Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people. Known as the day of atonement, it is the day to ask God for forgiveness for all your sins. In other words, it is confession time. It is a solemn day, yet there is joy in it because Jews believe that God is accepting repentance and forgiving our sins.
Catholics and people of many other religions engage in confession on a weekly basis, sometimes daily. So, why do people confess? In my opinion, there are many reasons. To engage in faith of course, but also to both verbalize and acknowledge actions and/or words that were not right.
How does confession help? In my opinion it does a few things. It is a relief to confess to something you feel you said or did that was wrong. It takes that burden off. It also offers a sense of acceptance or peace, that the time has passed and that you can’t take it back. That said, you can tell God and yourself how you will handle things differently moving forward. But lastly, I think confession helps people gain self-awareness.
Think about it. If you really listen to what you are apologizing for to God, then maybe you will hear yourself, and then be able to take full responsibility for your mistakes.
Get where I’m going with this? Why can’t people who are in a rough marriage, or those thinking about separating, or those who are going through a divorce, or even men and women who are already divorced confess to each other??
*I was really mean to you a lot of the times we were married.
* I was selfish. When you needed some time away from the kids, I didn’t give it to you.
*I never said ‘I love you’ and I’m so sorry. I figured you always knew that but I was wrong.
*I didn’t treat you with respect during our divorce and I know if I would have things would have gone a lot smoother.
* I hurt you and you didn’t deserve it.
*I blamed you for a lot of my problems, which I now realize we MY problems.
*I know you tried really hard to make me happy and I never appreciated you.
Do you know what saying these things to someone means? It will make their life so much better. It will give them validation. It will help them find closure and peace. It will help them heal and move on.
Do you know what saying these things to someone means to you? It will make your life so much better. It will give you self-awareness, which leads to peace and acceptance and loss of bitterness and anger. And it will help you love and forgive yourself.
There isn’t anything greater than the power of God and prayer, but the next best thing is admitting your faults, your mistakes, and your regrets to help un-hurt someone you might have hurt. (i.e. your ex-spouse, your estranged spouse, your spouse.)
I recently “confessed” to someone and I said to that person of how I wronged him, “I own it.” Verbalizing that felt very cleansing to me. It was an admission of wrongdoing, and it helped me feel good about myself, because I think I truly helped that person find peace with it.
In closing, try confessing. Not just to God (which don’t get me wrong, that’s great) but say it to someone you love, or even better, someone who deserves to hear it. Confession is the time when you forget the fear of vulnerability, when you let your defenses down, and when you humble yourself. It is the best way to a healthier you!
Like this post? Check out my blog, “10 Pieces of Really Bad Divorce Advice.”
Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham
I agree that confession can help a person feel better it can help them feel relieved from the burden of their wrongs.
Great article . I am struggling with this today. I have apologised and OWNED my part in the destruction of our marriage. been feeling good the past couple of weeks but since yesterday i have been feeling really off , could place the reason so i came to your site to do some reading . Read this article and i realised something … i am still waiting for an apology from him for waiting this divorce . It got me thinking how often in my marriage i waited for an apology that didnt come and here i am divorced after 17 years of marriage and again or still waiting for an apology. I currently doing a divorce recovery course at my Church and feel so off today that i dont think i want to attend tonights session about FORGIVENESS. Thanx for this site i enjoy the articles and find them so helpful.
I totally understand how you feel. In fact, this just inspired a blog post because I think a lot of divorced people wait for an apology they never get. I think you will be more at peace if you focus on yourself and the apology you gave, and not worry about getting it from him. The sooner we all realize we have no control over our ex-spouses, the better off we will be. To have peace, you have to accept that you are never getting it. How do you get there? By having faith in God and in yourself and remembering what you can’t change. all my best.
Hi thanx very much for the reply , much appreciated. And yes i did attend the FORGIVENESS session under much self resistance but i went. And i mentioned my feelings and their were others that agreed and some didnt , it was a good session glad it went . God forgives us daily sometimes without our apology. I just read your The Apology You’re Waiting For From Your Ex Isn’t Coming (**,) THANK YOU. You are doing great work helping others. Oh! my 1st Christmas gift for 2016 as a divorced woman is DIVORCED GIRL SMILING … a colleague at work bought it for me cant wait for Christmas day now!
Aww, thank you! Enjoy!