(NEWS CENTER) -- Wishing guilt upon a partner is unhealthy for both partners. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Jack Burke said guilt is an act of self indulgence.
"If I said I did this greatest thing ever or the worst thing ever, it's different sides of the same coin.The problem is I am totally involved with myself at this point," said Burke.
There might be forgiveness, but the guilt trip makes the person unavailable emotionally. There is a difference between regret, guilt and shame. Burke said regret is very specific and allows for behavior modification. Guilty is generalized and taken beyond the specific incident and allows for wallowing. Burke said shame is toxic.
"Shame is a very sad place to be because you've started criticizing yourself and made it about problems within yourself," said Burke.
It is an act of courage to be imperfect and break out of these cycles, said Burke. For a couple to be in a mature relationship, they have to have "healthy humility." Its the effort to keep trying that makes a difference.