James McNulty, professor at the University of Tennessee, found forgiveness builds resentment. Bending over backfires and is likely to be seen as insincere and manipulative.
McNulty says the ‘short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation’ works best.
In other words, be honest, and if you are angry, be angry, but don't be patronizing or pretend understanding.
The best way to shatter any relationship is to become abusive. An abuser carries grudges and will use name-calling, screaming, and tear-down tactics rather than explain the problem concisely, and move on.
McNulty notes, 'believing a partner is forgiving leads agreeable people to be less likely to offend that partner and disagreeable people to be more likely to offend that partner.' Stated differently, when forgiving your partner be aware of the 'grudge carriers', they will take advantage of that olive branch and repeat their offense thinking you will keep forgiving them.
One discovers after trial and error that any relationship not based on good-will isn't worth working on. If good-will is lost the marriage is doomed anyway. So don't fret, be honest, express your anger when necessary and be a good sport when the table is reversed - over time the table reverses a lot.
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