Holding on to grudges and negative feelings after a relationship ends prevents you from moving on.
After a break up or divorce we may have that one thing that is just unforgivable to us. It's something different for everyone. Perhaps he got strung out on drugs, wasn't emotionally there for you when your mom passed, told your kids they were dead to him, cheated, or hit you. As far as you are concerned your ex's actions are something that is unforgivable.
As difficult as it may be, it is important to forgive him so that you can let go and move forward after your divorce. Your relationship is over. Forgiving him will free your mind from the pain of the past and allow you to heal. Your brain doesn't perceive time, and doesn't know the difference between what is happening and what has happened. When you think of what he did, you're reliving that painful moment and your mind believes it is happening now. You're literally putting your body through the stress of that situation all over again.
Forgiving him gives you peace of mind. Remember that forgiveness does not condone his actions and it does not mean that you have to forget what he did. Forgiveness is just away to let go so you can move forward.
How do you forgive him?
First, deal with the pain. Feel it. It is really okay to feel what you feel. You might cry. Cry until the tears no longer fall. Bury your head in your pillow as you scream and cuss him out. Do whatever you need to do to in order to express your main in a safe, nurturing manner.
You might decide to write a letter expressing all that you feel. Be specific and just write. It doesn't have to be grammatically correct or even make sense. It just needs to allow you to get all of your pent up feelings out. This is for you, so no one else ever needs to see it. Once you have expressed everything that you need to, you may want to burn the letter or flush it down the toilet. Destroying the letter symbolizes that you are letting go of the pain and refuse to allow the past to hurt and haunt you anymore.
You may feel emotionally drained for a while after you get out all of the yucky feelings. This is okay and totally normal. Now it's time to nurture and love yourself. Take a long bath and get a good night sleep to rejuvenate your body and soul. You should feel like a load has been lifted off of you. You will probably have a sense of peace that you have not felt for a while. However, releasing those feelings is not enough to truly forgive.
The next part is a bit harder and will take some conscious effort on your part. Every time you feel yourself begin to get angry, or you start to hurt again when you think about the situation, you have to redirect your thoughts. Come up with a mantra you can say to yourself until those feelings subside. For example, "I forgive you and wish you well." Keep saying it, sincerely, until you mean it.
Now choose to redirect your thoughts. Choose thoughts that make you feel good about yourself and your future. Daydream about something you would like to happen. Have fun with it. Ask yourself questions like, "Wouldn't it be fun to ... ?" or Wouldn't it be great to ... ?" Asking yourself questions will help you to create a happier, more positive future for yourself.
In time, the negative thoughts and feelings associated with the painful past should pop up less and less. Remember to consciously redirect them every time you become aware of them. Take three deep breaths and repeat, "I forgive you and I wish you well."
Getting past the pain and anger is imperative for you to move forward with peace, happiness and confidence. Holding onto and harboring a grudge is only hurting you. He isn't thinking about it. He has moved on. It isn't affecting his life so don't let it affect yours. You can't change it. The only thing you can do at this point is to accept it and move forward with what is important to you.
SupportForDivorcedWomen.com offers tips and techniques to move forward after your divorce with peace, confidence and clarity.
For more Divorce and Breakup Advice on YourTango:
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- Annulment Vs. Divorce: What's The Difference, Anyway?