Forgiveness doesn't *always* have to be in the cards.
While forgiveness is a great way to overcome the grief of divorce, many exes find it difficult to achieve this. The pain of a broken heart plus the disappointment of a failed marriage can leave you with an incessant grudge.
Mentally, it takes a lot more than you would think for people to forgive and move on. Dr. Ellen Weber from Brain Leaders And Learners explains, "From a brain's perspective, forgiveness takes far more than merely letting go. It takes deliberate decisions to move beyond another person's judgment of you. Replace a sad or disappointing encounter with memories of events that stoke healing, for instance, and your brain shifts focus." But this is incredibly difficult to achieve and to stop being emotionally unavailable if you can't allow yourself to let go of the pain.
According to host and Senior Vice President of YourTango Melanie Gorman, premarital, marital and infidelity recovery coach Dr. Jim Walkup, psychologist Dr. Stan Tatkin, couple therapist and author Dr. Colene Sawyer Schlaepfer, and individual and relational recovery therapist Argie Spuck, you don't necessarily need to forgive your ex-spouse if you can't mentally bring yourself to do it. Here are two alternatives to moving on from your divorce into another relationship.
1. Allow Yourself To Grieve.
Yes, the grieving process sucks, but it's good for you to release that pain in order to slowly but surely move on. Once you have happiness in your life again, you won't carry the emotional baggage into your next relationship. Dr. Stan Tatkin sensibly explains, "That's kind of like making sure that the seat has come open because a lot of people replace people before the seat is really empty, and then, that's a problem. "
2. Assess Your Failed Marriage.
Look back on your failed relationship to decide how you want your new relationship to be. Ask yourself, "What values or actions can I bring to or leave out of my new relationship to keep it strong?" You can move on by working out the destructive kinks from your old marriage while you're in your new relationship.
This expert panel offers some more great avenues to forgetting and moving on without necessarily having to forgive your ex. Just scroll above to find out how you can get back on your feet, find a new, strong relationship, and leave the emotional baggage behind.