Why is it so hard to forgive a friend than an enemy?

United States
November 18, 2009 2:53am CST
Why is it that you can forgive your enemy for the hurt they caused you, but you can not forgive your friend for the same? I think it is because when the person is already an enemy, you expect them to hurt you anytime or all the time. That's what enemies are for. But when a friend whom you trusted and loved, does the same, it cuts deeper and it takes time to understand why it happened. I have seen best friends becoming hard enemies and trying to rip off the other. How can such love/friendship turn to such hatred? Isn't it always better to forgive than to fight? What do you think?
6 people like this
38 responses
@hunieby (207)
• Philippines
18 Nov 09
I think it is hard to forgive a friend because you have given so much trust to the person that you never expect him or her to betray you. That is why you find it hard to forgive them but when you do forgive the friendship doesn't always stay as it used to.
@ced_cap (207)
• Philippines
19 Nov 09
you're right hunieby. you may forgive the person because who are we not to forgive. but the trust will not be there anymore. i feel that you can't relive the friendship because of the damage he/she had done to it.
• Philippines
18 Nov 09
Yup, your right about that, its hard to forgive someone where you already spent good times and share a lot of things and already trust each other. But still the best thing to do is to forgive, especially if he/she is really a friend, you don't want to lose a good relationship to someone you already know for a long time, and it's hard to find a real and true friend nowadays.
• United States
18 Nov 09
So true. Thanks for your reply.
@Katie2009 (145)
• China
18 Nov 09
I quite agree with your feelings because I have had the same experiences before.It is rather difficult to think it through that why she or he did that to you. From my own adventures in relations,a right attitude should be held steadily as Trusting yourself. Some friends around us indulge themselves in our care and love so much so that they will even forget to cherish it and take it for granted;and I think this is part of the reason on how you started your fight.When you become pessimistic about your friendship,it is harder to forgive. So,if you have problems and some different ideas about them,you'd better talk to them directly in a mild way.Hopefully they can understand you,but give them up if you can only receive laughters and impatience after you sincere request.Enemies are hated by you all the time,and you probably will think good of them if they give you some help one day.Be happy about something expected and sad when it's unexpected.
• United States
18 Nov 09
Your response reminds me of this saying 'Faults are thick when love is thin'. It is always difficult to forgive when your love for your friend is already lesser than what it was. Thanks for your reply.
@nautilus33 (1810)
18 Nov 09
It's harder to forgive a friend, because the friend is someone, who you trust someone you think is your fellow. And suddenly this person has betrayed you in some way, and you didn't expected from him, then you are so angry and sad at the same time, that you didn't know what to do. You ask yourself was he really a friend of mine or was he just an enemy. And the enemy is someone, who you don't trust. And if he make something against you that will be something, you have expected. But the friend?
• United States
18 Nov 09
I agree, we are more bewildered and hurt than anything else. Like you said, 'but the friend?' None of us should really suffer such pain. Thanks for your reply.
@sunnycool (12765)
• India
18 Nov 09
when you have an enemy you make up your mind that he would try to make you suffer by any means.so you are well prepared by the consequences to face.when coming to a friend you really believe,trust nd share everything abt you hoping he wouldnt cheat you at any time.hence it is really hard to take a cheating friend compared to an enemy.i had lost one friend who cheated on me nd i have teached him a lesson for doing so coz it really hurts.gud day.
• United States
18 Nov 09
Sorry to hear that. But well, if you thought you should teach him a lesson, he must have done something bad to deserve it. I hope you are O.K with it now. Good luck. Thanks for your reply.
@ravend (661)
• Malta
18 Nov 09
It is because in your mind, you have this idea that your friend is someone to trust, someone you could rely on. The moment he breaks your trust, this idea of perfection comes tumbling down, and for a while you are lost. You feel that what you had built for such a long time was a lie. Sometimes you feel as if you will never understand what the truth is. And you might want to spend time away from that person because you need to think about it and figure it out. Truth is, that here one very often has two pathways. Either taking the easy way out and not talking to a person and hating her. Or work around it, accept and realise that everyone is human and humans are imperfect. Sometimes, it is better to take the first alternative if the person might not be deemed worth it. The second takes a lot of work, a lot of pain, and a lot of emotions and communication to work around it. But I believe that in the end it will be the most worthwhile, unless of course, the relationship will be damaging. I hope I answered your query.
• United States
18 Nov 09
Very well said, 'ravend'. I believe that taking the easy way out is..yeah easy. But then you lose a dear friend. If we believe that he/she is worth it, we should take the second path. Thanks for your reply.
@Godmother (476)
• Indonesia
18 Nov 09
When you receive somebody as a friend, you trust her. And the worst thing is for someone to break your trust. That's why it hurts so much. And this is a process in life. When I was in high school I had a circle of 6 best-friends, and we do everything and share everything together. But people change according to their life-experiences, one by one they fall away, and most of them have hurt my feelings. Now, From the 6 remains just one. And she continued to be my best friend until now ( we both now have grown up children), but the others have turned to becoming people that makes me wonder how they could have ever been my best friend before ?
• United States
18 Nov 09
I absolutely agree. Trust is a very important detail in any relation. But as you said, change happens. Thank you for your reply. Have a good day.
• United States
20 Dec 09
I agree with the points that you made. A friend is one who we trust and when that trust is betrayed, it is very difficult to forgive. We don't trust our enemies and expect them to hurt us (which makes them our enemies). I don't think that I've ever really forgiven my enemies, though. They just aren't worth my time to think about.
@ravi633 (14)
• India
23 Nov 09
s it is true. we can expect the enemy what he/she will do and pracaution ourself at all time..anytime. but our beloved friend if change into enemy we never expect what will he do..we can?t tolerate them easily
• Philippines
20 Nov 09
Yes I can forgive my enemy as easy as I could but not the friend whom Ive been trusted for many years. I had a very close friend before and I dont remember how she enters my life but its not important for as long as we can connect with each other. We told stories and secrets but misunderstanding occurred in our friendship that ruins the relationship we build for how many years. Our friendship has been vanished and until now we are mortal enemy. I know what we did is against the will of God but the thing how we hurt each other is enough to forget that we been friends before. But things change who knows someday we can find in our heart to forgive each other.
@Ritchelle (3800)
• Philippines
20 Nov 09
you mentioned already the basic reason why it is so hard to forgive friends: it is because you trusted them. betrayal is always a choice and when the people you considered friends chose to betray you then it cuts deeper.
@paula27661 (15900)
• Australia
20 Nov 09
If a person is your enemy, as you say, your expectations from that person are not going to be high to begin with and hurt, breaches of trust etc can be forgiven as likely to the enemy’s character but if a loved one hurts or betrays the pain is so much more because of the disappointment that someone who is supposed to care for you would cause pain. I think trust is more precious than love and very difficult to earn back once lost. Peace will only come from forgiving and one should consider it for one's peace of mind if nothing else.
• United States
20 Nov 09
I'd say it has to do with security..When a friend defies that companionship it strikes at your comfort zone..I'd say trust, but I think it goes deeper than that because it puts in doubt all your emotional ties to that friend and you wonder when it'll happen again..And it takes so long because of those doubts.. Enjoy!
19 Nov 09
Letsearn9, I believe it is because as a friend more is expected of you to understand in a given situation. This was told to me when I was in a situation where my friendship was on the rocks. I realised that you will forgive the ignorance in someone as they do not know or wish to know any better but someone who knows you and how you feel should know better than to cross that line of intelligence to willful spitful intent. If a compromise is not reached in a reasonable period of time say days to a couple of weeks...Because let's face it if your friend is really a friend you will want to do all that you can to bridge the divide: Then that friendship should be terminated as there could be a threat that they will let you down again.
@bunnybon7 (22659)
• Holiday, Florida
19 Nov 09
you know, thats just what my son and i have been discussing for 2mths now since his ex moved out. she was my age and used to be a bit of a friend. certainly not my best friend ever but she moved in on my son like a fly jumping on food! as soon as they met 6 yrs ago and i knew it wasnt good then. i accepted it till they talked me into moving in to help us all financialy. Since then she treated me like really crappy. then son told her to move out 2 mths ago. anyway, every time i turn around she is treating me well till she gets something her way, then turns on me and does me in again. this last time, i said i'll never forgive her, but son says its bad for my soul. we will see. im forgiving but not forgeting this time. never trust her in any way again.
@aerous (13485)
• Philippines
19 Nov 09
Maybe the reason why our friend hard to forgive because we give trust on them and we rely that they never make wrong with us. But besides the trust and confidence that we give our friend they done us wrong that hard to accept...Trust is really big deal in friendship, my friend...Have a nice day!
@derek_a (10907)
19 Nov 09
Forgiveness is not something that can just be done with an act of will. It is a way of life. First a person has to really experience that he/she is willing for forgiveness, and then just let it happen. As a Zen practitioner, I used to have problems working out how to forgive people, then one day, I realized, that all I needed to do was be willing, and then it just happened. I was aware that I had forgiven.. If we don't fight and argue, it doesn't mean that we have forgiven. We have forgiven when it happens, and we will know it, but trying to explain how we forgave, would be near impossible. - Derek
@broboque (146)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 09
everything lies in the way one treated that kind of a friend. Sometimes we forget that, a friend is your worse enemy. (i said sometimes) It happen to me once, one of my most trusted friend, betrayed me and hurt me. It hurt more, coz i was expecting he would understand and back me up, but instead, he turn his back on me and do the otherwise. It is very very disappointing. Even though i forgive him for he did, i will never ever again be as close as before. If its the enemy that did what he did, i might have think of it, but when a friend betray our trust, like you said, it cuts deeper.
@jimmysun (401)
• China
19 Nov 09
i think for friends hurting you, you will be so upset from bottom of heart coz they are best and trusted friends,you love them. you will be thinking about how can they hurt you and make you unhappy...you will remember the things and never forget....but for me i feel that since you've been friends just be friends, to become a friend better than lose friend and don't not let your friend become your enemies...for enemies i think to hurt somebody is their work...
@junmae (1562)
• Philippines
19 Nov 09
I guess you're right, because your enemy can easily hurt and betray you. But not a friend, you expect them to be there when you need them most and most of all you trust them so it is really hard to know that they became your enemy.