Thinking about forgiving an ex-spouse can seem impossible during the divorce and might be the last thing someone wants to do.
This is completely understandable, but if an individual has difficulty forgiving an ex-spouse, they may be doing themselves harm.
Forgiveness allows you–not the pain–to take control of your life
There are different ways to approach forgiveness after divorce, and some methods will work better than others for many people. Regardless of the method, forgiveness can be empowering after a divorce.
Many people feel as if they lose control over their lives during and after a divorce, but they do have control over their own emotions and mental state about the whole process.
Making the conscious decision to let go and move on can prevent any past hurt-or even the ex-spouse themselves-from having any power over the individual’s future and this new chapter in their life.
It can even make you healthier
Mental health often has a significant impact on an individual’s physical health. Mayo Clinic states that forgiveness can help improve an individual’s health by:
- Improving mental and emotional health
- Reducing blood pressure and increasing physical health
- Boosting the immune system and heart health
It is natural to feel a variety of emotions after divorce, from bitterness to grief, but wallowing in those emotions and holding grudges long term can interfere with one’s overall health.
Forgiving your spouse could actually improve your relationships
Forgiveness can not only help improve someone’s health but may also improve their relationships and connections with others. Taking steps to forgive someone after the stressful experience of divorce can make individuals more understanding in general.
This can help improve and support relationships with one’s children, family and friends. It could even help maintain a healthier relationship with their ex-spouse as they navigate co-parenting.
Remember: Forgiveness is for you, not your ex-spouse
There is an adage which states that forgiveness is for the person who is hurting, not the person who caused the pain. That same idea applies to forgiving an ex-spouse.
Forgiveness does not excuse any wrongdoing or invalidate any past pain, but it does help individuals move forward and live their lives to the fullest after enduring the stressful experience of a divorce.