Book Review: Forgive For love

By Meera Lee Sethi | March 1, 2008 | 0 comments

Forgive For love: The missing ingredient for a healthy and lasting relationship
By Fred Luskin
HarperOne, 2007, 240 pages

A friend’s betrayal, a parent’s abandonment, a lover’s deceit—these injustices are hard to forgive, especially if you believe forgiving means condoning bad behavior and giving up the right to seek redress.

And yet forgiveness has many benefits for our health and well-being. In this persuasive book, forgiveness researcher Fred Luskin lays out a seven-step program designed to help long-term partners learn to forgive each other for simply being human.

Luskin’s forgiveness regimen, which includes guided meditations and instructions for creating statements of positive intention, draws on the research and trainings he led as the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project in Palo Alto. He emphasizes that forgiving your partner doesn’t deny your right to feel hurt, but it does require you to acknowledge that the slights you’ve suffered are inevitable in our world.

Luskin asks his readers to begin by trying to forgive small everyday offenses, such as when your partner ignores the dirty dishes. Just as athletes gain strength and prepare for competitions by running regularly, Luskin argues that “forgiveness training” with life’s minor miseries can help you calm down and be more forgiving. It can also prepare you for bigger traumas.

Although Luskin does cite studies to support his case, those interested in a rigorous treatment of the science of forgiveness should look elsewhere. Forgive for Love is a practical, hands-on guide for couples wishing to infuse their relationships with more serenity and compassion.

Tracker Pixel for Entry
About The Author

Meera Lee Sethi is a Chicago-based writer and a contributing editor for


Like this article?

Here's what you can do:

blog comments powered by Disqus



Greater Good Events

The Science of Happiness

Register now for the acclaimed online course, re-launching January 5, 2016

The Science of Happiness

A free online course exploring the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Co-taught by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Up to 16 CE credit hours available.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

Gratitude Works! By Robert A. Emmons The world's leading scientific expert on gratitude offers a step-by-step guide to becoming a more grateful person.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"Greater Good offers a first-rate service to those who want to track new and important research findings in social and emotional intelligence."  
Daniel Goleman

Best-selling author,
Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence

thnx advertisement