When couples first consult with me, they often don’t realize the healing power of forgiveness. Everyone wants to be right, but oftentimes, holding onto one’s pride tears the relationship apart. It is hard to look back on a relationship in which you have felt hurt, angered, disappointed or betrayed, and let go of the negative feelings connected with that experience. Freeing yourself from that anger and resentment, however, is the best way to move forward and establish a new beginning.
Many of us may linger on the pain and anger we feel after an argument with our partner, but holding onto negative feelings can be harmful to our emotions and bodies. Stress and anxiety, along with feelings of anger, depression and resentment, often take a heavy toll on one’s mental and emotional well-being. In addition, anxiety, depression and anger all have potentially destructive physical manifestations.
Research has shown that when we practice forgiveness, we diminish these intense feelings, resulting in a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and overall stress, as well as a reduction in fatigue, stress and inner conflict. Forgiveness may even help us sleep better at night. As the old adage says, ‘don’t go to bed angry’, and indeed, forgiveness leads to healthier minds and bodies.
While forgiveness mends the breaks in a relationship, it also provides a way for the hurt party to move on. Once we forgive, it is easier to forget. As we forget our anger, we move on with our lives and release unnecessary stress and tension in our lives. Letting go of these hindrances to a better relationship will allow you to adopt more effective co-parenting strategies. In turn, your children will experience less conflict, and everyone will be able to focus on cooperation moving forward.
Perhaps you blame your partner for the failure of the relationship, or maybe you blame yourself. It’s important to be at peace with the end of your relationship. The past will remain in the past, and the only way to move forward is to resolve your conflicts with your partner and within yourself. Forgiveness is a crucial act for everyone involved, and it is necessary for the welfare of your children as you face the challenges of co-parenting.
Letting go of anger and stress, can help you to embrace a greater sense of inner freedom, peace and well-being. To forgive is to release the negative hold our experiences have on us and allow ourselves a chance for a new beginning.