Forgive Your Ex — For Your Sake

As we all know all too well, there is plenty of pain associated with going through a divorce. And when you’re hurting, it’s only natural to blame someone else. The obvious target, of course, is your ex-spouse.

But the anger is justified, right? He or she may have betrayed you, or mistreated you, or just fallen out of love with you. And you have every right to be furious at what that bitch or bastard did to you.

There’s just one little problem:  your ex could not care less.  And your anger is only hurting yourself.  

Most experts say that one of the best things you can do on the road to recovery is to forgive your former spouse. Practicing forgiveness allows you to stop feeling like a victim, and move forward as a more empowered person. Forgiveness means letting go of negative thoughts, and taking a more positive approach.  It’s changing your mindset, and refusing to let someone else have power over you.

This article from Divorce Magazine contains comments from several counselors on the subject of forgiveness, including one Doctor’s Six Steps for Forgiving Your Ex.  That list, which is explained more fully in the article, includes:

  • Gain awareness of the emotions you experience about your past hurt
  • Be aware that forgiveness is for you, not the person you want to forgive
  • Make a choice to feel hurt for a shorter period
  • Focus on the things you can control
  • Accept that people do the best they can and attempt to be more understanding
  • Think like a forgiving person.

Though your pain and anger may be so intense it seems you’ll never get over it, remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. You’re not condoning what your ex did, nor giving up any claims to a fair legal settlement.  Rather, you’re shifting the power to yourself, and away from your ex.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself as part of your healing process.