Are you struggling to forgive your ex or current partner for something they did?

Are you still carrying a grudge, feel resentment or anger towards them?

In all romantic relationships (past and present) there will be times where the one you love will hurt you. It could be something small, like a comment on the way you look, not calling when they said they would or forgetting important dates. Then there are bigger issues; infidelity, insulting your family, abusive or addictive behavior.

When your hurt, how do you respond? There is no time table on forgiveness, but if you are holding a grudge for a long period of time recognize that if you in a relationship you could be causing further damage.

Whether you are in a relationship, divorced or single research shows holding frustration, bitterness and resentment within you in is bad for your blood pressure. It also causes stress, anxiety and can reduce your overall life expectancy.

Mark and Farrah came to me wanting to repair their marriage. Working with them each separately I discovered that Mark still couldn't forgive Farrah for withholding intimacy in the 5 years following the birth of their two children. She refused all sexual contact with him and he felt angry and rejected. Farrah couldn't forgive Mark for his affairs during that time, when she needed his help at home the most, he was out partying. I always work with couples individually first in all my relationship programs, forgiveness is an individual issue. Many mistakenly think that you need an apology for closure and forgiveness, but you don't if you have a good process. I keep couples apart in forgiveness because neither benefits from knowing the built up anger, resentment or disappointment they may still have, all they need to do is to release it.

Some individuals I work with to create a new life after a Divorce, want to find someone new. But they often don't realize that holding onto the past affects their future relationship success and choices.

Ahmed got divorced 3 years ago, he hadn't had a relationship since his breakup 5 years ago and wanted to focus on his future, otherwise he was concerned another 5 years would pass him by and he wouldn't have moved forward. He was still really bitter at his wives affair and didn't know if he could ever trust anyone again. We went through 2 of my 3 forgiveness processes (1 is shared below for you) the other 2 I cannot explain in an article, but if you would like details do reach out to me - add me on LinkedIn. Ahmed found letting go of the betrayal wound he was carrying, made a difference in his new relationships, he became more relaxed, less fussy or quick to judge new women.

Before our sessions he used to sabotage all relationship chances by cancelling dates, coming up with excuses, why now was not the right time for him to be in a relationship, as he had too much going on at work or with his family, or needed to lose weight first. He confessed to frequently talking himself out of making any effort to go out, with online dating, or even turning up things he had committed to. Having a coach helped him not to neglect taking action towards what he wanted.

A UN forgiveness report based on psychological research states the importance of forgiveness in personal relationships and between worn-torn countries. They claim it makes individuals happier and healthier and I am privileged to see this weekly in my practice.

It was only through my own forgiveness experience, (shared below) that I decided to focus on helping others heal from their pasts. As forgiving others really does allow you to unlock yourself from the chains and pain of the past. I see many people struggle with the concept of forgiving, because they think that means condoning or forgetting, it means neither!

There is a chance you are reading this thinking there is no way on earth I can ever forgive them, for what they said, did or put me through. I get that. Forgiveness was the hardest and most liberating thing I have ever done.

My mum suffers from mental breakdowns and during our childhood was repeatedly verbally and physically abusive. When my parents got divorced and Dad (our protector) moved away, Mum's breakdown became permanent. She had no one to help her and we had no one to save us, needless to say our childhood for a period became progressively worse.

I am not sharing this for sympathy, and if mentioning this makes me sound like a victim I apologize, not my intention. Neither does my example demonstrate that my pain was any worse or better than yours, you cannot and should not ever compare pain, pain is pain, it hurts, but if you add bitterness and resentment to it and hold on to that makes it harder to let go of the hurt and shift from the past.

Like many, who do take the step to forgive and accept others and their faults completely, I found I was able to love myself. By not accepting and loving my parents for who they are warts and all, I had created an unconscious belief that: 'only people who are perfect are worthy of my love.' Therefore sending an unconscious message to myself, that I too don't deserve my own love and acceptance, for I am not perfect. When I forgave (using the processes I do within my practice) it felt like a huge weight of my past had been lifted, I felt totally free. For years I had been pushing down the anger I had inside, for it was disrespectful and not acceptable to feel anger towards a parent. I had to bury it deep and was even unaware until I had some breakthrough coaching. Facing it and dealing with it was a life defining moment and led me to where I am now... writing this article you are reading. I feel blessed that you are.

The universe often works like that, like a giant mirror projecting back what you give out or Karma what goes around comes around. Call it what you will, forgiveness works in the same way...

If you forgive others you can forgive yourself. If you love others and let the pain go. You can love yourself more and free yourself. As Antony Robbins stated "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself."

But it is important to note that forgiveness is an action not a feeling. When people say to me they don't feel like forgiving, I reply lovingly: "of course you don't, because you cannot feel something you have not done". In order to forgive you must act first, so suggest to them take the action first, then to see how they feel.


Forgiving yourself is also necessary to heal a relationship. After an affair sometimes I see the unfaithful partner going through more pain than the faithful. I have also seen many divorcees not forgive themselves for past mistakes, or for staying in their broken marriage too long, or for not fighting hard enough in the divorce process. There are many who cannot forgive themselves for the impact divorce has had on their children. In order to help your children you need to help yourself first.

Self-forgiveness will allow you to avoid feelings of self-loathing, which can manifest into issues with self-worth, self-doubt and much more.

In summary forgiveness is not easy, it was Mahatma Gandhi who said:

"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong"

Studies have shown that in relationships, where couples forgive each other they tend to be happier than those who don't - and happier couples are probably much more likely to forgive than those in relationships where they make each other miserable. But as Mother Theresa stated "If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive"

If any of this is resonating with you here are some steps you can take right now to forgive. This is the simplest of the 3 processes I have, but it extremely powerful when put into practice. Don't delay forgiving it really can strengthen your relationship or be the foundation to a new life and new relationships.



Step 1 - Think about the benefits of letting it go. For example no longer obsessing over what they did, how hurt you are, no longer carrying the bad feeling inside you. If you have been through a breakup, letting them completely out of your life and emotions

Step 2 - List a few things you have done wrong in the past or to them, we all know we are not perfect.

Step 3 - Revisit what happened, try and see it from their perspective. The chances are they were probably doing the best they could with the resources they had. Put yourself if their shoes and see if you can perhaps change how you view them, may be you cannot and that's also OK.

So now you are ready to give yourself the gift of forgiveness take the action steps.


Step 4 - Write down everything negative your feel towards your partner or ex partner (or if working on self-forgiveness yourself) Then create statements write them down as if you are actually speaking to them (or you).

E.G I forgive you for _______________ and let go of this _______________ (feeling / emotion) I have been holding on to easily and effortlessly, right now.

Continue until you empty out all of what needs to be said.

Step 5 - Then write out a forgiveness summary statement

"NAME, whilst I may not be able to accept or condone your behavior, I have decided to forgive you now, wholeheartedly. Because in forgiving you, I am setting myself free. Free from the tension and stuff I have been holding on in my body".

Step 6 - Read steps 1 and 2 out loud to someone close you trust. For it to go from a feeling to an action, and for you to acknowledge and believe you are letting it go once and for all, you must state it out loud in the presence of another human being.

I cannot explain the science behind it, but research has shown that individuals that miss this step aren't always successful in recovery. As you need to believe you are really letting it go and getting out of your system and having a witness makes it more real and become truth.

Note: If the above seems too difficult for you then add the word try into the sentences. One of the world's experts on forgiveness Frank Fincham of Florida State University. Says for some forgiveness may take time and therefore using the word try and repeating the steps can go a long way.

Author's Bio: 

Nicola Beer is an international Relationship & Divorce Coach that helps her clients heal and create a new beginning. This includes helping couples on the verge of a breakup to resolve relationship issues and revive the love, passion, respect, and fun they’ve been missing.
Nicola’s also focuses on supporting individuals and their children through Divorce to create more money, happiness, laughter and (when ready) love back into their life. Through Nicola’s own painful breakup and experience as a child of divorce, she has developed transformational programs to support others. Her 12 year’s’ experience has also led to her podcast show Divorce Talk available on Itunes, as well as her insightful blog found at