Forgetting is not particularly difficult. But, forgiving, well, that’s entirely another matter.

Why do we have so much trouble forgiving? What exactly do we fear?

Perhaps it is a fear of appearing vulnerable or of letting down our guard. We are culturally and socially programmed to perceive the act of forgiving as submitting to something more powerful than ourselves. This is the ego talking and it is a fallacy.

To forgive is to engage in an act that ultimately benefits oneself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When we forgive we let go of what is preventing us from growing and moving forward. When we forgive we unshackle ourselves from what is inhibiting our own progress.  When we profess that we are unable to forgive someone, what we are really telling ourselves is that we wish to continue to be tied to an event in our past that hurt us, disappointed us, destroyed us. The inability to forgive reinforces our attachment to an event in the past, something that is no longer even relevant, and this hinders growth, and ultimately the ability to experience fulfillment and joy.

Those who are experiencing the demise of their relationship often find it exceptionally difficult to forgive. This is not surprising. Declaring (or even contemplating) that you forgive your spouse is considered anathema to surviving a separation and, as may occur in the mind of one of the spouses (usually the one on the receiving end of ‘this marriage is over’ discussion), anathema to the victimized spouse mentality. However, this way of thinking is detrimental and counterproductive.  It interferes with rational and intentional decision-making required to address the complex legal issues that arise following a separation. How can one assess matters in a logical fashion when one is fuelled by hostility towards the other party and focused on presenting a victim narrative about themselves?  

To forgive your spouse is to make peace with the reality that your relationship is over, to tell yourself you are not to blame, and, most importantly, to give yourself permission to transcend this experience, forge a new path, and live with joy. When you do this, you are truly benefiting yourself; the windfall is a former partner who feels less guilty and more at peace with the decision to separate.  

By forgiving yourself you are not only approaching your future from a healthy mentality and outlook (something that can only benefit you in the long run), you are making it more likely that you will finalize your separation peacefully, cooperatively and efficiently.

Forgiveness is not weakness. It is strength and the manifestation of one’s commitment to self-love.