I never thought about forgiving myself or my spouse until I got into therapy after my second marriage ended. Naturally, anger was an important part of the healing process. My therapist told me I had to honor my anger to get the work of divorce done, to make sense out of it all, and ultimately move toward forgiveness -- to forgive not only my husband, but also the situation and, most of all, myself. By allowing room for my anger at my husband, I was able to create a place where forgiveness and understanding could be born.
Before I discovered the healing power of forgiveness, I was having trouble letting go enough to move forward -- I was still wrestling with demons in the night. There's a passage in the Bible that reads: "I will not let you go unless you bless me," (Gen. 32:27). I believe we benefit the most from divorce if we choose not to "let it go until it blesses us" -- until we can see the growth potential in it, and until we can understand our attachment to the past. Pain remains pain until our consciousness grows because of it. Then, it becomes power: the "blessing" that grows out of wrestling with the pain.
Some days, just surviving alone was an excruciatingly frightening experience. I felt victimized, traumatized, and paralyzed. In those early days, it never occurred to me that I had done anything that needed forgiving, and the thought of forgiving my husband was not even in my consciousness.
Then I began to look at the role I had played in my marriage, and realized I was responsible for giving away my power in the relationship. I began to see that my husband left in response to some of the dynamics that I had created in the marriage. For the first time, I could see the meaning of forgiveness. I forgave myself for thinking that the only way I could be loved was to abdicate my personal power, and I forgave him for not being able to love me the way I wanted to be loved.