How Can I forgive You?
The Courage To Forgive, The Freedom Not To
by Janis Abrahms Spring (with Michael Spring)
This is an extraordinary book on a subject that most people struggle with a some point in their lives. And, finally, here's some clear guidance in understanding and dealing with this complex issue. Rather than just saying "You have to forgive to move on" or "You don't have to forgive unless the other person is truly remorseful and tries to make up for what they have done"... we get a careful review of all the various aspects to be consideredas reflected in the subtitle, The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To.
For instance, the author not only discusses what she calls the two dysfunctional approaches to forgiveness: "cheap forgiveness" on the one hand or "refusing to forgive" on the other. She lays out two alternatives that are far more reasonable and responsibleallowing each person to make their own assessment of their particular situation and what fits best for them. She refers to these two perferable ways of approaching forgiveness as "acceptance" and "genuine forgiveness."
I believe it takes a quality person to be able to write such a thoughtful and wise book on this difficult topic. And since I personally know and respect the author, I'm not surprised that she could address this issue in such a unique and much-needed manner.
While the author's previous book (also reviewed on this site) is about affairs, this book goes far beyond being useful in dealing with affairs. It is a book that can be beneficial to anyone dealing with any relationship where forgiveness is an issue. So I decided to put it here in the Marriage category. For my review of her earlier book, see: After the Affair.