Why Forgiveness is So Hard…And Why We Should Do It Anyway

Dr. Debi Silber
3 min readMar 1, 2023

Forgiveness is a complex and multi-faceted concept that can be difficult for many people. It’s not a “one and done” act but instead, a practice you choose to do.

It also doesn’t make sense to the logical, rational mind.

Think about it, someone does something hateful/harmful/hurtful and forgiveness says; “Yes, and forgive anyway.”

So why is forgiveness so hard?

Here are a few reasons:

  1. Emotional pain: Forgiving someone who has hurt us (ex; abuse, betrayal, lying, etc.) can feel like we are letting them off the hook and ignoring the pain they caused us. This can make it difficult to forgive, especially if the hurt was deep and long-lasting.
  2. Sense of justice: Forgiving someone can feel like we are giving up our right to justice. It can be difficult to forgive when we feel like the person who hurt us needs to be held accountable for their actions.
  3. Trust: When someone we trusted betrays us, it can be hard to forgive them and rebuild that trust. Forgiving can feel like we are giving up control over the situation and trusting them again, even though they have already shown that they cannot be trusted.
  4. Bitterness and resentment: Holding onto bitterness and resentment can become a habit and make it difficult to forgive. These negative emotions can become a part of our identity and letting go of them can be challenging.



Dr. Debi Silber

Dr. Debi Silber, founder of The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute https://pbtinstitute.com helps people heal from the trauma of betrayal.