Dealing with Anger About Divorce

Even in an amicable divorce, it’s hard to be Zen-like and not resent your spouse for tearing your world apart. In a divorce that catches one of the parties by surprise, or in which one party doesn’t want a divorce, it can be downright near-impossible. You’re dealing with a ton of negative emotions, and chief among them is anger.

If you’re angry about your divorce, you’re not alone. Many spouses find themselves struggling with anger over a divorce. Dealing with your anger effectively is one of the most challenging aspects of divorce, but especially if you have kids, you have to find a way to put on a happy face to protect your children.

Acknowledge your anger, and the reasons for it.

One of the first things you need to do in order to deal with your anger is to acknowledge it. Denial can be a powerful tool, but it can’t help you work through things; it only helps with avoidance. If you want to deal with your anger, you must look at it, acknowledge it for what it is and understand why you feel that way.

It’s ok to feel angry. Do you feel angry because your spouse took control out of your hands? Angry because you trusted your spouse, and you feel betrayed by a divorce? Angry because you feel like your marriage can be saved but your spouse doesn’t agree? Angry because of something particular your spouse said or did?

There are tons of reasons to feel angry about a divorce, and your anger is probably valid. Take a look at why; consider making a list or jotting down the reasons you feel angry. Acknowledging your anger is powerful, and can help take some of the potency out of it.

Keep your anger away from your kids.

If you’ve got kids, it’s absolutely vital to keep your anger away from your kids. It’s ok for you to feel angry. It’s not fair that you have to hide it, but for the sake of your kids, you must. Don’t badmouth your spouse to your kids. Try not to behave in a hostile manner when your kids are around. Divorce is never easy, but couples walk into marriage knowing that there’s a risk for divorce down the road. Kids have no say in the matter, and should not be exposed to the by-product of parental unhappiness, no matter how angry you are (and how valid the anger).

Consider going to counseling.

Counseling isn’t just for couples, and it doesn’t warrant the negative stigma that it sometimes receives. Counseling is a wonderful tool in helping you to identify your anger and find positive ways to deal with it. The purpose of counseling isn’t to deny your anger. When you undergo counseling, you’re allowed to be angry. You don’t have to pretend it’s not there or force it to go away. A counselor can simply help you identify the root of your anger, and work on positive ways to deal with it.