If someone has let you down or hurt you repeatedly you may wonder how many times you should "forgive and forget" before you give up on the relationship. No one else can really tell you what to do, although you may wish to ask others for their advice.

If you are always being let down or hurt by a friend or loved one, you must ask yourself some deep questions about the relationship and whether or not you should stay.

First, take a look at the betrayals of trust that you have experienced. Are they serious or minor in nature? Are they simply a part of the normal "give and take" of relationships?

Were the betrayals of trust deliberate, with no care for your feelings? Or were they a result of misunderstandings, or miscommunication? Is there a pattern of continued betrayals and hurt?

Have you made your feelings and preferences known to the other person? Or do you expect that person to read your mind? Have you been acting as if nothing is wrong?

When you try to bring up the subject of your hurt feelings, does the other person take the issue seriously? Or does he say you are too sensitive, or that you can't take a joke? Or that you are being immature?

Does he continue the behavior that you don't like, even after you have made it known that your feelings are hurt?

Ask yourself whether you believe that deep down the other person really respects and cares about you. Do you really trust the other person not to hurt you deliberately, whether it be emotionally, physically, or financially? Are you able to work out your differences and problems honestly and effectively?

If you are involved in a romantic relationship where someone has been unfaithful to you or has hit you, these are very serious betrayals of your trust.

If the other person promises that it will never happen again, it can be very difficult to know whether or not you should believe them.

Sometimes people make mistakes, are truly sorry and never commit the bad behavior again. Sometimes abusive people apologize very sincerely for the moment, but forget their promises the next time their emotions become aroused again, or the next time they get drunk.

You may experience other forms of abuse and disrespect in your relationships with friends and romantic partners.

These hurtful acts can include: lying, belittling, yelling, name-calling and teasing in a mean way. Other harmful behaviors include: jealousy, accusations, making inappropriate sexual comments, gossiping to others about you, and revealing things to others that were said in strictest confidence.

If you really want someone to understand how their behavior has affected you, and if you want them to change their behavior in the future, you will have a better chance of success if you express yourself clearly, calmly, and directly, without making blanket accusations and generalizations.

When you are communicating to your friend or lover about the behaviors you don't like, avoid making accusations that start with the word "You", such as "You make me so mad.", or "You don't care about me".

Instead, keep your statements focused on yourself and your own reactions, such as, "I felt hurt when you said ...... " Keep your comments focused on very specific behaviors that upset you, such as "Yesterday when we were at your mother's, you said that ...... Don't use generalized universal statements such as, "You always ...." or, "You never ...."

When you express how you feel hurt or angered by a specific behavior, the other person may try to tell you that you have no right to feel that way. You might be told, "You have no right to be sad" or, "You have no right to be jealous" or, "You have no right to be angry." You may be told that you are wrong to have the feelings you do.

If the other person tells you that you have no right to your feelings, it may be because they do not really understand how emotions work. Or perhaps they want to divert attention from their own bad behavior by blaming you instead.

Realize that your emotions belong to you. They are real and they are yours. You have a right to respect your own feelings, values and dignity, and to ask that others do the same.

If the problems in your relationship are very serious, you may benefit from getting some counseling from a good therapist.

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