Keep your cool, girl.
Are you struggling with letting go of anger at your ex? Does your ex infuriate you on a daily basis?
You're not alone. Anger is a very normal reaction to divorce. Your feelings are valid simply because you're currently feeling them. These feelings reflect your intrinsic values and deepest beliefs about life ... what's right, what's wrong ... what's fair and what is not!
Whether you initiated your divorce or not, you feel wronged.
At first, your anger was a welcomed friend. It protected you from feeling the sadness and devastation of being betrayed in one form or another. You felt justified (even self-righteous) in your anger. But, now that your ex didn't react to that anger in the manner you feel is warranted, you're displeased (and even angrier).
Perhaps, you even blame everything that's gone wrong in your life on your ex.
This fuels a desire to make your ex "pay" until the day he dies (or you do, whichever comes first). Perhaps you even fantasize about ways to "get even" or "make him suffer" for all of the dirty, rotten things he's ever said or done to you. Fair is fair after all, right?
Whoa! It's time to stop there and come back to yourself. While feeling anger during divorce is normal, fueling it and indulging it endlessly is not healthy. When you feel divorce anger eating you alive, here's how to pull yourself together and finally let that anger go:
1. Understand that your anger is fueled by blame
You blame your ex for the situation you're in, maybe you blame him for cheating, and you definitely blame him for not loving you enough, as well as a host of other situations. By blaming him your focus is on your ex and what he has or has not done in the past (as well as what he is or is not doing in the present).
This abolishes you from taking responsibility for your life, essentially stripping you of your power.
Perhaps you're keeping a running tally, outlining all of the ugly things that went down. Perhaps you even did this during your marriage. Basically, you're keeping score and subconsciously (or even consciously) planning your revenge to "make him pay."
Part of your plan may include refusing to discuss issues regarding your divorce or co-parenting your children. You might not extend a single minute of extra time to him just to prove your point. Inside, you just know that you're right — and this "certainty" fuels your determination to get him to see (and admit) this fact, too.
2. Recognize that the time to let go of your anger is ... NOW
There is never a better time than the present moment. Letting go of your anger towards your ex sets you free.
It allows you to take 100 percent responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions which, in turn, empowers you to finally take control of your life.
You (and ONLY you) pay the cost for that built up toxic anger you cling to. And that's not a feeling that creates new positive options in your life. Nor is it a source from which to take new, positive actions. Unchecked anger, left to seethe, ultimately leads to destructive behavior — landing you in a heap of trouble and colossal drama, or it leads to serious health issues.
3. Accept your anger (and feel it) without judgment
A divorce coach or therapist can offer numerous tips and strategies that allow you to work through your anger in a safe, nurturing environment. This may include journaling, writing a letter to your ex (even if you never send it), role playing or simply going out in the middle of nowhere and screaming your lungs out.
You may find that it takes several conscious efforts to release the anger. This is because anger has become your trusted friend and subconsciously you believe that it keeps you protected. Or, you may have a deep fear that more ugly emotions will rear their ugly heads if you face your anger directly.
4. Remember, letting go of anger does not necessarily mean you must "forgive" your ex
Letting go of the anger eating away at you doesn't mean that you approve of what he's done. It simply means that you will no longer allow thoughts of him to rule your mind in a way that gives him power over you. Letting go and releasing your anger means that you're letting go of how you believe your ex should exist, as well as, your fantasies of him crawling back to you on his hands and knees ... begging for forgiveness.
Cindy Holbrook is known as the Compassionate Divorce Coach. She helps women move forward after divorce with less stress and more confidence. Identify the barriers that are keeping you stuck and discover what your next steps are by taking this short quiz at DivorceRecoveryCompass.com