“I want to forgive, but I don’t know how!”
When I found out that my wife was cheating on me with a man 22 years younger than she was, I was shocked! My pain was incredible! The lies and her affair just about sent me over the edge. I told myself I would never forgive her. What she had done to me was out of pure hate! I told friends and family how angry and bitter I was, and every person I shared with was sympathetic towards my pain.
Then it hit me, what was my daughter seeing from my actions? On one hand, I was teaching her about forgiving people who hurt her, and yet on the other hand I wasn’t being a good example of showing forgiveness toward someone I loved. I have clients who have been bitter since their divorce. If you can’t find forgiveness towards others, then you’ll encounter more problems with bitterness down the road. Many people will go through bouts of depression and will find that long lasting depression has its consequences. Eventually your friends will see you as a victim and someone to avoid. When you become so negative and that’s all people hear from you, look out! You can become so critical that you may not realize that you’re hurting the people around you. Being down and depressed can make you literally physically ill, emotionally exhausted and even spiritually dead for that matter.
When you seek to forgive someone that has wronged you, many good things begin to happen including physical and emotional freedom and spiritual healing. Letting go of the bitterness can help you move on and find a better place for you and your children. I had a client that was so bitter and hateful she couldn’t see straight. Whenever she thought of her ex-spouse she would get physically ill. It disrupted her way of life at work and at home. We spoke about her bitterness and her reluctance to forgive over several months. Once she let go of those negative emotions she began to regain control of her life. When she finally realized that her ex-husband didn’t care if she was bitter or unforgiving she was able to heal and move on.
Physical pain can be treated with medications. Emotional pain is treated by time, patience and forgiveness. Forgiveness is not instant. Yes, you can forgive and move on, but for many, they will never forget the pain they went through and hold on to it. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s an act. It’s about making a conscious decision to release unwanted feelings that you carry around with you about another person. Basically, it’s allowing the other person who hurt you to step out of your life so you can move on with yours! It’s important to be very careful when you forgive someone that you don’t open up the door for them to hurt you again. I see several people a month who have been divorced and yet they open up the doors of being hurt again by trusting the very person that hurt them in the first place! Lost trust must be regained and earned over a period of time. Forgiving someone means not expecting them to say they’re sorry. You might be able to coerce an apology but it won’t be sincere. When I talked to my ex-wife about her affair I would ask her if she was sorry for what she had done to our family. She would laugh and say, “Ok, I am sorry, do you feel better now?” I eventually realized that I was forcing her to apologize and her apology wasn’t from her heart. To this day she still hasn’t apologized but I have moved on and have forgiven her.
The one who forgives is the one who shows maturity. When you forgive it doesn’t mean you want to reconcile. It means you’re just releasing the one who wronged you from your life. You don’t need to carry the guilt and pain caused by your divorce. If you’re ready forgive and need help learning how to forgive then call me. I can help you find freedom and peace in forgiveness.
In this series, I will help you examine the process of getting divorced. We’ll take a close look at what to expect and will share critical information you need to know. If you or your spouse is considering divorce, prior to making that final, life-changing decision, please call me. I can help you prepare for your divorce.
Are you experiencing a difficult time in your marriage and need help? Is your spouse avoiding talking with you about the problems in your marriage? Are you struggling with the execution and planning of your divorce? Would you like to learn communication tools that are helpful when talking with your spouse about repairing your marriage? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can help you. Give me a call today!
Many of you have expressed an interest in talking with me about how to save your marriage, or how to end it. Having gone through the pain myself, I’d be glad to help.
It won’t just go away by itself. Let me help you resolve one of the most painful times in your life, so you can start moving forward again. Make that your first step right now.