Why should you wish to forgive your ex in the wake of your divorce? There are a number of reasons that can be helpful to you, your spouse, and your family. Forgiveness can be a way for you to be a better co-parent with your ex, help your children have a healthy relationship with both of their parents, and help you move past your divorce and into a new chapter of your life.
But how can you forgive your ex after a divorce—and after all that led to the divorce?
- Accept your divorce. Before you can begin the process of forgiveness, you must first analyze what happened in your marriage and accept that the final outcome was divorce. If you are living in the past or still unsure of what took place, forgiveness is impossible.
- Forgive yourself first. It can be easier to forgive other people than it is to forgive yourself. Most failed relationships take two—and even if you didn’t do anything wrong, you may feel that you didn’t react appropriately or treat everyone with kindness (including yourself). Forgiving yourself is key to forgiving others.
- Think about the outcome if you don’t forgive. What’s the alternative to forgiving your spouse? The answer is usually negative thinking, living in the past, and ongoing resentment. Not forgiving takes energy and happiness from your life.
- Attempt empathy. Forgiveness can be easier if you try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. What were they thinking and feeling at the time? Was the divorce hard on them, too? Even if a person’s behavior was flawed, he is still a complex human—and one that you once cared deeply for.
- Think of your kids. If you are co-parenting with your ex, forgiving her can be key in establishing a new partnership in which you work together to give your kids the best upbringing possible.
Remember: forgiveness is not necessary or appropriate in all cases, such as divorces that involved domestic abuse or child abuse. Speaking with a therapist or counselor can help you determine whether forgiveness is the right goal for you.
Do you need the assistance of a Seattle divorce attorney? Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today: 425-460-0550.