There is a true difference between forgiveness and actually accepting an apology. One usually involves the release of hard feelings and hatred toward a person (forgiveness) while the other involves a reconciliation (being friends again) with the person who initially hurt you. To accept an apology, means that you have decided to move on with the friendship despite whatever pain the other party has caused.
You should always forgive, because forgiveness is for you, not the other person. Holding onto hatred and hurt weighs you down and causes unnecessary stress on your body. But accepting and apology can stress you out just as much.
Here is why you never have to accept an apology
1. You can say sorry and do it again
Unfortunately, just because someone takes the time to SAY sorry, does not mean that they will ultimately change their behavior and be a better person. Sorry, to me, is an admission that the person were a snake or behaved like a snake. However, it is not a confirmation that they will no longer be that way. Just because they say sorry does not mean that I need to immediately accept an apology from them. I have the right to make them prove that they will not hurt me again.
2. Once someone breaks your trust, the relationship is not the same
Just because someone comes to you to say sorry, does not mean the relationship can go back to the way it was before the offense ever took place. Once someone breaks my trust, I can no longer trust them, To say sorry, does not take away the fact that they broke that trust, and it definitely does not mean that they can be trusted again. I do not have to accept an apology if I cannot trust the person again, and neither do you!
3. You do not owe anyone your time or presence
My presence is a gift! I do not owe anyone my presence just because they say sorry for an offense. This is true for everyone. Sometimes, we simply do not want to allow someone in our presence anymore after they have offended us, even though they have said sorry and may continue to say sorry. This is our right. There is no law that says anyone has to accept an apology
4. Relatives does not give someone a free pass to hurt you
People seem to think that no matter what, you have to accept and apology from relatives. This is ridiculous and absolutely NOT TRUE. Relatives do not get a free pass to hurt you and treat you poorly, while you simply have to accept an apology from them multiple times. Remember, you do not have have to accept their apology if you do not want to, even if they say sorry! It does not matter that they are related to you.
Final Thoughts: You don't have to accept any apology just because people say sorry
I do not care what anyone tells you. You have total rights over who you allow in your personal space and in your life. It is super important to protect your peace. Sometimes this means that we have to cut people off from their access to us. This can mean former friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.