Can you Forgive and Forget?

forgive and forget
Soila Sindiyo Child Trauma Therapist and Founder of The Divorce Magazine
Soila Sindiyo
Child Trauma Therapist and Founder of The Divorce Magazine

So here’s the story…

My really good friend, Samantha (definitely not her real name) has been divorced for almost 7 years now but if you met her today, you would think it all happened 15 days ago. 

She goes on and on about her useless, lying, cheating ex-husband!

I don’t think Sam has one friend who has  not tried to encourage her to move on.  

“I have moved on!  Of course I’ve moved on!  Otherwise I wouldn’t be dating would I?”  She sings, “I have forgiven him but I will never, ever forget!”  That statement right there has become her line of defence, the  soundtrack to her life. 

In your own situation, have you been able to forgive and forget?

“I will forgive but I never forget” is one of those phrases that we use all the time.

Thing is such a phrase doesn’t actually mean anything.  So you can say what you like but the big question is this: At the end of the day do you have emotional closure?” Answer is no.  You see if you never forget it means that you keep remembering and when the memory hits you, your emotions are affected, especially when you are determined never to forget.

By not forgiving –

  • You have chosen to hold yourself hostage to your own past.  You have given up the power to not only create a new happy future but also surrendered the ability to enjoy the here and now.  No one else is doing this to you but you.  Like some once said, “Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.”  Try it and see.
  • forgive and forget
    “Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.”

    While you continue on your unforgiving route, you carry other emotions that can be so pervasive that they consume you and affect the way you are with others including friends, partners and your children.   To be unforgiving brings in anger and resentment, emotions that affect your heart and your mind.  Thing is, if you really want to “teach” your ex a lesson then forgive him/her.  Like Oscar Wilde said  “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”

  • Did you know that there are physiological benefits to forgiveness? Very briefly, here’s how:  when you carry a negative laden emotion such as being in the state of unforgiving (which carries other emotions such as anger and hurt), your body will continue to release such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol.  These will then affect both your immune and cardiovascular systems which can then make you vulnerable to illness and diseases. But when let go off those emotions then your body settles down and starts to return to self-regulation or self-healing.  What does forgiveness really mean?  Why is it so important to our wellbeing?  If you would like to know more watch Deepak Chopra’s video here on “How Does Forgiveness Heal” and read more here.

In the meantime, Sam’s ex has remarried, has a new family and has moved to a new city.  As for my dear friend any man who comes her way – “Not interested.  They are all the same” she sings.

Forgiving is not easy and maybe you need to learn how to forgive yourself first before you begin with anyone else.  Learn to forgive?  That’s freedom!  That’s a gift you give to yourself.


Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce

She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.

Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.

Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.

You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email 

1 Comment

  1. It is hard to be patient with a friend whose conversation is 95% about her distant divorce. Had one of those friends too and then she became fixated upon mine. Eventually when I refused to discuss our divorces, she disappeared.

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