Updated: Mar 7, 2019
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Forgiving your ex is hard enough without adding unnecessary factors into the mix. There’s one thing that many people do that they may feel is required for forgiveness, but doing this actually makes the process more difficult and even leads some people to give up on forgiveness altogether! Here’s my (strong) suggestion to you…
Avoid the “I’m forgiving you” speech The question is often raised of whether or not to go and “make amends” with the person you are forgiving. If you feel in your heart that that is what you need to do, then that is your decision. But my personal suggestion would be to avoid that at ALL costs, unless it’s you who is seeking forgiveness for something.
This is purely my professional opinion (I do have a master’s degree in counseling psychology that I like to use from time to time, HA!): I believe that most people want to confront their ex about their decision to forgive them and move on usually because a part of them may still have feelings for them, or they are trying to get a certain reaction from them, whether they are aware of it or not.
But for the people who truly want to move forward and free themselves from being affected by this person any longer, there are usually NO desires whatsoever to include them in this forgiveness process. And what a lot of people don’t know is… that’s completely okay.
Again, if God is leading you to confront or converse with them, by all means, His opinions matters most. Pray and ask for His direction on how He wants you to handle your situation of forgiveness.
Here are a few reasons why confronting your ex may not be the best idea:
If your ex is a master manipulator (I’ve had one of those), you may go into the situation confidently clear and adamant about your decisions, but by the time it’s all over, you could be completely confused about all of the things you were dead-set on. You’ll have every intention of throwing the box of their belongings in their face, running down the list of all the horrible things they did to you, let them know that you forgive them anyway because you’re an amazing person (that they will be lost without!) and wish them a nice life, as you storm away Angela Bassett- style!! But in reality, you could go there with that plan and leave having agreed to be back in a whole relationship with them again and wonder how the heck it all happened! It’s happened to me… and yes, it can happen to you too. Mmkay, Pumpkin? Mmkay.
Interacting with them could make it harder for you to forgive them. There’s a strong possibility that they might say or do something that reminds you of all the reasons why they don’t deserve our forgiveness, which will feed your feelings about not wanting to forgive them and compromise the obedience required to forgive successfully (Mark 11:25-26). Nobody feels like forgiving. But we are required to in order to move on and live by the Word of God. The best way to stay out of your feelings is to minimize the ways in which your feelings can blind your decision to forgive. Which brings me to the next point…
Speaking to an ex can create a highly emotionally charged environment. Emotionally charged situations have a way of strengthening emotional connectivity with a person, whether the emotions are positive or negative. These moments cloud your judgement and make it harder for you to emotionally separate yourself from them, which can hinder and even halt, the forgiveness process.
Actions speak louder than words. So if you really want them to get the picture about you moving on with your life, then be about it. Don’t feel like you have to include them in the process.
But if they eventually come back to you with an apology for what they’ve done, accept it in grace and humility and keep it moving… I said, keep it moving! Just because they realized they were wrong does not mean they deserve a one-way ticket back into your life, and it also doesn’t mean that they are a changed person either.
Guard your heart and use wisdom. And most of all, remember that forgiveness is for YOU. So even if they never realize that the things they did were wrong or apologize for them, you need to be okay with that.
Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the release of my e-book called “Forgiving Your Ex.”
Click here to find out how to get your copy for FREE!!