According to Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. -- one of North America's leading authorities on relationships and the author of the bestselling book Getting the Love you Want -- you unconsciously chose your partner because he or she had some of the same traits as your primary caregiver(s). "We are attracted to people like our parents in order to finish the business we didn't finish with them," he says. "Unconsciously, we feel like we're in survival mode, and so when we meet someone who is similar to our parents, we go into a kind of euphoria because deep down inside we believe we're now going to get what we didn't get in childhood. That's what triggers the impulse most commonly called 'romantic love.'"
If you're willing to acknowledge that your choice of partner was "beyond your control," then it becomes easier to forgive yourself.
"Forgiveness is integral to letting go. We are bound to the people we cannot forgive. Holding even a small grudge takes up space in the soul and captures the energy needed for moving on. To bless the people who are our oppressors is the only way to heal the wounds they have inflicted and to break the chains that bind us to them," writes Elizabeth O'Connor in Cry Pain, Cry Hope.
Letting go means letting go of the resentment, pain, and hate that has probably been an important "driver" -- one that helps you stand up for your rights in the divorce process. However, holding on to resentment for too long will eventually consume you. How long is too long? I don't like imposing deadlines on grief work, but the short answer is that you should let go when you're tired of it -- when you feel your energy so depleted that it's hard to get out of bed in the morning. Look at how much hating the other person is draining your own internal resources and blocking your growth.