Skip to main content

See also:

5 reasons why forgiveness is so hard for men

In The Best Man Holiday, forgiveness is shown through a man's eyes
In The Best Man Holiday, forgiveness is shown through a man's eyesUniversal Pictures

It's happened to all men at one point. We let our guard down with someone that we thought was loyal to the end. Then, out of the blue, that person turned heel on us like Pachanga did to Carlito. In The Best Man Holiday, forgiveness is prevalent in all of the relationships. It's not often that Hollywood addresses a man's disappointment in the woman he loves. Each of the relationships experiences the hurdle of forgiveness in a way that mirrors real life

When it comes to hurt feelings, women think that men are Teflon. They believe that we bounce back quickly from pain because we're so out of touch emotionally. But that couldn't furthest from the truth. There's a common theme that men don't heal, we ho. There's some truth in that. Forgiveness is a practice we distance ourselves from because, just like grief, it exposes and highlights our weak spots. It's easier to just avoid the art of forgiveness and hope that the pain will be gone on a random day without us having to actually to let it go.

So why is forgiveness so hard for men in relationships?

It requires humility. For many men, their identity is deeply intertwined with their pride. To humble one's self means that you have to be human. To be human is to show flaws. And to show flaws is to admit that you're weak. Weakness just doesn't fit into the narrative of a strong Alpha male. It's convenient for men to hang onto their pride even if the price they pay is momentary misery.

Guys don't like to effectively communicate. One of the hardest things for any person to do is to confront the person that is the source of their hurt. Women need, and sometimes, command that type of closure. A woman is able to pick apart her feelings. Whereas for men, feelings can be like a mosaic. Even the man who has a way with words will stumble through explaining the priority of his feelings.

It requires work. Listen, men are lazy in relationships generally. There are certain conversations that men feel like are a waste of time. To forgive someone is a process. It doesn't happen overnight and depending on what precipitated the need, forgiveness might have to be done in phases. Guys would rather invest in other things that are less taxing and more enjoyable.

It requires facing the fact that she chose someone else. Off the top of my head, I can't name one famous man that stayed with a woman after she cheated. Men just don't have it in them to look beyond infidelity. It's unfair. It's one of those double standards that don't benefit women. The reason for that is women view sex as a intimate, special act. The average woman doesn't let her number count go up for flings. So if your woman cheated on you, there's a high chance that in her mind, that guy surpassed you in some fashion. That's the worst kind of hurt.

It prevents you to not move forward honestly. There's a difference between moving on after forgiveness and moving on after a break-up. When a man moves on without forgiving, he just replaces that hurt with something else; whether it's sex, work, money, or dating other women. There's a lot of hurt men walking around damaging future prospects because they didn't deal with their hurt while it was fresh. You can't move forward with any type of optimism if you look at every woman as that woman who hurt you.

If acceptance is the final stage of grief, then forgiveness should be final stage of a break up. Forgiveness has no time limit on it. It could take a few days, a few weeks, or years. What some men struggle to admit is that being hurt in a relationship changes you on some level. Not being able to forgive is a form of a self-sabotage. You can't expect to prosper in future relationships if you're holding onto resentment. As cliche as it sounds, forgiveness is about mentally freeing yourself. That woman may never verbally say "I'm sorry" or admit culpability. But it's not necessary. Because make no mistake about it - no woman that's a great catch is going to be attracted to a bitter, hurt guy.