You don’t have to choose forgiveness. You don’t have to take the high road. You don’t have to rearrange your morals, your standards, and your expectations in order to make room for someone in your world.
You don’t have to pretend like everything is fine when you’re dying inside. You don’t have to say I forgive you in order to avoid drama. You don’t have to accept poor treatment because you would rather suffer alongside them than live without them. You don’t have to put yourself through more hell.
Even though it’s tempting to be swayed by their kind words, remember, you don’t have to accept their apology. You don’t have to give them a second chance. You don’t have to give them your forgiveness. You don’t owe them anything, simply because they apologized. Not your time. Not your attention. And certainly not your heart.
Don’t feel guilty about walking away if that’s what’s in your best interest. Don’t feel like you’re a bad person for doing the healthiest thing for yourself. Remember, you were not the one in the wrong here. They were in the wrong, which is why they’ve come to you with apologies, with excuses, with promises to never repeat their bad behavior.
Even though you probably want to think the best of them, they might be saying what you want to hear in order to regain your trust. Their apology might not be genuine. Even if they are being truthful, even if they honestly won’t make the same mistake again, you have to ask yourself if that’s enough. You have to ask ourself if you want to be with someone who would break your heart, even once.
You didn’t get to choose whether or not they hurt you — but you do get to choose whether or not they get the chance to hurt you again. You get to choose whether they deserve to be an ongoing part of your future. You get to choose whether you’re going to risk giving them another chance or whether you’re going to walk away without another word.
If it brings you peace to forgive them, to get closure with them, to end on good terms, then you can choose to accept their apology and to move on. You don’t have to choose one or another. You can choose both. You can remind them how much you love them — but decide you cannot spend any more time with them. You can assure them they are forgiven — but decide giving them another chance to hurt you would be a mistake.
However, if you cannot forgive them, if you cannot look them in the eyes and accept their apology, that’s okay too. You don’t have to choose forgiveness. You don’t have to play nice. You don’t have to make them feel better by accepting their sorry when they didn’t hesitate to make you feel like shit in the past. Remember, you’re not a bad person for walking away. You’re a strong person for walking away.