EP: 113


How to Start Forgiving Your Ex After a Divorce with Everett Worthington

Forgiveness is hard, especially in the aftermath of a divorce. We don’t want to let our ex ‘get away with’ what they did to hurt us. But most of us realize that carrying resentment, anger and bitterness doesn’t benefit us in any way. So, how can we begin to let go of our negative emotions and forgive a former partner?

Commonwealth Professor Emeritus Dr. Everett Worthington is a leader in the field of forgiveness research, religion and spirituality in clinical practice, and the hope-focused approach to marriage and family counseling. His interest in forgiveness began in the mid-1980’s when he was counseling couples professionally, and he started studying the topic scientifically in 1990. Dr. Worthington is the author of 30-plus books and more than 350 academic articles and chapters on the subject, and he is on a mission to promote forgiveness in every willing heart, home and homeland.

On this episode, Dr. Worthington joins Katherine to explain why our drive for fairness and justice makes it difficult to forgive and walk us through several strategies for lessening the injustice gap. He weighs in on the two types of forgiveness, discussing how to gradually lessen our negative emotions toward an ex we must continue to interact with. Listen in to understand Dr. Worthington’s academic and personal motives to study forgiveness and learn to leverage his REACH Model to forgive someone who’s hurt you.


The conflict between our desire to forgive and drive for justice

Dr. Worthington’s take on forgiveness happening ‘inside one person’s skin’

Strategies for lessening the injustice gap

  • Accept and distance self emotionally
  • Turn over to God
  • Forbearance (choose not to engage)
  • Forgiveness

Dr. Worthington’s insight around the two types of forgiveness

  1. Decision to treat as human being
  2. Gradual lessening of negative emotions

The factors that influence how long it takes us to forgive

Dr. Worthington’s advice on limiting contact with an ex to avoid reinjury

How Dr. Worthington’s work with couples inspired his study of forgiveness

The personal tragedy that inspired Dr. Worthington’s life mission

The REACH Forgiveness Model + DIY workbook for learning forgiveness


Dr. Worthington’s Website

Dr. Worthington on Facebook


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765


Professor Michael McCullough

Dr. Worthington’s DIY Workbooks on Forgiveness