Q: I know you’ve often said that we need to forgive those who hurt us, but what if it doesn’t do any good and they just keep hurting you? No matter what I say, this person keeps doing the same hurtful things to me. How much should I put up with? — J.R.
A: I doubt there has ever been a personal relationship in which one party did not hurt the other in some way. Granting someone forgiveness after they have hurt you is a strong way of showing them how much you value your relationship. However, in a healthy relationship, forgiveness should flow both ways and each individual should learn from past transgressions to avoid causing pain in the future. If this person continues to hurt you, your relationship is not a healthy one. You need not continue to forgive his or her actions. I would urge you to recommend that this other person seek counseling and to limit your interactions until you see that they are honestly trying to change their behavior.
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