How You Can Forgive Your Ex-Spouse

Forgive your ex-spouse, especially when you’ve been wronged is rough.  Forgiveness and letting go are topics that often arise in my divorce coaching practice. The individuals who were “wronged” either through betrayal, shattered promises, or a whole host of other reasons want an apology. Many feel that having a sense that justice has been done will ease the emotional trauma. But, the truth is, an apology or restitution is unlikely to happen. Even when apologies happen, offended parties tend to perceive them as less complete and sincere than they ought to be.

I hear:

“He had an affair, he was wrong, and I want him to get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness.”

“He promised we would spend the rest of our lives together, and now he’s leaving? I hate him; he deserves nothing!”

And the extreme, “I’m going to cut his [email protected]#$ off, he doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, only to be in pain for the rest of his life -just like Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband.”

Award winning writer/producer Arlene SarnerOpens in a new tab. has written for every major movie studio including. Arlene is a talented and engaging writer who shares her story about forgiveness, personal transformation and moving on with Deborah Moskovitch on The Smart Divorce.  Arlene shares her very powerful story of turning years of acrimony and hostility towards her ex husband, into a now peaceful and civil relationship and says” So don’t lose hope–even the most rancorous relationships with exes can eventually shift into civility” 

Topics in this Podcast include:

• The Lunch with the ex and how it changed everything
• Forgiveness, the power to forgive and letting go
• How letting go of anger changed a family.
Tune in to listen to hear this inspiring story

Achieving Peace, Harmony and Forgiveness with an ExOpens in a new tab.

Award winning writer/producer Arlene Sarner has written for every major movie studio including.

The forgiveness journey – how to make it happen

Our guest, Mark Rye is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College. Mark’s research interests are in the field of positive psychology. He has studied the impact of forgiveness on post-divorce adjustment and has developed and evaluated interventions designed to help divorced individuals forgive their ex-spouses.  Recently, he has become interested in how forgiveness of an ex-spouse relates to the parenting approach.

In this informative and thought-provoking interview we discuss what is forgiveness, and how to achieve it – so that angry thoughts do not hold you back from moving on.  We explore how forgiveness is a journey and how your thoughts, feelings and behaviour can transform you.

This is a very powerful and forgiving program! If you have any questions about this topic, please email Mark Rye at [email protected]

More information and resources may also be found at the Fetzer InstituteOpens in a new tab. 

  • Topics in this Podcast include:
  • Strategies for letting go of your anger
  • What is forgiveness
  • Understanding the forgiveness journey
  • What does research show about the relationship between forgiveness of an ex-spouse and post-divorce adjustment?
  • Forgiveness interventions
  • What are some of the unique challenges that divorced individuals face with respect to forgiveness?
To listen in to this informative Podcast, click on the link below:

The Power of ForgivnessOpens in a new tab.

The forgiveness journey – how to make it happen Our guest, Mark Rye is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College. Mark’s research interests are in the field of positive psychology.

Forgiving your ex-spouse could be good for your health

Would you believe that forgiving your ex could be good for your health? Have you been deeply wounded by your ex-spouse during or before divorce? Does s/he continue to engage in hurtful behaviour even though you are no longer living under the same roof? Are you finding it difficult to move beyond feelings of anger, bitterness, and sadness? If so, you are not alone. Many individuals who have been wronged by their ex-spouse find it difficult to get beyond their painful experiences.

Divorce healing and moving on is a difficult combination that for many is a challenge and often prevents them from moving onto a healthy relationship post-divorce. Holding on to negative thoughts and anger will not only prevent you from moving forward positively but also may cause you chronic health problems. There are ways you can find peace to move on to more positive outcomes for a happier, healthier future. One approach that can help you along the path toward emotional healing is forgiveness.

In an effort to better understand the how’s and why’s of forgiveness, I spoke with Dr. Mark S. RyeOpens in a new tab. a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College. He has been researching and writing about forgiveness since 1996.

Dr. Rye advises that “while forgiveness may have benefits for others, it first and foremost can help you. When deciding whether or not you wish to forgive, it is worth considering the growing body of scientific literature showing how hostility and forgiveness relate to your physical health, mental health, parenting style, and children’s adjustment to divorce”

Here are some considerations:

Your Health
Hostility relates to chronic health problems such as coronary hear disease and high blood pressure.
Forgiveness is associated with decreased physiological distress.

Your Happiness
Hostility is related to increased depression.
Forgiveness is associated with decreased depression.

Your Adjustment to DivorceOpens in a new tab.
Hostility has been liked to poor coping strategies.
Forgiveness of an ex-spouse relates to better post-divorce adjustment..

Parenting and Your Children’s Adjustment
Hostility can result in high conflict coparenting. Children often feel like they are stuck in the middle when they parents argue. Moreover, they might mimic any observed expressions of hostility in their own relationships.
Forgiveness relates to improved coparenting and less parental conflict. Modeling forgives for your children may help them consider this as a strategy when they experience interpersonal conflict in the future.

One approach that can help you along the path toward emotional healing and forgiveness is journalingOpens in a new tab..

Research has found that journaling can have benefits such as lowering depressive symptoms following traumatic life events. Dr. Rye along with a group of researchers at Skidmore College are recruiting participants for an exciting new study on how journaling relates to adjustment after divorce. If you are divorced or going through a divorce, and can think of at least one action taken by your ex that was hurtful or upsetting in some way, you are eligible to participate.

The study involves completing two online surveys and a brief journaling assignment, twice a week for three weeks. The first 100 participants to respond will receive up to $25 in gift certificates to All responses are confidential.

Having awareness of the many challenges towards forgiveness, healing and moving on can help you to overcome them when they arise. Personally, I think it’s a great idea, and have been recommending journaling to my divorce-coaching client’s for years. Even writing letters or emails and not sending them to your ex can be helpful and cathartic. But now, you can journal, find support and benefit in many ways. By participating in the research you’re helping to pave the way for your fellow divorcees to heal and deal, while moving forward with focus, hope and confidenceOpens in a new tab..

You can get involved by emailing Karen Rothman or Dr. Mark Rye at [email protected] Simply indicate in your email that you are willing to help out.

This article first appeared in The Huffington PostOpens in a new tab.

Contact Sarah at (647) 493-1800 or complete an inquiry formOpens in a new tab. to get help specific to your situation.

Deborah Moskovitch

This blog post was written by Deborah Moskovitch the author of "The Smart Divorce", the catalyst for this website. This evergreen book covers how to manage the divorce process for a less painful result.

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