This may be a sensitive topic for you…forgive that toxic partner? Never!
Forgiving over and over kept you bound in a dangerous relationship much longer than was healthy for you. Now, your friends and family may be urging you to forgive again and ‘just move on.’ Or maybe you’ve been out of the relationship long enough to consider forgiving him/her yet again.
No matter where you find yourself in the process of recovering from a toxic relationship, there is a critical act of forgiveness you must complete. Whether you eventually forgive your former partner or not is a different decision; what’s important now is that you learn to forgive yourself.
Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, King David, the Buddha, everybody.
It’s important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse and learn from them so they don’t happen again. In fact, your ability to do that distinguishes you from your former personality-disordered partner. But most people keep beating themselves up way past the point of usefulness; they’re unfairly self-critical.
Inside the mind are many sub-personalities. For example, one part of me might set the alarm clock for 6 am to get up and exercise . . . and then when it goes off, another part of me could grumble: “Who set the darn clock?”
More broadly, there is a kind of inner critic and inner protector inside each of us. For most people, that inner critic is continually yammering away, looking for something, anything, to find fault with. It magnifies small failings into big ones, punishes you over and over for things long past, ignores the larger context and doesn’t credit you for your efforts to make amends. Your toxic partner knew how to capitalize on this voice.