This means my client can be advised that acceptable grounds for forgiveness in this particular situation involving this domestic violence incident with her husband has to be compatible with her self-respect, respect for others as moral agents, and respect for moral rules (Murphy and Hampton, 1988). This translates into her husband will need to come forward on his own volition to authentically apologize to her for his wrongful act, demonstrate genuine sorrow, and convey real regret for what he did. This means essentially he is truly sorry and demonstrates a change of heart. He has suffered from this incident. He knows it was a moral wrong. He knows that he has no excuses for what he did. He understands that he has physically, emotionally, and mentally harmed her. In this authentic apology, my client can distinguish her husband then as assuming a role as a moral agent ready to follow moral rules based on his humility, contriteness, and willingness to ask for her forgiveness. Because it is really only then can my client separate her husband from the evil act of domestic violence, and in that separation can also understand that she can reassert her self-respect in the context of their relationship. If my client continues to struggle with this aspect of the genuine process of forgiveness, then one of my tactics can be to use Simon Wisenthal’s story.
In this story, Wisenthal was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during the early 1940s when he was called to the bedside of a dying SS guard in the camp, who expresses his remorse for these heinous crimes he participated in against the Jews, and asks Wisenthal to forgive him for what he has don...
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...mmitted this incident of domestic violence, and in the context of deciding never to forgive him and file for full custody of the children in divorce proceedings, my client is possibly bringing unforeseen stress, pain, and misery to her children for the sudden loss and prolonged loss of their father from their lives. Because if my client refuses to forgive him even when an authentic apology is extended, then the backlash on his behalf may be intense and dramatic as well. He may switch roles and become that violent aggressor again, and cause havoc, tension, and harm to her and/or their children, at some point in the future. It is these future scenarios that must be entertained by my client to comprehend what road she is traveling on if she decides to not forgive him, not reconcile with him, and seek all legal moves to keep him away from her and their children.
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