Forgiveness usually only makes headlines when truly terrible things happen to people. A murderer goes on a rampage. A drunk driver kills a mother and child. A business is found to be polluting or making unsafe products. It makes the news when someone, somehow, can say “I forgive.”
In my experience as the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, we have worked with people who have suffered from each of these awful experiences — and thankfully they are rare.
But after all my years of experience I have concluded that those rare and awful situations are not where the need for forgiveness is most acute. To me, forgiveness is actually most needed in intimate couples — people who love each other and yet struggle to stay together or keep their love alive.