So last year I entered into an unhealthy romantic relationship with a friend/classmate of mine. My family knew her, but rightly didn’t approve. In light of that, we simply hid the fact that we were dating from them. After about a month, my parents found out and cut it off, but I continued going back to school soon afterwards. After a few weeks of keeping my distance, we started talking again, and eventually continued our relationship, this time with a higher level of secrecy as my parents thought we didn’t talk at all anymore. This time it went for months, and by the time they found out it had been close to half a year. During this time, I lied to them, I manipulated them through my lies, and I pushed everyone away while simultaneously blaming them for the subsequent distance. It was about 8 months ago these events ended, and I still haven’t forgiven myself, even though my family has. My parents have made it repeatedly clear that they have forgiven me and that they don’t see me any different or love me any less. My siblings never even acknowledge that it happened at this point, and I don’t either. Despite that I still feel like I have to earn a forgiveness I’ve already been given. I try to act in the opposite manner as I did then. For example, I would always need to have my phone on me, fully charged, and on silent at all times, as to make sure they wouldn’t see her texting me. Now, I often consciously chose to leave my phone laying around, with my notification volume on high, and I don’t rush to keep it fully charged. I’m trying my best to be as helpful as possible like with taking care if my young siblings, and running to the store when needed or whatever. I just feel like I shouldn’t be forgiven so easily without doing something to earn it. I hurt my whole family badly, and I don’t feel like that should be forgiven yet.
Hey Sam, I understand how it can be difficult for you to forgive yourself even when everyone you care about has forgiven you. I’ve felt like I can’t trust myself to be open and honest with loved ones when I’ve done this, and over time I’ve learned to forgive myself and to be more open and honest when I try to focus all my energy on rebuilding relationships with those around me. Most importantly though, I’ve found it helpful to focus on improving myself as a person and learning to love myself more in making it easier to forgive myself of my past mistakes. When you take a critical but loving look at yourself, you realize quickly that you’re nothing more than human and you’re going to make mistakes that you can hopefully learn from in the future.
You’re obviously very caring about your family, I can feel it in your words that it hurt you to hurt your loved ones. You’re worthy of forgiveness, your family has already shown you that. You just need to start seeing that yourself, and you will! We’re all worthy of forgiveness, if not for the sake of others than at least for ourselves! Good luck, hold fast!
@Sam Hey same I am a intern here at HeartSupport and wanted to say first thank you for sharing. Im sorry you feel that though your family has forgiven you you do not feel you deserve forgiveness. The beauty of forgivness is that it is a process. You need to walk in it.
When as personally as a Christian I personally believe that forgiveness doesn’t just work like or hey I am forgiven now all is well. No Forgiveness is a working process. Your Family has forgiven you so work in that work towards bettering yourself. Which from the looks from it is what you are doing. This will take time for you personally for sure but talk to your parents and explain that you feel you do not deserve being forgiven and you want them to help you get past that.
I once had to do this also. It is fruitful be honest and share with your loving parents.
Love and Blessings
Morgan Vincent Hochstetler
I can’t really offer you any words of wisdom but I do umderstand what you are going through. I was in a secret reationship with a guy that my parents didn’t like and they broke it off 2 months in. That situation was a good one, I haven’t spoken to him since and we probably wouldn’t click now, so even though at the time it sucked, it was a good thing. I was in another secret relationship after that because I am queer and I was with a trans guy, and my parents didn’t particularily care for him either (they knew him as just a friend, like in your case). That relationship overall was good - I learned a ton about relationships and myself during the ~4 years we were together. Although we didn’t end on great terms and there were definitely issues in that relationship, overall I don’t regret that decision (and my parents never found out about that one). I guess sometimes it’s hard to know what to do - I think parents can be right about a lot of things even if we don’t understand their thinking in the moment, but I also know I would not be the same person if I hadn’t dated the second person. Best of luck to you.
Thank you for trusting us with this. I can see that you are very much blaming yourself and having a hard time forgiving yourself. I can tell that you are a loving and intentional person and the loyalty and responsibility you feel to your family is very honorable! I commend you for it.
I also totally understand where you are coming from. I engaged in a relationship with a girl in high school and hid the intensity of it from my family for months and months until I too got busted. I know the toll that shame and guilt can have on the soul.
I think, however, that you know that your parents love you. You said that they have proven that. I think the next step, and perhaps what is causing all this frustration, is you haven’t learned to forgive yourself. However that needs to look, I pray that you arrive a place where you can be at peace with yourself, because everyone around you, including us, love you and no one holds this against you. The final bridge to be mended is the one that exists within you.
Hold fast, bud!