I see over and over again in my divorce cases the need of one spouse to be acknowledged by the other. Whether during collaborative team meetings, or in conversation with me alone, I hear them say, in one way or another, “I need to be recognized; I need acknowledgment of what I have contributed.” Without that acknowledgment, there is hurt. There is a perception of being slighted or taken for granted that becomes a wound that persists through the divorce. How easy would it be to heal that wound? Sometimes a simple, heartfelt “thank you” is all that is needed. Sometimes there might need to be an exchange — a giving of something in return for all that has been received. But it might not be much; it might, indeed, be much more modest than what was given. But as a symbol of gratitude, as an acknowledgment, it may put to rest the grievance story that says, “you just don’t understand what I did for you; you just don’t get me; you have failed to see and appreciate me.”
I reference here the idea of “grievance story” explained in Dr. Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive for Good (2002). If you haven’t read it yet, do so. It is a thought-provoking and enormously helpful guide through the minefields of hurt towards forgiveness and peace.