It often feels as though anger and divorce go hand in hand. If you’re going through a divorce, you’re probably running through all sorts of emotions, including hatred and anger. You might feel rejected, insulted, misunderstood, or even wrongly accused. After all, the person you trusted and loved enough to marry and perhaps have children with is now fighting with you over custody, finances, and household items. You may sometimes even feel as though your former spouse has ruined your life, so your anger is no surprise. But these negative feelings can affect those around you, including your children, friends, and family. Even if you can’t help the way you feel, you can choose how you act on it. There are many ways to express and work through your anger without letting it take the spotlight in any courtroom (if it should come to this) or further break down your relationships.
Write it out
Any form of writing you choose will work, whether it is journaling, writing poetry, or penning letters that you don’t send. It will help you understand where your anger is coming from and put things in to perspective. This method is also a great way of expressing your anger in a private setting that won’t affect anyone else.
Talk about it
It’s always good to have a friend to lean on, and a divorce is no different! Let your friends or family members know how you feel. They might have some insight for you based on their own experiences. If you think you need someone more impartial, find a good therapist. Whoever you talk to, make sure it is someone you can trust to keep your feelings private; you want to keep your resentment from getting around to your ex.
Take an anger management course
These are available as both in-person meetings and online courses, so you can pick something that suits your needs and schedule.
Even if you are working to control your anger, it doesn’t mean that your ex is. Your former spouse may be baiting you, trying to pick fights just to get a rise out of you. Don’t sink to their level and feed that fury. Stay as calm and collected as possible. You can always vent about it later when your ex is out of ear shot.
Take responsibility and let go
In most divorce cases, everyone tends to blame the other for what went wrong. But it is likely that you did make at least some mistakes. Think about what your own lapses were and accept them. This can help you reduce your anger towards your ex, learn a little bit about yourself, and understand what you might need to do differently in a future relationship.
Understand that these feeling are normal, and in their own way, useful. It is to be expected that you will feel this way during your divorce proceedings. It’s actually the beginning of the healing process when you have been so badly hurt. It distances you from someone with whom you will no longer be living. When you finally make the transition from anger to acceptance, you’ll know that you’re well on your way to moving on.