Forgiving your ex can seem like a daunting task that has no merit for you. So why do it?
Webster’s Dictionary defines forgiving as “ceasing to feel resentment towards an offender”. Holding on to this resentment is a way to stay attached to your ex. Forgiveness is a way to sever these binding ties.
To start my forgiveness process, I imagined my ex with having strings around him like a marionette.
I then visualized giant scissors cutting through all of these strings until no more remained. I felt like a burden had been lifted from me and it was easier not to want any ties of resentment to attach me to him again. Forgiveness is not about the other person, but rather about you.
You do not even have to tell anyone that you forgave your former spouse.
Holding on to a grudge, whether it is your spouse or an in-law, is detrimental to your health, such as by increasing your blood pressure.
Muscles tighten, restricting blood flow and oxygenation which in turn leads to headaches and worsening chronic pain. The esteemed Dr. Carl Simonton of the Simonton Cancer Center in California, stated that not practicing forgiveness can lead to an “increased risk for cancer.” Is your anger towards your former spouse worth all this?
During divorces, some people wrote a long letter regarding their anger and disappointment in their spouse.
They spilled their vitriol onto the pages and were amazed when they felt so much lighter afterwards. Destroy and do not send it. The experience of writing that letter can lead to the path of forgiveness and healing.
I found a note in the bathroom stating my spouse was leaving me and I was fired from our small, jointly owned business.
In the space of seconds I went from having a spouse and being employed to feeling like I was standing on the edge of a deep abyss. I had to admit, and then process my shock first before I could even think of moving on.
My two sons and I were going out of town that morning and their father was leaving on a business trip. My older son saw the note and wanted to continue with our trip plans for the long weekend. I walked around Disneyland alternating between shock and euphoria. After a week, I hired an attorney to start divorce proceedings.
Marie was bitter for decades after her divorce and held much resentment towards her former husband. Her daughter married a similar type of man, so it was no surprise when she later got divorced too. Marie saw her own situation in her daughter’s and had a massive heart attack a year after her daughter’s divorce. A stroke followed and then a burial. The daughter fortunately had decided to forgive her spouse during her divorce to avoid her mother’s complications. Sometimes even a bad example can spur us on to take a prudent path in our lives.
If you are having a difficult time forgiving, then talk to a therapist, life coach or your clergy. They can help you to become unstuck and clear up any faulty thinking. What also helped me were writing positive affirmations on colored index cards about forgiveness and other issues.
Author Catherine Ponder has a selection of excellent positive affirmations in her books. One that I used was “I now fully forgive everyone including myself. I let go and everybody who is not part of my Divine plan is no longer part of my life. I am free of resentment from my past and present.” I said variations of this everyday.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.