Divorcees: How Do You Lose the Anger?

Just wondering how do bitter divorcees deal with OR lose the anger…if ever?

Never been married myself. But I think it’s just a process of moving on. At some point you’ll realize your ex is no longer a significant factor in your life.

There is an old saying, “The best revenge is living well.” And there is a lot of truth to that.

Anger exists because there is a reason for it. As soon as the reason ceases to exist it goes away.

When you have a problem you can get angry, mad, upset or you can DO SOMETHING about it. As odd as this seems, anger is one way to hold on to something that is gone.

If you spouse dumps you, you lost. And anger is one way to hold on to what is left. But is it worth holding on to. Anger is serving a purpose, to keep you connected with your past.

But that’s gone. And what’s even worse, by holding on to something you can’t get back you’re spending future.

Every moment you spend angry is a opportunity you gave up to move forward with your life.

So if it’s so easy, why do people get stuck in anger? Because it’s comfortable. You know what it is. There are many ways of moving forward but only one way of standing still. This is why it’s scary to move on.

Eventually most people work through the anger, when they realize it gets you no where.

And you will to. My saying it will mean nothing to you now. Because each person has to work through it for his/herself.

There is a great book by Dale Carnegie, called How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, and I am not really into self help books but this is an oldie but goodie and it stands the test of time. Even though it says “worry” it’ll work for “anger” too. Your local library probably has it.

[del]bear in mind that although self-pity is always at hand, inner strength and the belief in happiness are also always accessible as well. [/del]

Date people and treat them like shit to feel good.

Time heals [del]all[/del] most wounds.

For my husband, it truly was just time. The longer he’d been away from what caused the anger, the less it bothered him.

More votes for time, and living well.

Though a lot of the anger is directed at yourself, too.

I still have the anger, but I have a life too. On a day-to-day basis the anger takes a backseat to the life. Sometimes something will happen to trigger memories and the anger will flare back up, but life insistently pushes its way back into the foreground and the anger is put back in its place.

I’d say it took me three years before I got to a point where the anger wasn’t running the show. A lot of people had told me it would take at least two. Everyone’s mileage varies.

I’m still angry, sometimes. Then again, I’m still friends with my ex, mostly because of our mutual child. I think my relatives are angrier at him than I am.

Took me a year to get over it, and it was a very bad divorce. It is true what they say, living well is the best revenge. In my case it was sluts and drugs, but hey “living well” means different things to different people.

I know someone who’s still carrying around a crapload of divorce anger. The marriage had lasted for almost 30 years at the time of the divorce, so yeah, I can understand that anger perfectly.

Divorce can also be financially devastating, especially if one of the parties was a SAHM and/or doesn’t possess much work experience. Ergo, anger.

Never got angry. I only remember feeling sad for my kids.

I wasn’t angry I felt fairly guilty actually. My ex on the other hand is still so angry and bitter after 19 years that it still affects the kids.

I don’t. I nurture it, because the thing that kept me in a miserable marriage for so long was overlooking her poor character, and getting charmed and tricked into doing things her way. Now, and for the past 18 years, I can remember clearly (with some effort) what a shitty, selfish, narcissistic bitch she is, and act accordingly.

This is a way that works, at least for a while, but will not get one the meaningful relationship they desire, and getting that relationship will require that they deal with the anger, so it[s a delaying tactic while spreading anger around the world, which will fill your life with anger more and more (karma).

One thing you can’t do if you really do want to lose the anger - quit picking at the wound. Are you legally settled? Drawing out a divorce, refusing to sign out of pettiness, quibbling over insignificant items all hinder the ability to get over it. All of that basically comes down to accepting that it’s over. You have to really accept “this is how it’s going to be now” before you can move on. I’ve know friends that tried to move in baby steps in an effort to “unwind” the marriage and the main thing it did was prolong the idea of separation for both parties. Or there was one hanging on and starting drama (“the kids will never live with your girlfriend!” “fine, I would be better off dead!” - none of these type statements based in situations that would warrant serious investigation to a bad girlfriend or suicide attempt). The drama she has created and continues to create is a way for her to stay in touch with the soon to be ex-husband. So - the first step is letting go/acceptance.

After a while time will start to help. I’ve recounted before that when I got divorced the first time (I am so awesome at picking husbands) it was like a gut punch. We were having some problems but he walked in one day and said “I don’t want to be married anymore.” I was still young and ideal enough to believe marriage was supposed to be forever and other people got divorce but *we *just didn’t *do *that - I mean, we had a 1 y/o child. So I was sad, depressed then angry. Bitter, bile-filled anger that just seeped out of me. And one day, after about five months of fluctuating anger and sadness, I realized I just didn’t care enough to be angry anymore. I was doing ok on my own, life was actually going on. I remember realizing I couldn’t remember the color of his eyes. I remember when he dropped off the map for a while and although I was very sad and angry for my son, the anger was not about me. I wasn’t sad anymore about our relationship ending. My life was better for it. My relationship with my son was good - I needed to be there for him. Eventually, you can start to wish good things for the ex. Yesterday I got a FB notice he had changed his relationship status to “engaged” and I am glad of it. The fact I was able to approve him as an FB friend meant (to me) that there wasn’t any bitterness.

Also, it helps if they become something awful and pitiful like mine did for a while. If your ex leaves you and drives off in the Ferrari with a younger version of you, then the anger and bitterness will probably last longer but you just have to accept how things are now, it’s not a reflection on you as a person, and life does, in fact, go on.

This, combined with some of what pseudotriton said. I will likely always be bitter about the way I feel I was treated at the end of my marriage. But I am not ruled by that. I went from thinking about it every five minutes to thinking about it several times a day to…maybe once every few days, now. It’s been a little over a year since the last slight I received from my ex. Time and distance have made it mostly fade into the background. And as more time passes, I believe the thoughts will be less frequent, still.

But I also don’t ever want to forget how I allowed myself to be treated, because I don’t ever want to be naive again. The anger has its place, but it is not a place of authority.

'Time and living well" cannot be overstated. I was angry, hurt, bitter and confused.

7 years later I rarely think about her at all, and when I do, i just feel sad for her for about 60 seconds, then I move on.

General thoughts about anger…

To some degree, I have found that anger is tied to the thoughts occupying my mind. I do find that I can, to some degree, control what is occupying my mind. If negative or anger producing thoughts bubble up, I can choose to indulge them, or I can actively try to chase them out. Sorta like with a child who is acting up - you can try distraction, or changing focus. Focusing outward to another person or action is useful. It does take work.

Now, on the other hand, there is a type of anger that seems to be more chemically induced in the brain. IMHO it’s better described as rage. I can’t seem to control that in the same way, only control my actions while I’m experiencing it.

Thanks all for your thoughts. I’ll have think it over…