Couples and Forgiveness


The hurt can be enormous.

Humiliation. When you are ridiculed by others – especially during childhood, as often happens when children are called derisive names – or when your pride is wounded, as might happen when a supervisor at work berates you in front of others, the assault on your dignity may impel you to hide, put up impenetrable walls, and vow never to be hurt again.

Rejection. When you are rejected or abandoned, you experience loss – but perhaps more important is the fact that you hear the message that you are not good enough. You must deal with grieving the loss of an important emotional bond – and your self-image is assaulted as well. The fear of abandonment is a powerful force in the lives of many people. This fear can have a strong impact on the way they relate to the world and other people.

Deception. Some people may manipulate or lie to you, using you to further their own goals. This occurs, for example, when you are asked to keep “family secrets” or to deny real problems. Not only do you learn to distrust others, but you might also come to distrust your own judgment for falling prey to the deceptions of other people. This harms your ability to trust, and your self-esteem as well.

Abuse. We hear about abuse frequently in the media these days. Abuse comes in many forms – physical, emotional, sexual, or through neglect – and it can happen in childhood or in an adult relationship. Many people who suffered from abuse during their childhoods go straight into an abusive adult relationship. The consequences are enormous for the victim. You feel low, unable to share with others and suspect that others must somehow know about your horrible secrets. You are left with a sense of powerlessness and a legacy of guilt and shame.

Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT