Divorce and forgiveness

My partner is in the process of going through a divorce, and was asking my advice on how he can get through the process without becoming bitter and jaded.
I put my thoughts into an email which I wanted to share on my blog…

Divorce and forgiveness

I guess I can only speak from my own personal experience.  Of what I did, and what worked for me.

It hasn’t always been easy to remain calm when it comes to dealing with my  ex-husband. He can be very secretive and ‘closed’.  And hostile as well.

For me I decided early on that I wasn’t going to let it affect me.  I didn’t want my son to see it.  And if I let it affect me, it was only going to compromise me, and my ability to handle the situation.

I have a need to have open communication and understanding to work through issues..  And it makes life difficult when I am not met with the same respect and courtesy.

I guess though at least by trying to continue doing the right thing myself, I could be confident that I’d done the very best that I could. To make the situation as easy and pleasant as possible.  Even the times that my ex-husband was unpleasant I just remained calm.

Because that was something that he needed to deal with.  It was no longer my problem.  And funnily the more calm and even I remained, the more it annoyed him.  Because he wasn’t affecting me.

It’s also very liberating to step away from their games.  And to be free of it.  To rise above it I guess.

Dealing with the feelings of resentment is going to be key in getting through this.  Because if left as it is, resentment will turn into frustration, which turns into anger.

It will be a matter of how to deal with the resentment in a useful way.  It can help to write out how you are feeling.  Even if this is only in a letter that s never going to be read.  Sometimes it helps to just put thoughts into words.  It helps to untangle our thoughts by writing them out.  And clears our head a little.  Sometimes just by getting them out there it’s enough to release our tension and frustration.  Nothing more needs to be done.  Sometimes.

But just remember to put yourself first in all of this.

That’s something I learnt the hard way.

You need to do what brings you comfort and peace.

Enjoy the good times – however brief they may be.  They give you strength to face the bad times.

And also accept offers of help from people.  Let people that care about you support you through it.

I let friends know that I wasn’t okay.  And mostly what I needed was just company.  Someone to talk to.  To spend time with.

You get out of relationships (of any sort) what you put into them.  The more love, kindness and compassion you approach a situation with, the more you will (eventually) get in return.  Perhaps not from your ex-partner, but from the universe in general.

Nothing has changed between my ex-husband and I.  We have a very terse relationship.

However the world around me has changed as I have changed.  As I have softened and opened, more opportunities have become available to me.  I have met so many beautiful people.

Also just allow yourself to work through the stages.  Grief, anger, resentment, etc.  Allowing yourself the time to feel your full range of emotions is not only liberating, but necessary.  It helps cleanse you of any negativity you may be holding on to.

The ability to wholly and truly forgive is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give yourself.  Forgiveness sets you free from resentment’s confines; it breaks down the walls that anger builds and negativity reinforces.  When we forgive, we stop letting ours pasts dictate our presents. We acknowledge we want the very best for ourselves; accepting that our past makes us the person we are today, and embracing that.  Letting go of resentment doesn’t necessarily lead to forgiveness, but when you embrace forgiveness, resentment ceases to exist.

We cannot control what other people do, but we can control how we react. When we practice truthful living, and forgiveness, resentment fails to have any power over us.

And that’s really how I feel, and how I have managed to get through it without bitterness and anger.

I refused to let this experience change me – for the worse.  Only for the better.  I was determined to learn from it, and grow, and use it to be coming more open and loving and kind.  And help other people.

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About istopforsuffering

A page created to help spread love and kindness and positivity. Dedicated to making this world a better place, and making a difference in people's lives.

26 responses to “Divorce and forgiveness

  1. I was just thinking, why do we need to run away from people just because they have mood problems, attitude problems in short shades of grey???Why do people seek divorce?Don’t we also have something that can bother them to the extend of leaving us, OUR SHADES OF GREY?Do we need more patience, to accept flaws in others?
    I need to write about this 🙂

  2. Judy

    Congratulations for refusing to let your divorce change you for the worse & even more congratulations for obviously putting the needs of your son first. I don’t have any 1st hand experience of divorce but having watched & unfortunately experienced 2 of my best friends go through a blood bath over the last few years and drag their children with them I’m deeply impressed by those who choose another path.

    As a ‘friend’ who has been dragged into the whole mess I feel I too need counselling to deal with my bitterness – and it wasn’t even my marriage! (I’ve put ‘friend’ in inverted commas as I no longer feel I’m doing that job very well as I just don’t have anything left to give 😦 )

    Oh dear…. that’s all a bit depressing isn’t it!

    So I can’t help congratulate you again on your awesome view of life – so many people choose very different paths!

    • Hi Judy!!! *waves madly*. Thank you so much! It is terrible when children get dragged in to a situation like that, where it’s only making it more stressful than it needs to be. When they are already vulnerable and need stability. It’s also a matter of dealing with it in a way that you can find peace and acceptance, so that you can move forward without resentment.

      Much love, Megan ♥

  3. Thank you so much Meg for your transparency and open honesty about something which must have been a painful time in your life. I am touched by your determination to come out of that situation better and not bitter. I am inspired to be in the company of one of the most beautiful and giving person and knowing what you had gone through now makes me cherish you and your efforts even more! I wish you wisdom and strength, most of all happiness for you and your son and to new beginnings. Shaz

    • Thanks so much lovely Shaz! :-).

      It’s a long story – as they always are :-). I think it was further complicated by the fact my husband left me on Valentine’s Day. For a woman he lined up via online dating (in the weeks before he left). So he drove from our house to hers, and never left.

      It was something that I could never have anticipated facing. But it forced me to make a life decision about how I was going to handle it. And I made a choice I am proud of 🙂

      Much love to you, Meg ♥

      • Oh my dear Meg….I shudder to think that you had to go through such an ordeal and tears are just welling up in my eyes at the thought. Oh my dear Meg. I don’t even know what to say except that I wish I was there to give you the biggest hug ever and to tell you face to face that you are so brave. To build a new life and to protect your son and infuse his life with all the beauty, love and care a mother can give. You let me know if there’s ever anything I can do. I’m so very proud of you my beautiful one. Always, Shaz

      • Oh Shaz, that was the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me! Truly. You have touched my heart so deeply. I am speechless. And humbled. And grateful to count you as one of my most beautiful and valued friends.

        Thank you from the bottom of my heart ♥

  4. Beautiful advice…simply beautiful….

    • Thank you Angela!! :-). I really dug deep for that email to him – I wanted to pour my heart out and give him as much wisdom and advice and support as I could. To make a difference. And I think it did :-). He read it through 5 times before he even replied. And he was going to print it out and carry it around with him. 🙂 ♥

  5. i wish divorce was as easy as marriage is

    • I think it can be. Both marriage and divorce can be made much simpler and easier through communication, and openness and the willingness to act with compassion. Although in both cases it’s made even easier if both partners are willing to make that effort.

      • that is the key, both, which one is never willing as someone always gets hurt from a divorce. very few are good, but some think of their children and act like adults about it

  6. Your reflections have the ring of authenticity to them, and I agree that we shape our futures by the actions and attitudes we adopt each day.

  7. rococonnor

    A lovely, warm, comforting and illuminating post. I especially like the part about stepping back from their games. I did just that. When it does finally end, that grace under fire becomes a life-saver, and was the grounds for my new life. Great post.

  8. Son

    You are a very wise woman Meg!

    There is one thing about divorce that I feel very strongly about – I firmly believe that, no matter how much the other party has hurt you, you NEVER make a pawn of your children and YOU never make them choose between parents, or even make them feel that they have to choose. You divorce your partner, your children are not divorcing any one of their parents.

    • Thank you so much!! :-). I totally agree with that. I think divorce is the same as any other relationship – even non-romantic ones. They require communication, understanding and patience. Divorce doesn’t have to be unpleasant.

  9. Great letter, full of wisdom and good advice. What I am learning to do is:
    “I let friends know that I wasn’t okay. And mostly what I needed was just company. Someone to talk to. To spend time with.”

  10. JULIE

    Hiya

    Has anyone got any advice for me as I have a boyfriend who is going through divorce and he has become very distant, almost a different person. I do not know how to handle the situation as I have only known him a few months and it almost feels as he is rejecting me but I obviously appreciate he has a hell of a lot on his plate right now. I would appreciate any comments to help me deal with the situation as I think a lot of him and don’t want to walk away.

    Julie

    • Julie – firstly my heart goes out to you. It’s a difficult time for him, but also a difficult time for you. Entering into a new relationship and having to face these challenges from the beginning. And I can really relate to where you are coming from, as it’s very similar to what I am going through myself.

      Personally the advice I would give is to just be there for him. Let him know that you are going to support him through it, and that if he needs to talk that you are there. And give him as much space as he needs. I think the difference between males and females (and speaking very generally here) is that males need a lot more space and time to work through things. Where females tend to want to talk more, males sometimes need space to work through things on their own. But let him know that you are there if he does need to talk.

      Make sure you look after yourself as well during this stressful time. Make time to do things that bring you joy and peace and comfort.

      Much love & blessings to you, Meg ♥

  11. JULIE

    Dear Meg

    Thank you so much for your response. We are obviously both going through a tough time at the moment and you can relate to how I am feeling but you have been through divorce yourself and are coping with a partner going through the process, both very painful situations. I have never been married then divorced so cannot totally relate to or understand the feelings and pain involved and hope I never have to!! I read with interest your letter to your partner about divorce and forgiveness which contained many words of wisdom from your own experiences and should be a great help to him.

    You are a wonderful lady, so brave and strong and positive.

    Julie x

    • Thank you so much Julie! Thank you for your reply – I have thought of you often since you posted.

      Unfortunately in my situation, it’s proven to be too difficult. For my partner. To juggle a new relationship and the stresses involved in sorting out the last one. So he has asked me for time and space. Of course he can have all the time and space he needs, but I would be lying if I said my heart wasn’t breaking. I’ve never opened myself up to anyone like that before, or felt such a profound love. I have faith it will work itself out though in time. And I know this experience will help me to build more empathy and understanding.

      • JULIE

        Hi Meg

        So sorry to hear about the situation you are in now and that you are suffering from a broken heart………it seems as though we are following the same pattern as I too am now in that same situation and am not coping at all well right now. My partner seems to have disappeared and is refusing to talk to or contact me, I had strong feelings for him even though I had only known him over a few months. What’s worse is that I am not sure whether he is two-timing me and on a re-bound trip as it were!!

        Thinking about you and sending you a big hug……think we both need one of those right now.

        Is there any way I could contact you by personal e-mail?

        Julie

      • Oh Julie, my heart goes out to you. Please do email me!! bodhichitta@hotmail.com.au

        Much love & blessings to you ♥

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