Forgiving your ex-spouse is not about them – but is about you. Forgiving a former partner gives you closure before embarking upon a new chapter in life. Forgiveness is like when a business stamps a receipt “Paid in Full.” That bill is paid, and the account is closed and back to zero. Forgive your ex and visualize “Paid in Full” stamped on that relationship. You then emotionally do not owe each other anything else and can go your separate ways.
You made mistakes in your marriage and so did your former spouse. Some were petty and others seemingly monumental. Both spouses contributed to the demise of the marriage. Forgive yourself. In hypnotherapy school, we learned that people do the best that they can in their circumstance. Feeling overwhelmed in a stressful situation is like having tunnel vision. Not all information can be absorbed when on the verge of a breakdown during a toxic marriage or divorce. Reactions are quite different than when not in crisis and being in a more relaxed state. Give yourself a break and realize that hindsight is 20/20 when ruminating about the past. You did what you could at the time, so forgive yourself.
By forgiving your ex – that affects the present. Forgiving them severs the bond between you and sets you free. When no longer tied to your former partner, then interactions can be more impersonal – polite with less of an emotional charge. Forgiveness lessens any power that an ex may try to have over you. They become more like a business acquaintance than someone who can push your buttons. This is particularly important to do when parting from a controlling spouse. Cut the ties with forgiveness and have that part of your life “Paid in Full.”
When people do not forgive, that can fuel angry feelings. As a child stuck between two non-forgiving, angry parents post-divorce, life was stressful. They remained stuck to each other since forgiveness was not on their radar. Various studies indicate that 60% to 93% of communication is non-verbal. While a person may get a gold star for not verbally trashing their ex in front of the children, their non-verbal communication may say otherwise. Kids pick up on what was not said along with what was stated. Forgiveness is necessary when children are in the picture.
Forgiving someone does not mean you have to forget what has happened nor have them in your current life. Priests have emphasized it is okay to forgive and then never set eyes on that person again, particularly in abusive situations. Safety and emotional health trumps contact with an ex. Some people have a closure ceremony when they have divorced a spouse, with forgiveness as part of it. They may burn pictures of that person or cut them out of family portraits. Others have taken any remains of that person’s stuff to a charity shop. Some have decided to move across