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How to Forgive After a Break-Up

By Casey Holley ; Updated June 13, 2017

After a breakup, you will go through a range of emotions: from anger and denial to forgiveness and acceptance. While some of these emotions will be simple to work through, forgiving yourself and your ex may be more difficult and will take time. Failing to forgive can lead to problems like bitterness, uncontrolled anger, depression, anxiety and the inability to enjoy life.

Give yourself time to grieve your loss. Even if you were the one who broke off the relationship, you will likely go through periods of sadness and anger. This is especially true if the relationship was long-term or if you were very close to your ex.

Let go of your role as the victim in the situation. Being the victim allows your ex and the situation to control you. Once you realize you are totally in control of your life, you can move closer toward truly forgiving yourself and your ex.

Recognize the differences among the situation, your actions and yourself. The situation surrounding the breakup doesn't define you, and you should leave it in the past. You can use your actions regarding the breakup to better yourself. Take time to reflect on these factors to determine how you can use the breakup to become a stronger person.

Ask for forgiveness. You can apologize to your ex if you need to forgive yourself. Even if your ex doesn't accept your apology, you have the peace of mind knowing that you did ask. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your ex, write a letter, send a text message or type a sincere email.

Speak the words of forgiveness. While it isn't necessary to call your ex, you should still say that you forgive him aloud. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you forgive him -- and that you forgive you.

Realize that those old feelings of hurt and anger may creep up from time to time; however, it is how you deal with these feelings that determine if you have forgiven. If you have truly forgiven yourself and your ex, you will be able to just push those feelings aside without having to act on them.

Turn to your faith leaders for help. Pastors, preachers and other faith leaders can help you to work through your anger and hurt so that you can forgive.

Tips

You can forgive your ex without expecting an apology. By doing this, you are taking control of your life, which enables you to move on.

Warnings

If you have thoughts or plans to hurt yourself or someone else, contact a mental health professional immediately for help.

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