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Forgiveness in Divorce

Most people do not understand what it means to forgive. It does not mean letting your ex-spouse off the hook, or saying what they did is “OK”. It does not mean the same things as “trust”. Forgiveness is about your relationship with yourself and one other important being...Divorce is one of the most personal, the most challenging, and potentially the most freeing endeavors a person can face.

We at Iwanyshyn & Associates seek to preserve the marriage, through reconciliation, the creating and enforcement of appropriate boundaries, and rejuvenation of emotional attachment among parties wherever possible. For those couples where this is not possible, we offer the finest representation, advocacy, and advice possible.

In most divorces, there is at least one party that feels a level or degree of abuse, manipulation, and betrayal, and the common response is to hold a grudge or unforgiveness. Divorce is the tearing apart of a union, and it hurts. There are additional effects during divorce including shame, fear, changes in energy, increased stress and anxiety, inability to function, confusion, physical and emotional pain, despair, and lack of acceptance.

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During a divorce, which can feel like a disaster, there is relief possible. Resetting expectations can be the key to success: expectations of the divorcing party on oneself and on the spouse, expectations of family members including children, expectations of friends and business colleagues. Having support to face fears in a systematic manner can be key. Finding people who understand what you are going through is important, too. You are not alone and have not been abandoned. Who and why care about forgiving that “$#&@” who hurt me? Would any of us dispute that we should live better, more joyously, with fulfillment and a positive outlook if we are not constantly in a knot of pain and resentment?

Forgiveness is essential to surviving and thriving beyond divorce and is a must for healing. Forgiveness is a gift to oneself, not to others. Forgiveness does not discount, ignore or forget true wrongs that were committed and injuries inflicted by others. What forgiveness does is allow a positive perspective, a new freedom that pulls one away from and out of rage and anger. Forgiveness is NOT: letting your spouse off the hook, saying what your spouse did is OK, or denying pain, betrayal, and injury. It is not minimizing the hurt or offense, denying the loss of trust, it is not reconciliation, not forgetting, and is not a one-time thing.

Forgiveness is all about you and your choices: a decision, a willful eradication of resentment and associated responses and actions; a promise to cancel a debt while still seeking justice. Forgiveness is liberating and healing, it is hard to offer yet the reward is so great. It is First a Decision (then, maybe) a feeling, motivated by external sources. For your health and well-being, forgiveness can and should be offered even when the offending party does not recognize the offense or does not admit wrong. It is not something to be taken lightly and it is easy to quit and give up. Start by taking the forgiveness challenge, call us to know more.

Unforgiveness - Terrible Consequences

  • Being in an emotional prison

  • Devastated psyche

  • Chronic physical effects

  • Other relationships suffer

  • Bitterness

  • View poisons children

  • Makes divorce disputes needlessly expensive

Divorce Support Groups

Support groups for those separated, considering separation, enduring a divorce or already completed a divorce include:


  • Catholic Divorce Ministry

Through divorce, people either become bitter or better — choose BETTER. Ask us how to help!