Does time heal all wounds? : perceptions of the forgiveness process that unfolds within romantic relationships following the occurrence of a hurtful transgression
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The purpose of the present study was to explore the forgiveness process that evolves between romantic partners over time by conducting a descriptive analysis to unveil injured partners' perceptions of how and why forgiveness developed within their relationship. Individuals who had previously forgiven their current romantic partner for a hurtful transgression were asked to recount the forgiveness process that transpired between themselves and their partner starting with the occurrence of a negative event. Studying these retrospective accounts allowed the researcher to reveal the conversations and critical events that laypeople attributed to the forgiveness process. In addition to verbally recalling why the levels of forgiveness changed over time between themselves and their loved one, injured partners were asked to visually depict how the forgiveness process transpired within their relationship by graphing the forgiveness trajectory that they recalled experiencing with their partner over time. As a result, specific types of forgiveness trajectories that demonstrated injured partners perceptions of how forgiveness changed over time within their relationship were revealed.