A friend discovered after 25 years of marriage, that her husband had been cheating on her. After a brief separation of six months, once his adulterous affair was over, she told all her family, friends and acquaintances that she "forgave" him and he moved back in. Everyone said how noble she was to forgive.
But just a few of us who know the couple well are aware that In reality she hasn't forgiven him in her heart and feels justified in exacting revenge in hidden and subtle ways. He pays daily for his past actions and his life is now not his own. In public she puts on a pious face of togetherness but in private she gives him hell. He is long-suffering and accepts the way he is treated.
The wife gained much public praise for her 'selfless' forgiveness but in actual fact I know it was not authentic. I believe she did care about him and I'm glad they got back together. But it was also in her interest financially and for other practical reasons to stay married.
I don't like to be cynical particularly about grieving individuals, but I would be very interested to know whether, when they are not in the public limelight, the children who have forgiven the killer of their parents consistently also forgive others in all circumstances.
I hope it is genuine and I'm sure the admiration and commendation they have been given, particularly from Christians for bearing witness to their faith, is a comfort, but seeing the hypocrisy of my friend's insincere forgiveness of her husband has made me question if true and genuine forgiveness particularly at the time of the offence, is humanly possible. (I guess those with Asperger's or autism might outwardly appear to achieve it.)
Christians will say that God gives them the strength to forgive, but to me that's just a delusion.