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During the throes of divorce, it’s difficult to understand what went wrong, who is to blame, and what should have happened differently. Hopefully, as you move past the pain of divorce, you begin to understand that both parties had a hand in the downfall of your marriage. There were things that both of you probably should or shouldn’t have done. You may even feel that you want to apologize to your ex as you move on to the next phase in your life. But you can’t always expect an apology in return, and that’s okay. Apologize for the Right Reasons: If you say you’re sorry to your ex, do so because you feel in your heart that it’s the right thing to do. Say it because you know that you mean it, and because you know you have learned lessons that will help you in future relationships. Don’t say it because you expect to get it back. This will only lead to disappointment, as you can’t know what kind of emotional growth your former spouse has or hasn’t gone through. Do it for you, not to get the same in return. Don’t Regret It: You might have friends or family that feel you shouldn’t have apologized because you weren’t at fault, or maybe because you were the “least wrong.” But acknowledging your mistakes, no matter how small they were, can be emotionally cleansing. It doesn’t give the other spouse power over you, and it doesn’t make you the weaker person. Instead, you’ll know that you did the right thing. Forgive Anyway: Just because your ex never says he or she is sorry, or even if they don’t believe they have a reason to say it, you can still forgive. Once again, do this for your own benefit. Forgiveness allows you to let go of bitter feelings towards your ex and open your heart up to more positive emotions. It doesn’t mean that you have to forget what happened, because acknowledging the past is how you learn. But you don’t have to hold onto it or continue to feel like a victim. If you find that you have apologies to express and forgiveness in your heart, then go right ahead and own it. Don’t worry about how your ex or anyone else feels about it, because it’s part of your emotional healing. Your former spouse doesn’t have to return the expression to make it valid, and besides, you can live the rest of your life knowing you were the bigger person.

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