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The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Love

All kinds of things bounce around twitter. Quotes from famous people. Social media stats. Links to videos. And sometimes, random shit about love.

Speaking of random shit about love, here’s a doozy:

This was bouncing around a while ago. I grabbed it in a screenshot, knowing I’d want to write about it, sooner or later.

“If you truly love someone you forgive the unforgivable…”


Let’s talk about this. First, before it’s possible to have a (coherent) conversation, I think it’s important to acknowledge that “unforgivable” is a word without static meaning. What is unforgivable for you, might not be for me.  And vice versa. Further, what is unforgivable (by me) is likely to change over time. So, unforgivable is a relative thing, at best.

And then, of course, forgiving the unforgivable... If it were actually unforgivable, you wouldn’t be able to forgive it.

But let’s skip that, for now, and focus on the fact that most people (I assume it’s most) have at some point in their life been in a situation where they’ve forgiven someone they loved for a previously unforgivable act.

I’ve certainly done it.  And believe me, some of the unforgivable things I’ve forgiven have been ridiculous.

I thought that that was what people did. Forgave. Whatever it was. No matter how ridiculous. How painful and humiliating and utterly demoralizing. Forgiveness was a sign that my feelings were true and real. Proof that I was passing some kind of bizarre cosmic test.

Which is all really a load of crap. Some things shouldn’t be forgiven. Some people don’t deserve it. Neither our love or our forgiveness. And attempting to prove, to them or to the universe, that we are worthy by forgiving their nonsense is nothing but a sign of foolishness.

I think.

Or maybe I just don’t get it. Whatever it is.

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26 to “The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Love”

  1. jackie says:

    “You can sew it up but you still see the tear.” ~ Bono.

  2. Nikki says:

    Absolutely agree – some things should not be forgiven. And, the things I’ve forgiven that should not have been? Were not worth it, to me or the other person. They didn’t care, really, if I did or not. I just wanted them to be someone they weren’t, or be sorry about hurt they didn’t REALLY care they caused.

    It the context that seems explicit in this that reflects, to me, that kind of forgiveness. You forgive because YOU love them so much, not because they love you. Your love FOR them? Didn’t stop anything, and shouldn’t be the root of forgiveness. It should be THEIR love for you. Which, btw, should have made their behavior not happen in the first place.

    • Simone Grant says:

      It’s all just a little overwhelming, once you start dissecting it.

    • Dee says:

      I disagree. In my opinion there are two forms of forgiveness, one is when you are in a relationship ( regardless of the type) the other when you are no longer in that relationship (this excludes family). When you are no longer in the relationship you forgive not for the other person but for yourself. You forgive so you don’t carry around negative emotions that can fester and create problems for you both inside your body and in your life.
      Dee recently posted..Contact UsMy Profile

  3. I think at some point you have to forgive the other person…if just for you. Doesn’t mean you have to stay with them, talk to them, or even tell them that you have done so.

    That Twitter quote though: redonculous.

  4. Kelly says:

    Well said lifebeginsat30ty…and great post. Forgiveness to me is more about healing your own heart, not excusing someone else. But this is a slippery slope. What about abusive behavior? The tweet seems to be advocating that it’s ok…whatever someone does to you, if you REALLY love them you’ll forgive. Not right.

  5. jPb says:

    I forgive you. Yes, what you did was terrible. The last of the apple jacks. How could you. That wasn’t a question. I don’t want you to speak. I’m so angry. I don’t know how to tell you. No, I know. This isn’t easy for you either. You didn’t set out this morning, thinking “…boy, I bet I could find a really sinister way to mess him up today.” Look, I get to be mad, and of course, I forgive you. I forgive you because I am hurt, but really, at least half of my hurt is wondering how much pain you must be in. So… how’d the last of the graham crackers go down, you fuck? ~ (sorry ’bout the Twaint, feeling feisty. Please forgive me?)

  6. VJ says:

    OK failing that, (or not liking or appreciating it), how about a different formulation? How about this: ‘Life & Love is often about Enduring the Unendurable’. Forgive is all about time & healing. Endurance takes more constant effort, day in & day out. And sometimes, it’s a life of enduring things that would otherwise be unimaginable otherwise. But mostly? You’ve got to press on because there’s no way back, and no other way to get by. And sometimes? This has even less to do about the commonly conceived nature of love than about pure survival too. And few will come to understand that either. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  7. G/W says:

    I feel like that quote has been written by a teenager- an Edward/Bella worshipping teenager. Young girls convince themselves that they’re a Lurlene McDaniel-esque self-sacrificing heroine and that they are in a sort of “beautiful, tragic” love that you see in crappy modern cinema. It’s just plain stupid.
    You can love him all you want but if he’s hitting you, calling you names, cheating on you… well, that’s not love. That is just you being dumb.

  8. Catherine says:

    I couldn’t possibly agree more. I’m trying to forgive MYSELF for not being able to fogive my ex fiancee. I felt so bad about it, people said that love conquers all. People told me the best thing I could do for myself was to forgive him. The best thing, I think, I can do for myself is forgive myself for NOT forgiving him. And move on.
    Great post!

  9. Alisha Andre says:

    I think this is what we call a true love… you don’t want to hurt the person you love most.. many times you you forgive him/her because of some really ridiculous things just because of our true love… after all its LOVE which matters in the end. may be some people won’t agree with me… but its just my personal feeling and thought for love….

  10. Charlotte says:

    I think the word “unforgivable” implies that it’s something that’s beyond comprehension; something so terrible, so painful, so earth-shattering and awful, which renders it impossible to forgive said person. That’s why I find fault with this statement. It’s so vague and yet my mind immediately jumps and assumes that someone in this equation was having an affair. I’m not sure I could ever forgive someone of this, personally.

    That being said, there are certain situations where “forgive but don’t forget” might be more reasonable, but I suppose it always depends on what we’re talking about here.

    Did this comment make any sense? I’m only on coffee #1 :)

  11. Not only teenagers could write something about love. If you are really in love then you can be childish often times. Love is childish. I agree to that.

  12. Jayelle says:

    forgive for your own sanity maybe… but don’t forget and don’t go back for seconds!
    Jayelle recently posted..When He Doesn’t Call… Not Even A Text Message… Damn!My Profile

  13. There is nothing to forgive!
    You are taking this all wrong. There was love and then the love disappeared, what is wrong with that? The wrong part is that you provably stayed too long; but hey, you were trying you save what you thought it was a good thing, after banging your head against the wall you finally realize there was no use and then you fired the bum. Well done girls, you reacted as you had the right to react. But now is time to move on, “pick the best and leave the rest” and make sure there are no scars. Duel on good only, forget ‘the unwanted’. Men are men, every woman has the right man looming around her social circles but she may not see him, and she is unable to identify him because she thinks that sex is the road to that discovery. No, no, no… sex is for after you have identified your right man, for after you have vetted him and come to the conclusion without any doubts that that man is for you for many years and decades.

  14. You could forgive someone to a limit once its over pass that then its the end which would be worse than any other break up

  15. The thing these days with relationships is that people don’t take them seriously any more. Divorce rates are at an all time high and it’s because of crap like this. This is just riciulous.
    Calvin Fortner recently posted..Gifts Not to Give to HerMy Profile

  16. Carol says:

    In many (but not all) cases, unforgiveness carries with it ongoing resentment/hurt/anger/bitterness, etc. of someone and what they did to you. And if that is the case, it is like drinking poison but expecting the unforgiven person to die.

    Not saying that everyone in every situation deserves to be forgiven, but I think if you can forgive, it is often the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.
    Carol recently posted..Magnetic MessagingMy Profile

  17. EJ says:

    I don’t think forgiveness is for the other person, it is for ourselves. Forgiveness releases a toxic emotion. The person who committed the unforgivable doesn’t even have to know that we have forgiven them.

  18. Mark Dice says:

    That´s absolutely right. Forgiveness is more for ourselves than the other person
    Mark Dice recently posted..What You Need To Know About Dating After DivorceMy Profile