5 Important Steps for Forgiveness During a Divorce

Internally, there are five steps through which we must proceed to reach the place from which we can truly forgive someone else, such as an ex-spouse:

  1. We first assess our part, if any, in the issue, problem or in this case, divorce.
  2. We build up our emotional management skills by knowing how emotions affect us and how to process them.
  3. We must let go of any feelings of entitlement that will block our goal of forgiveness.
  4. We must realize what it is we are holding on to. What is preventing us from setting appropriate boundaries and “changing the rules of engagement” with the other person?
  5. Finally, after these self-searching actions, we can achieve true forgiveness.

Once people are truly ready to forgive, there are six steps to overcoming the hurt of divorce for good:

  1. Understanding both parties’ role in the divorce.
  2. Forgiving the ex-spouse, which takes just one person.
  3. Asking the ex-spouse to accept our forgiveness, which takes both people.
  4. Reconciling the relationship, which takes both parties. This does not necessarily mean “getting back together,” but taking the necessary steps toward a healthy relationship.
  5. Restoring the relationship, which helps us move the new relationship to a healthy place.
  6. Growing the relationship again, which takes both parties and requires a commitment to shift the relationship to a new level that involves forgiveness, grace and perhaps even newfound trust.

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