First of all, if you are considering forgiveness, that would indicate your ex has offended you in some way. Therefore, the intensity and the duration of the offense/offenses would have a direct impact on your journey toward forgiveness.
Secondly, what is the definition of forgiveness you are using? If you are trying to absolve, pardon or excuse the actions of your offender… then, I would guess Hell has a better chance of freezing over.
Finally, and most importantly, it depends on why you’re considering forgiveness. If it’s because you think it will make your ex easier to deal with, make your children happy or make you the “bigger person”… then I would think twice.
Do I Have to Forgive My Ex?
But, if you want to finally be free from the painful emotions like anger, bitterness, disgust, or disappointment caused by the actions of your ex. Then forgiveness might be necessary. The dictionary definition for Forgiveness is: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender).
I’ve heard people say, “I will never forgive my ex, their offenses are unforgivable!!”. But, the act of forgiveness really has NOTHING to do with your ex. When you think about it, you’re not actually “forgiving your ex”, you’re not doing anything for them. Forgiveness means you’re freeing yourself from the painful feelings of resentment. Period.
Forgiveness doesn’t erase their offenses. Every heinous act and cruel intention they have committed against you or your children are written in stone for eternity. They will never be forgotten. But, these offenses will finally be rendered powerless with forgiveness, and are actually providing you with an opportunity to embark on a miraculous and life changing journey.
Remember, The Act of Forgiveness has everything to do with you. This is a personal journey toward freedom from the emotional pain of resentment. Your journey will be unique to your particular set of circumstances, but every path follows the same three basic steps. These important steps are Desire, Understanding, and Moving Forward.
We begin with the desire to separate from the emotional pain. That may sound easy, everyone wants to be free from pain right? Well, actually you may find this first step can be very complicated and it may take you a very long time to truly desire that freedom. You may be surprised to discover that deep down you could be struggling to feel deserving of healing.
Many of us came from painful childhoods or previous relationships that were physically, emotionally, or psychologically abusive. No one wants to be in pain, but for some reason, we became used to it… familiar with it. After a time, we subconsciously felt deserving of suffering. It is very important to understand how and why we ended up feeling this way?
I recommend you work with a coach or therapist to peel back the layers until you uncover the answers, and they may blow your mind… Inevitably, those answers will ultimately lead you to understand why you ended up married to your offender in the first place. Commonly there was a pattern of toxic attraction between a narcissist and an empath at the core of the relationship.
This well known toxic attraction sets up the predictable connection between the offender and their target. Once you understand this dynamic… many things will begin to fall into place and you will finally get the clarity you need to move forward. You will become aware of the need to strengthen your self-esteem and to work on developing your self-worth.
The last step, Moving Forward, is the best part of your forgiveness journey. You have detached yourself from the feelings of resentment against your offender and you will have emerged with powerful freedom. Now, unfortunately, if you share kids with this ex, there will most likely be many opportunities for you to polish your forgiveness skills. But that can be a good thing!
So, do you need to forgive your ex? The real question is… are you ready to free yourself from the painful feelings of resentment toward your offender??? Are you ready to feel true contentment and happiness?? Let’s hope your answer is a resounding “Heck Yeah!!”
It’s about time my friend!!