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Am I obligated to immediately forgive someone for a wrongdoing just because they are family?

25 Answers
Last Updated: 11/30/2020 at 5:18pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Halayma Khatun, M.A Theology(U.K, UAE), Diploma With Distinction in Counseling, Certification trauma abandonment


Compassionate, patient, experienced depression counselor. I use Psychodynamic counseling techniques. My counseling experience is +8 years, I counsel women.

Top Rated Answers
April 8th, 2015 9:44pm
No, you're not. Wrong-doing, regardless of whom did it doesn't require immediate forgiveness. Just because someone is related to you that doesn't mean they're entitled to be forgiven, forgiveness, like respect has to be earned. -Also, just another thought, I've actually had people that are by-blood related family that are worse than the family I've created for myself. With that, the people you choose to be family with as it were, I feel like forgiveness is easier because you chose each other and don't go out of your way to harm one another. The family you're born and in some cases 'stuck' with, it can be a bit different. With that, forgiveness isn't an automatic because you share DNA with someone.
May 6th, 2015 7:15pm
Not at all, family or not we all have our limits. It hurts even worse because it's your own family that hurt you, make them aware of this and how they made you feel and that you'll need some time to forgive them.
May 7th, 2015 10:37pm
No, absolutely not. Forgiveness is something many people struggle with, me included. Forgiveness must be earned by the person, family or not.
September 13th, 2016 12:53am
No. If you feel like someone in your family did you wrong, you don't have to forgive them just because they are family. You, as a person were wronged, and just because the person who did it was family doesn't make it okay.
February 24th, 2015 5:00am
It takes a lot of emotional energy to hold a grudge. Forgiveness is more beneficial for ourselves than for the person who wronged us. It's said that holding onto resentment is like hurting yourself and expecting someone else to bleed. In the case of a pattern of behavior, it makes sense to adjust our circumstances/ behavior to prevent the same thing from happening. If the threat has passed however, it will go a long way toward family harmony and rebuilding trust if we can leave the past in the past.
May 8th, 2015 1:28pm
No, you are not. You need to forgive people because it will help you to let go and not hold on on into things that might hurt you in time. Forgiving is healthy so you dont have to do so because people is family, yo need to do it beause you want to and is going to make you feel good, but is alright o be angry with someone for a little while.
May 20th, 2015 6:45am
If a family member has affected you deeply, you are not obligated to forgive or forget. Having said this, it does not mean that you should hold onto this pain. While we are sometimes hurt by those we love, discern the situation and ask yourself questions such as: What was the intent of the person who hurt me? Is this something I can live with and forgive? Will they hurt me again? How will I be affected without this person in my life? Do I want to forgive or am I still angry at the situation? Remember, it is your life to choose who you allow in your heart and you deserve to be respected and loved regardless of their position.
May 21st, 2015 9:05am
No, you have the right to go through a process. You need to first learn how to deal with what was done wrong. Family will always be family, and forgiving is an option and not an obligation.
July 14th, 2015 4:28pm
No. Family is just a tag. They're given it so that you and others know who is affiliated with you through DNA. Nothing more, nothing less. No matter if they're a family member, friend, colleague etc, they are all human and we should all be responsible for our own actions, no matter the link between you and the other person or people. Respect is what should hold people together, not a tag. I hope this information helps. =D
December 1st, 2015 8:36pm
Absolutely not. Forgiveness is not granted, it's earned. If they only say sorry for you to forgive them so their conscience is clear, then they are not truly sorry.
December 7th, 2015 9:43pm
No, you're not obligated to immediately forgive someone for a wrongdoing just because they are family. you should forgive them for yourself. Forgive, but never forget. It will take you some time, but forgive someone because you a ready and do it for yourself.
January 18th, 2016 2:43am
No, everything takes time to deal with. You are never obligated to do anything that you don't want to do. Take your time and when you are ready forgive.
February 22nd, 2016 1:15am
No, not at all. Just because they are family doesn't mean they should not receive different treatment.
February 29th, 2016 2:36am
No you don't have to. You should let them know that it is not okay to you what they did. Just because someone is family doesn't mean that everything should be forgive and forget,
April 4th, 2016 1:55pm
I wouldn't say immediately...after all, as long as we are adults we must accept that there are consequences to our actions. With family, sometimes, we do forgive for the sake of keeping peace in the house, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't talk with the person and let them know they hurt your feelings :)
May 30th, 2016 3:55am
Yes you should forgive because what if that person dies and you never got to apologize or say that you were sorry you would live in regret forever.
June 14th, 2016 4:30pm
No. From personal experience, it's been a few years and I still have not forgiven my own father for doing something that hurt me very much. You are not obligated to forgive anyone who hurts you who you feel does not belong in your life.
June 28th, 2016 3:00am
While we may feel more inclined to forgive someone simply because they are family - it doesn't mean that it is right. I believe that a family member has to make amends the same way someone else would have to.
August 23rd, 2016 1:08pm
Not at all. You're never obligated to forgive someone. Forgiveness is a choice only you can make, whether they are family or not.
September 6th, 2016 6:33pm
You are not. Forgiveness is a long path and if anyone betrayed or hurt you, no matter if you are related, you should take your time to forgive them and assess the situation.
June 5th, 2017 4:05am
Forgiveness goes at a different pace for everyone and is certainly not an obligation, but think of the severity of the situation. It always helps to be vocal and talk to the family member about what upset you, and how you can go about resolving the problem.
June 27th, 2017 3:30am
no. You have a right to feel every emotion you go through. You have a right to be angry, upset, and sad. You have been hurt and it takes time to get through that. You will get there when you are ready and only when you are ready.
June 25th, 2018 4:05pm
You are not obligated to do as such. Your family may push that you should forgive them as soon as the wrongdoing is committed, but you are the master of you, and you do not have to forgive them ASAP. Handle your emotions first. My family always pushed us to forgive each other immediately, but that does not have to be the case. You are your own person. Take your time, but let them know how you feel.
July 6th, 2020 6:13pm
No, you aren't. Forgiveness is something that has to be earned or in some cases, you can never earn forgiveness. Just because they are family doesn't mean that you have to immediately forgive them especially when they don't admit or know their wrongdoing. But since society pushes people to forgive others easily, it has made an impact on forgiveness. And even if you do forgive them, you won't forget it. So my recommendation is not to forgive them now but when you are ready to forgive them since their wrongdoing might've caused some emotional stress or lowering your self-esteem.
November 30th, 2020 5:18pm
Certainly not. Forgiveness is a meaningless concept unless it's earned. The only way to properly earn someone's forgiveness is to make sure that your actions consistently align with the promise you've made to improve your behavior. If there is no change in one's behavior, then thr person who wronged you cannot rightly claim that you have an obligation to forgive them. This applies to all people equally, so it doesn't suddenly stop being valid just because you're dealing with family members. Now, family members may try to guilt you by playing the "oh, but we're family" card. In such cases, I think the best thing to do is to internalize the fact that they are indeed trying to guilt you, and not accept any unearned guilt on your part. If you think they'll hear you out, you may even bring it to their attention.