Forgiveness is not justification for inviting, permitting or rewarding continued violations, offenses or abuse. Forgiveness does not absolve you of your responsibility to honor, esteem, respect — and protect — yourself. You can let go of anger, bitterness and resentment, forgive debts and forget losses, and pardon or excuse violations and poor treatment without staying in unhealthy relationships. While it violates the spirit of forgiveness to end a relationship or reject a person in order to hurt them or as a form of retaliation or punishment, it does not violate that spirit to end unhealthy relationships as an act of self-love.
If you associate love with suffering, stress and drama, with intermittent moments of happiness and hopes of things going back to the way it used to be (or getting to the way you dreamed it could be), you’re not in a relationship; you’re serving a sentence. Love has nothing to do with it. When you tolerate mistreatment from someone you love, the question is not why they don’t love you more, but why you don’t love yourself enough. As long as you tolerate what you don’t want, you’ll continue to get it, no matter how persistently and loudly you protest.
Healthy, Grown relationships never require you to be a voluntary victim, and self-love does not tolerate unhealthy relationships or unloving treatment in the name of forgiveness. To allow an ongoing pattern of hurtful choices or abusive conduct is not forgiveness at all; it’s acceptance. Don’t get forgiveness twisted. A forgiving heart does not require you to accept unloving treatment.
Even if everyone deserves another chance, you don’t have to be the one to give it to them. While your ego will tell you otherwise, your repeatedly forgiving unacceptable behavior does not give the offender an incentive to change. It only signals your willingness to tolerate (and thus reward) the behavior, increasing the likelihood of it being repeated.
Read the full article by Zara Green and Alfred Edmond, Jr.: Forgiveness is Not Accepting Unloving Treatment, then come back and tell us what you think.