It’s not easy to accept that your marriage is over. It can be even harder to forgive your spouse when you feel like their actions or failures caused the split.
Unfortunately, negotiating the terms of your divorce from a place of anger and resentment can lead to rash decisions and foolish mistakes. You don’t have to “forgive and forget,” but allowing yourself to move past that hurt and bitter place can be best for you.
How do you focus on what’s important?
There are a lot of different ways that you can approach the situation and obtain some emotional distance. Perhaps the most important tool at your disposal is pity.
Consider this: You know your spouse probably better than anyone, so you know what likely drives them. Unhappy people do unhappy things. If your spouse has a personality disorder, a drug addiction, a gambling problem or cheated on you, the odds are high that they have some deep emotional difficulties that have never been addressed.
It’s not your responsibility to fix them, nor are you obligated to tolerate their abuse, neglect or general bad behavior in your life. However, seeing them as someone deserving of your pity because of how unfulfilled and thwarted their life may be can help transform your anger.
By making a conscious decision to distance yourself emotionally from the anger associated with the past, you free yourself to focus on what’s important in the present – like the division of your marital assets, issues of custody and support and other decisions that need to be made. Working with someone who can help you aim for a peaceful divorce can also be beneficial.