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How to NOT forgive your ex

Updated: Apr 25

“You have to forgive in order to move on

I’m sure you’ve heard it. I guess they think they're being helpful, but…

How do you forgive someone for lies or infidelity?

How do you forgive abuse?

Where do you start?

What if they never apologized or showed any remorse?

The word "FORGIVE" becomes extremely triggering during a divorce.

I used to think the reason I wasn’t “getting over” my divorce was that I didn’t know how to forgive.

I beat myself up believing that I was a horrible, resentful person. I thought I’d never be able to heal, because I couldn’t let go of all the awful things that were said and the way I was treated.

My dictionary defines forgive: to give up resentment against (an offender) : PARDON.

My personal definition of forgive is a bit different. It's based on my own history, the stories I was raised with, interpretations, beliefs I've adopted or rejected, and the people who have come in and out of my life.

Although it's counter to Webster's dictionary, my beliefs about forgiveness include

1. empathizing with the other party

2. removing blame

3. "turning the other cheek"

None of that is going to happen any time soon, not with respect to my ex. No way! Nope.

The definition in my head was keeping me stuck...stuck in semantics...stuck feeling awful about myself.

Then, finally, I came across a new idea...not from a dictionary...from Oprah. It turned out to be the key to "the forgiveness dilemma" for me.

This is a definition that I have worked with and always share with my clients and anyone who is struggling to move on or feeling guilty because they can't:

"Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different."

- Oprah Winfrey

Now THAT I can do.

Forgiveness is accepting the past...

accepting that it can't be changed...

accepting what they did...

accepting who I used to be...

and releasing it.

Letting go of all of it.

It's done.

It can't be changed.

Holding on is hurts.

Moving beyond is freeing.

It takes time and work to really process all the emotions and circumstances. But, there is true freedom in acceptance. Once I stopped wishing I could change it and that things could be different...I was able to be present in my life and focus on my future.

You don't have to forgive someone who hurt you to move on from the past. Examine your definition and make it work for you.

Peace and acceptance.

Complimentary Divorce Coaching Intro Sessions are available with Rebecca Wolf using the button above. During this consult, you'll uncover your unique path to divorce recovery and discover the value of private coaching.

Rebecca Wolf

Divorce Consultant

Certified Life Coach

Founder of Her Divorce Project and The Divorce Project

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