Relationships can be a lot of fun and full of good times and enjoyment. But all relationships also go through times when they are more challenging, especially when it comes to a disagreement or difference of opinion. In the heat of an argument, things are said that aren’t really meant, and one (or both) of you gets hurt.

It’s hard to go through life without relationships. And it’s hard to be in a relationship or friendship without occasionally getting hurt.

Likewise, your friend or partner could have done something that made you feel unimportant, small, like you don’t matter, or just plain mean and unthoughtful. Sometimes it happens, because we’re all people working our way through this world imperfectly, making mistakes, and doing things we later deeply regret. It doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t care about us, or doesn’t love us.

These things are inevitable. You can’t not hurt people, even accidentally, in a relationship with someone you care about. It happens.

The real question is what do you do about it after it happens? Do you hold on to your anger, frustration, and hurt for a few days… or forever? Or do you find a way to try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes to see things how they see things, and maybe — just maybe — find a way to understand and forgive the other person?

How can you forgive your partner in your relationship for something they did that hurt you terribly?

Ask the Therapists Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. and Daniel J. Tomasulo, Ph.D., TEP, MFA talk about the value of forgiveness in a relationship (and when forgiveness should not be an option). We shouldn’t confuse forgiveness with condoning the other person’s behavior or words, but rather as accepting that something bad happened, and we’d both like to move on.

Check out what Drs. Marie and Dan have to say on the topic: