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How to Forgive Yourself for Staying in a Bad Relationship

You saw the signs, but you ignored your intuition and your friends’ warnings. Here’s how to forgive yourself for staying in a bad relationship for far too long.

forgiving yourself for stayingHow To Forgive Ourselves Totally: Begin Again by Breaking Free from Past Mistakes by R.T. Kendall is a clear and compelling book that leads us towards the experience of freedom and peace that can only come when we walk in total forgiveness. We have not totally forgiven until we have forgiven ourselves as well as those who have hurt us.

These tips on self-forgiveness are inspired by a reader’s comment. She says: “I’ve been in a bad relationship with someone since I was 12. I’m now 21 and have a daughter with my latest and not-so-greatest boyfriend. It’s ridiculous. I have no idea how to function on my own, yet here I am trying to start my own business. I’m stupid for doing that, I know. But I have a list of high standards a mile long for how to raise my daughter and I can’t live up to them because I’m insecure and stupid.”

(I actually think it takes a great deal of security and confidence to try to start your own business when you’re struggling about staying in a bad relationship! I think she’s smarter than she realizes, and I hope she sees that.).

“Her dad has a very unhealthy brain, more unhealthy than mine, and I’ve tried to get him to do a healing program with me but he doesn’t think he has a problem. Yes, he’s a pothead alcoholic who only thinks of himself. All I wanted was to prove to my parents that I could bring home somebody respectable….how do I forgive myself for staying in this relationship?”

Forgiving Yourself for a Bad Relationship

Give yourself credit for recognizing your mistakes. You searched the internet for tips on how to forgive yourself for staying in a bad relationship. You know he’s not good for you, and you want to change your life. You want something better for yourself and your daughter. The good news is, you’ve taken the first step to healing and moving on! That’s amazing, and you need to commend yourself for pulling this far out of your relationship.

Allow yourself to try something new. You have dreams – you want to start your own business! That is incredible – it’s not stupid. The more you try to create your own life, the more able you’ll be to forgive yourself for staying in a bad relationship. If you want to work from home, read my article about 30 Home Based Business Ideas. Get yourself independent, self-sufficient, and strong! It’s not stupid to start your own business when you’re in a bad relationship. Your experiences will help you learn how to forgive yourself for staying with him.

Cut yourself some slack! We can be so hard on ourselves – it’s awful! We beat ourselves up for staying in bad relationships, we criticize ourselves for being selfish, we rake ourselves over the coal for wanting more. Go easy on yourself, my friend. Love and accept yourself. This is my favorite tip on how to forgive yourself for staying in a bad relationship, because I’m very hard on myself. Love yourself. Remember that you deserve better.

forgive yourself bad relationshipLet go of the past. How to Let Go of Someone You Love has always been one of my most popular articles, because it’s the hardest thing to do. After you learn how to forgive yourself for staying in a bad relationship, you need to let go of the past. Forgive him, forgive everyone involved, and remember that you stayed because it seemed like the best thing to do.

How do you know when you’ve forgiven yourself for staying in a bad relationship? “At some point, you reach a turning point. Something shifts. You feel less burdened, you have more energy. You live longer, you have better health,” says Joretta L. Marshall, PhD, a United Methodist minister and professor of pastoral care at the Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

What do you think about these tips on forgiving yourself for staying in a bad relationship? I welcome your comments below. I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience.

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4 thoughts on “How to Forgive Yourself for Staying in a Bad Relationship”

  1. Where is your article about 30 home base businesses ? Thanks for your inspirational articles. They are helping. Me..

  2. Dear Hedy,

    He isolated you, and you stayed in a bad relationship because you didn’t know better. You did all you could to survive — you did the best you could with what you knew at that time in your life.

    It is finished. It is over. You responded to your life and relationship in the best way you knew how, and if you continue to beat yourself up, you’re letting him win.

    The only way you can win – and be truly healthy – is to learn how to forgive yourself for staying with him. Sometimes, the only way to get to that point is to talk your way through with a counselor. Learn why you’re gripping the past so tightly, and how you can learn to let go.

    Also, sign up for my SheBlossoms newsletter! I send weekly insights and inspirations :-)

    Be kind to yourself, be gentle, and treat yourself with love and respect,

  3. Everything you say makes sense but I can’t seem to get out of the past. I keep thinking why didn’t I leave when I saw the signs. I know that I lived with constant abuse and name calling. When I wanted to leave he would threaten me, soon would convince myself that maybe it can get better but it never did . He isolated me.

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