dande48 wrote: ↑
10 May 2019, 08:43
SilentDawning wrote: ↑
10 May 2019, 07:12
My conclusion is that in committed relationships, the wrong-doer needs to go through many of the same stages of restoration that God requires of people to forgive them. There must be a change in character.
I shared something my wife did 27 years ago in our relationship that really hurt me. She returned to the same kind of behavior many times afterward over the last 2.5 decades. Once she even indicated the pain it was causing me didn't matter to her. There was no way I could forgive the original infraction under those circumstances.
That doesn't sound like a "trust" issue. Shouldn't we try to forgive people, even when there is likely not going to be a change in character? Thinking on the concept of grace and the atonement, aren't we given forgiveness and salvation, despite the fact that we often keep on making the same mistakes over and over again? Sometimes we're oblivious that what we're doing is wrong, or don't feel it is wrong. Sometimes we're weak, or stuck in a bad habit or addiction we're constantly struggling (and failing) to break free from. Or maybe we've lost the will to fight it.
Whatever the reason we keep making the same mistakes, I like to think the atonement (theoretically) covers us. I think it'd do us good to approach others with the same sort of compassion and empathy. But once again, that's a separate issue from "trust".
But remember, to God, the former sins return as a blot on our record if we repent and then return to them. Joseph Smith said that.
I agree, He gives us many chances, and we should forgive as many times as necessary, but the same sin, repeated again, requires yet another round of forgiveness. So, subsequent returns to past sinning behavior mean another round of forgiveness is required. It's not as if someone sins once, we forgive them, and that first forgiveness applies to all subsequent sins of the same kind. Each new sin requires a new forgiveness.
Also, please see my quote from this highly observant pastor and counselor who said that for some people, restoration of trust must come before forgiveness can happen IN SOME SITUATIONS AND WITH SOME PERSONALITIES. I gave it earlier.
Which comes first, forgiveness or trust? I can’t say. It depends on so many variables and the people involved. For some, they can’t forgive until they can trust. For others, they can’t trust until they have forgiven.
Also, I will say again, I think the scriptures are incomplete on matters of trust among mortals and even forgiveness in general. You seem to be interpreting scriptures in what I believe are for arms-length relationships. People are more than willing to entwine trust as a forgiveness in their traditional interpretation of the scriptures on these matters. But as you say, they are two separate processes, and as the quote above says, for some people, the wrong is so deep trust must be restored before forgiveness can happen quickly or even at all in some circumstances -- including long-term committed relationships.
Naturally, time is good for healing and promoting forgiveness. But it won't restore trust without a change of heart in the wrongdoer.
I am convinced I'm not going to get agreement from all people on this. But I think it's fair to say scriptures are incomplete on some issues, or the advice is for certain situations that aren't articulated. That is why we supposedly have an open canon.
For me, in my marriage, my wife I think has decided not to apologize for the wrong of 25 years ago until I can trust her again. I want to forgive, but find it hard to on that issue until I feel I can trust her again. And she wants me to agree to something related to the hurt that could revive her old behavior! If she would follow more of a repentance path, with true behavior change, then it would benefit her. I believe I would not only trust her, but forgive in an instant. And she would get the thing she keeps asking me for, which to me, entails far too much risk of return to a past offence if there isn't a full change in character on her part.
And this is in spite of my tendency to be a slow forgiver.
The other thing to remember -- if the ONLY THING the wrong-doer wants is forgiveness without restoration of trust, they may end up losing the relationship -- something they may value. They may get forgiveness (defined as a lack of angst about the offense in the person wronged), but they may end up in divorce or at least, a severed relationship in which there can no longer be collaboration based on trust.
You don't have to trust, and therefore, collaborate, if you no longer trust another. And if you accept the definition of forgiveness as a lack of angst about the offence, you might even argue that no-contact is a good way to prevent the revival of old feelings that you have dealt with. You may even argue that no-contact is the best way to start forgiving because the wrongdoer is not longer in proximity to reoffend, or provoke memories that you have tried to deal with through forgiveness.