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The Anger Associated with Divorce

I don’t think that I’ve truly understood the anger that some of my divorce clients feel until COVID. With COVID we have lost a lot. Many of us have family, friends, co-workers, and people we know who have died. We haven’t been allowed to grieve those losses because in-person funerals aren’t happening. Our kids missed out on graduations, birthday parties, and in-person school. Even the mundane tasks like going to the gym, grocery store, and out to eat have been upended.

I imagine divorce feels somewhat the same. The dreams you had for the future have all gone by the wayside. You are no longer planning to go to parties or family get-togethers as a couple. Maybe you have children and the idea of spending time away from them makes you angry. You always said you would never be a part-time parent. Now, you are dealing with only having your children one-half of the time. What about retirement? Giving away half of your pension or 401k doesn’t seem fair either. Moving into a smaller home and having to rebuy household items you already had would also be a good reason to be angry.

While anger is a common emotion during divorce, don’t let it get the best of you. Some tips for dealing with anger related to divorce are:

  1. Recognize it. Own it. Figure out what makes you angry and then ask for time to process through it so that you don’t say or do something you regret.
  2. Take responsibility for your part in the breakup. Rarely is divorce ever one person’s fault. How could you have done better? How can you change the way you interact with the other person to minimize conflict moving forward? Maybe you need to stick to email or texts instead of talking in person.
  3. Let the small stuff go. You can buy another roasting pan so there’s no reason to argue about household goods that can be replaced. If the other parent is late to an exchange, bring a book or something else to do so that your time is occupied while you wait. Pick your battles. It’s not worth it to get angry about everything.
  4. If your spouse is the one with the anger problem, try really listening to what they are angry about. If you listen maybe you can identify where the anger is coming from and identify what you can do to help.
  5. Try not to take what the other person is saying personally. Anger is a projection of how the other person feels. Accept that he/she is angry and that this is their problem; not yours.
  6. Remove yourself from the situation. If showing some sympathy doesn’t work, then remove yourself from the situation.

It’s completely acceptable to be angry about getting divorced. We get it. For this, and other advice related to successfully navigating your divorce, please give us a call today.