couple in trouble

Should she forgive and forget?

TOH SMALL 11Dear Housewife:

Does forgiving mean forgetting? Some people say in order to truly forgive a person you must forget what they did. What do you think?

– Hurt in Philly

Dear Hurt in Philly: 

If I had a dollar for every time I had to forgive, I would be a millionaire! Half of that would be from forgiving my husband!  Frankly, while I think that it is humanly impossible to forget some offenses, I do, however, think that it is possible to remember them differently.  What I mean is that the association of that person with the offense no longer has the same amount of sting.  We are not bitter.   It is physically and mentally unhealthy to be unforgiving.  When we choose to forgive and forget (or remember differently), both the offender and ourselves are released from the prison of bitterness.   Some people associate forgetting with “picking up where you left off” with the offender.  This may not be wise depending on the offense.  There is a saying, “You burn me once, shame on you.  Burn me twice, shame on me.”   Sometimes it may be best to part on peaceful terms.

(Featured Illustration by Jim McHugh. Homepage image Copyright 2014 by CanStock Photo)

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one cannot erase their memory, but forgiving to me means to forgetting to bring it up when times get rough….otherwise forgiving is forgotten..

Marianne Holt

Great article LaVeta!

I recently asked that very same question while in fellowship after bible study. What I learned was forgetting in a sense that you no longer hold the wrongs forgiven against the offender and the offended no longer dwells on it, freeing the offended and the offender to move on.

I don’t think you actually forget and in some cases, like domestic abuse, it may be dangerous to forget. LaVeta I agree, it’s humanly impossible to forget, heck, it’s humanly impossible to forgive (some offenses); we need the Grace of God for that.

Sheila English

Forgiving releases the pain and suffering inside you…No you Never forget,but forever holding it inside only tears You up….so release by forgiving,letting it go and moving on.

Boss Bev Billions

I agree also I think its better to forgive and let it go completely or like u say remembering differently y remember the bitterness tht means u really haven’t forgave I would rather forgive and put it all the way out of my head because then u can go on with ur life whole heartedly

June Wilson

Excellent post! Great column, too. I just subscribed 😀


Excellent post! Great column, too. I just subscribed 😀


There is a lot of wisdom in the article. Well stated.

David Kierniesky

If you value trust in a relationship, forgiving someone who breaks that
trust on multiple occassions is simply not going to happen as far as I’m
concerned. It is very true that when you hold onto bitterness, it’s not healthy. Once you reach the level of bitter, cannot get past the bitter, that’s when you must part ways. The more you love & respect someone, the easier it is to forgive. I enjoy these columns LaVeta!!!


I agree with forgiving. Remembering differently is perfect. Forgetting may be foolish. Remembering differently is grown up talk. We must also pay attention so that the same thing isn’t happening over and over again.

Solomon Jones

I don’t know why LaVeta had to put me on blast with her answer :). But I really do think she’s on the right track regarding forgiveness. Holding on to anger eats you up. I know. I’ve done it.

Avis C. Davenport

Remembering differently is the same as not forgetting. Using forgiving and forgetting in the same sentence is an oxymoron. I believe only God can forgive and forget, if you believe in a higher being. And since we are not God, I believe we are not capable of forgetting. We don’t forget simply because once forgiven, we store whatever was done in our “black box” so we don’t allow it to happen again.


What I often run into are the situations where if I happen to bring up a past incident, it’s taken as if I never let it go when really I’m trying to show the correlation between that past issue with this present one, that you seem are two different situations because the present one benefits you more……If that makes sense to ya’ll….lol