses against us in some way. For example, a partner may be financially irresponsible, unfaithful, or unsupportive,” study researcher James McNulty, of Florida State University, says in a press release from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. “When these events occur, we must decide whether we should be angry and hold onto that anger, or forgive.”

“Trust is so important in relationships and it can be a deal breaker when trust has been broken.” – Psychic Deejay ext. 5435

In his study, McNulty found that a few factors come into play to determine whether to go the forgiveness route or the yelling route. He explains:

“Believing a partner is forgiving leads agreeable people to be less likely to offend that partner and disagreeable people to be more likely to offend that partner,” he says. Additionally, he says, anger can serve an important role in signaling to a transgressing partner that the offensive behavior is not acceptable. “If the partner can do something to resolve a problem that is likely to otherwise continue and negatively affect the relationship, people may experience long-term benefits by temporarily withholding forgiveness and expressing anger.”

The work is a part of a larger study of what makes some relationships work when others fail. McNulty will be giving a talk today, August 2, at the American Psychological Association Annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

What do you think – what’s the best way to handle conflict within a relationship?

“When you love the other more than yourself, the relationship is doomed. Love yourself first.” – Psychic Charrmayne ext. 5058

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One thought on “Can Forgiveness Kill Your Relationship?

  1. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Forgiveness, sometimes, but not all of the time, holds hands wih denial……

    In that I’ve seen cients that would rather forgive the same thing over and over, usually they are in denial, rather than accept the true reality of the situation and move forward with their lives .


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