There is a big difference between reconciliation and forgiveness. When we talk about reconciliation we’re referring to things being restored, whether that be a friendship or an intimate relationship. Forgiveness is letting go of the resentment that you keep hovering over the person. So often times when forgiveness is talked about, we assume that this means that its also a point of reconciliation.
This is not necessarily true however. Let’s go to the extreme here, lets say that you’re with a partner who is the relentless cheater. No matter what you say or do, your partner refuses to relinquish their cheating ways. You’ve done all you can do, you’ve gone to counseling, you’ve shared your heart, you’ve established boundaries and to no avail are they willing to compromise.
While over a time you may find it in your heart to forgive them, meaning you choose to let go of the bitterness, the anger and the lingering grief, not for them alone, but for yourself. Yet the issue of reconciliation becomes a whole separate matter. You knowing that their habits of cheating is detrimental to your heart and you value yourself too much to allow someone so toxic to remain apart of your life, will most likely pass on the option of reconciliation.
I have a friend that we had a fallen out over some disagreements. While we both talked things out to offer forgiveness to one another, I have no interest in reconciliation with this person. Though this person has many wonderful attributes, they also have certain toxic ways as to how they handle life and rejection that I found were infiltrating into our own relationship as friends. Not okay by me. Forgiveness yes, but to have this person back in my life is not an option. I have boundaries as to what type of people I will surround myself with and invest my time into and this particular person isn’t someone that I choose to do so with.
Same in regards to relationship. There are certain character attributes that I look for in a person. Strength, integrity, an openness to communicate from one’s heart and a workability to see things through. The persons history, family life, how they’ve been taught to handle relationships play a huge role. Things like not being able to forgive, harboring anger, weak character are things that I do not find safe nor healthy for my heart, therefore being in an intimate relationship with them is not an option.
In my own relationships when I found this to be the case, while I may forgive the person, reconciliation was out of the question. As you can see, there is a huge difference. So when choosing to forgive, always be aware that you have the choice as to whether or not you will be reconciled with the individual.
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