Most people struggle with some anger after their divorce. It's normal. The danger with the anger is when you hold onto it too long.
You've got to let those feelings go in order to move forward with your life. Let's focus on HOW to do that today. It's not an easy thing. I'm well aware of that. This is probably the most difficult hurdle to clear in moving forward emotionally from a divorce.
But, it's the most important. The answer is a simple one. Applying the answer is the hard part. The answer is the "F" word - simply forgiveness. Now hold on!!! I know a lot of you are tempted to start yelling at me right now! Hear me out! There is a lot of confusion about what forgiveness means.
Forgiveness is a letting go process. It is for YOU, not for your ex-spouse. It is not condoning their behavior.
It is not letting them off the hook for their actions. It doesn't mean you're denying you were hurt or saying what happened was ok with you. Instead, it is a very powerful CHOICE. You are choosing to no longer allow what the other person did to rule you. You are choosing to move your life forward rather than be stuck.
You are choosing to move forward. It's important you are very clear that making this decision is about YOU and your children. It isn't about your ex-spouse.
No one said you have to tell them "I've forgiven you." Without that forgiveness, the bitterness, resentment and anger will continue to fester and cause more hurt. It will taint your life view and by doing so, your ability to effectively parent.
This is a slow process. It doesn't happen by just saying "I'm forgiving him/her". It's a choice you will have to make EVERY day for awhile. New things will pop up that will cause you to want to slide back into that anger. That's when you remind yourself of the choice you've made. It's especially helpful during this difficult time when this is new, to have a trusted friend to keep you on track.
If they hear you start slipping into the anger, they can gently remind you of the choice you've made to not let this person control you or your emotions any longer. Is this easy? Of course not! It takes time. With time and dedication to the choice you've made, it will get easier. You won't feel as if things are out of control or worse yet, controlled by your ex-spouse. Instead, you will feel as if YOU are the one making the choices in your life. Choices to move forward and be a better parent.
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