You know you should forgive your ex-husband, but you just don’t know how. These tips on how to find forgiveness will help you heal, overcome the pain, and move forward in your life. I wrote this article for a reader called Gloria, who said:
“My ex-husband and I were so close, and I never dreamed he would cheat or leave me,” said Gloria on How to Stop Thinking About Your Ex and Get On With Your Life. “So when one day he told me he wasn’t happy and wanted a divorce, I thought I was going to die. I was in shock, and I thought it was the end of the world for me. Then I found out he had proposed to a girl he only met on the internet. I was very very depressed for six months but now I’m better. The only thing is, I can’t forgive him. How do you forgive your ex-husband for ripping your family apart? Why did God let this happen? I remember what my aunt told me: men can really ruin your life so do not love a man too much. If you do, you will get hurt and then you’ll have to learn how to forgive him. It’s really hard to find men that are faithful to their wives or girlfriends.”
I don’t have any answers – nor do I have “quick tips” on how to forgive your ex-husband for leaving you. But, here are a few ideas to consider. The most important thing is to know you are not alone. Find women who know how you feel, who can help you heal, and to love you through the valley you’re walking through.
In Mars and Venus Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or the Loss of a Loved One, John Gray writes, “To put our lives back together, not only do we need to stop feeling like a victim, but we need to make sure that we don’t communicate like one as well. When we are able to communicate our differences without a blaming attitude, our partners can hear our point of view.”
6 Ideas for Forgiving Your Ex-Husband
Forgiveness brings healing for you, and will make you feel healthier, lighter, and happier.
Don’t try to forgive your ex-husband because you “should.” Rather, work towards forgiveness and healing for yourself. Forgiveness is necessary for divorced couples who have kids together.
For your own peace of mind, you need to ensure you’re able to talk to him from a place of acceptance and peace. Accepting that the relationship is over – and that it ended the way it did for a reason – and peace that this is where you’re meant to be.
Gray’s book about starting over after a painful divorce is really good, and I’m sharing my favorite ideas here.
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Ask yourself if you blame your ex for your current unhappiness
“When we blame our partner for our unhappiness, we unknowingly prevent the release of painful feelings,” writes Gray. “Making our partner fully responsible for our pain causes us to hold on to our pain until he changes.” The key to this tip on how to forgive your ex is accepting the fact that your ex will not change, the past will not change, and you will continue to hurt yourself if you continue to blame him.
Use your blame to get in touch with your anger
If you have unresolved feelings of anger in your relationship with your ex, then you’ll keep blaming him. Forgiving your ex will be difficult (if not impossible!) unless you work through your anger. Get in touch with your angry feelings, and then work to release them. How you do this depends on so many factors: the reason you broke up, what your ex did to hurt you, how your ex responded to your pain, and even your own experiences with being hurt and forgiving in the past.
Take responsibility for your own happiness
To forgive your ex is to release him for being responsible for how you feel. You are the only person who can control how you feel – and you control your feelings by controlling your thoughts. Don’t give your ex the power to control your life, your emotions, and how you experience the moments of your day. Take responsibility for your happiness and future relationships by consciously working towards learning how to forgive your ex.
Realize your power to let go of the pain
Are you holding on to the pain of a betrayal in your marriage, and you don’t think you’ll ever learn how to forgive your husband after an affair? You need to realize that you have the power to let go of your pain. Your ex no longer has power over you, and you are free to move on to a healthy, happy, emotionally free life! The first step towards forgiving your ex is realizing how powerful you are.
Find something to thank your ex-husband for
Every day, I read a blurb from Melody Beattie’s The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series. I can’t tell you how helpful, practical, and inspiring this book is – you have to find out for yourself!
One of her entries for the “gratitude” month asks readers to find reasons to be grateful to the people who have hurt them in the past. For instance, I am deeply wounded by my sister’s decision to cut me out of her life. Melody’s book is helping me learn how to forgive her for hurting me.
Remember that forgiving your ex is a process
Reading one blog post on how to forgive your ex won’t bring you instant emotional freedom. Forgiving your ex – especially if he was abusive to you or people or animals you love – is a long process that requires work. It’s a daily endeavor, but it does get easier with time! My sister cut me out of her life eight years ago, and I still feel bouts of resentments, pain, and regret for not somehow being different. But, she doesn’t have power over me anymore. Her silence and withdrawal doesn’t affect me the way it used to, because I have learned how to forgive her.
My prayer for you as you work towards forgiving your ex is that you find strength and courage in God. May you connect with your spiritual side, and find energy and healing from Him. He loves you and wants you to be happy, healthy, and whole. May the wind be at your back and your feet light as you move forward in your life.
Forgiving your ex is one step in the journey. You might also want to learn How to Forgive Yourself for Staying in a Bad Relationship.
I welcome your thoughts on how to forgive your ex. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but you might find it helpful to share what you’re going through. Writing often brings clarity and insight.