My boyfriend left me for another woman. I am devastated. I am trying very hard to forgive him so that I can move on but am having a difficult time. What can I do to make this process go easier and quicker?
When you are in love you think that it will last forever. When it ends it is very difficult to process what happened and to deal with all the feelings of loss, abandonment and loneliness.
In your situation not only did the relationship end, but you were betrayed, which is a much deeper loss. You want to forgive, but have you mourned? Have you been angry? Have you forgiven yourself?
Forgiveness is a process; allow yourself the time needed to heal naturally. Rushing the process will only create a superficial forgiveness in your mind and will leave a residual feeling of unease.
It is ok to wake up in the morning feeling sad, angry and lonely. Allow any feelings you have and know that even with those feelings you can continue with your day productively. Forgiveness is an internal process. It can only occur once you let go of your personal story and all its details and instead allow yourself to fully feel and experience your emotions. It is an opportunity for self reflection and growth.
The process of forgiveness includes breathing into your heart and feeling what is there. The reason this is difficult is because your heart has been hurt and it is painful to breathe into. This pain will dissipate with time. Take it slowly and breathe into the pain as best you can a little at a time allowing and expressing whatever emotion is there.
In time you will gain a deep acceptance that what has occurred is truly what is best. This internal transformation is what allows you to forgive and let go. I know that you are in a lot of pain and want it to be resolved quickly and easily, however, time is an important factor in the process. Recognize that these feelings won’t last forever and going through this forgiveness process will make you a stronger and more balanced person.
Please be advised that the advice written in this column is not a substitution for psychotherapy.