Anger is a human emotion that is often suppressed, especially for women. It has been socially unacceptable and unfeminine to show our angry side. But, isn’t it warranted at times, especially during divorce? Absolutely!
The key is figuring out why we’re mad, how to express it constructively and move on. We need to deal with it and not ignore it. Heck, use it to your advantage. So, go ahead, get mad. In fact, anger comes in handy during a divorce.
Without anger, I would have gotten walked all over. Sometimes anger can make us stronger. It makes us stand up and deal with things until they’re right. Basically, anger gets a bad rap but it’s only bad if we don’t know how to use it.
Divorce will bring out the anger that’s been bubbling beneath the surface. Something starts to happen. We start to get a new view of our marriage or our ex spouse. We start to see it and him from a different perspective. With that new perspective come some hard truths. Whether it was neglect, verbal abuse, gas lighting or betrayal we seem to see it for what it really is now. Again, the truth hits us square between the eyes. We can’t deny it anymore, there is no reason to. We are free to face our past.
I had never been as angry as I was post divorce. Was it warranted? Some of it was. Some of it was just divorce stress manifesting in anger. I smashed stuff. I cried. I wrote a letter to my ex that I had no intention of sending. I found cathartic ways to deal.
During divorce, we’ve stopped making excuses. We’ve stopped looking blindly out the passenger side window and started to take a hard look at who’s been driving. We might not like what we see. We might not like where we’ve been. We may lament the years we’ve spent that we can never reclaim. We might get ANGRY.
This is all NORMAL. It’s healthy to express that anger but beware; suppressing anger can cause serious health problems. That is why we must let it out—- so, go ahead, get mad. Find a trusted friend, a therapist, a journal. Take up kick boxing or boot camp or train for a half marathon. Just don’t hold that anger in anymore. Holding our anger in can hurt our children, loved ones and block our ability to heal. Expressing it will slowly heal our hearts.
3 Ways To Express Anger;
Expressing your anger physically can take the form of any physical activity. It can also result in a great end product like a strong body or a stirring, abstract painting for example. Some physical ways to express anger:
- long distance running
- abstract art
- smashing things (raw eggs, dishes)
All of these activities require your motor skills to coordinate with that built up anger. It comes out in sweat, tears or art.
To emotionally release our anger we have to do some thinking, analyzing and articulating our anger and getting in touch with our emotions that are tied up with anger.
- TALKING to a good friend or therapist
- WRITING in a journal
- WRITING a LETTER(you don’t have to send)
- READING some books about other people’s struggles and solutions (can help us deal with our own)
Letting our anger out intellectually involves working toward problem solving and reducing further anger. We can do this by sticking to the facts of our situation and removing the emotion as much as possible. How?
- WEIGH pros and cons of choices and situations
- MAINTAIN perspective on your divorce process (look at the big picture)
- AVOID over analyzing one part of the divorce
- LEARN the difference between what you can and cannot change
- ACCEPTANCE of what you cannot change will alleviate anger
- IDENTIFYING the source of the anger including people, triggers, situations
Intellectually we stop and simply ask ourselves what we can do to make a difference in a situation. What can we take control of that will ease our anger?
Letting our anger out in these healthy ways will allow us to deal with our life decisions with more rational thinking. Although some anger is useful knowing when to control it, means a more productive divorce.
Accepting and recognizing your anger is the first step to setting it free. Keeping it in will surely eat you up inside and create all kinds of health issues. Knowing that it is a normal emotion especially during divorce will allow you to accept it, express it and then move on. Specifically, finding constructive ways to get mad and to EXPRESS your anger will help you heal and ultimately move forward. Soon you’ll find that much buzzed about post divorce happiness.
In the meantime, own your anger and begin healing.
Go ahead, get MAD. It’s good for your health.
How do you deal with your anger? Add your own tips to express anger in the comments section.
Liv BySurprise says
You missed one very obvious one under “emotionally”. Blogging. I’ve found it’s cathartic to accept and release my anger by writing for an audience. Validation of my feelings really comes into play. And on that note – fantastic article! It’s so true that anger CAN be constructive – and we should take back it’s power.
Lisa Thomson says
Great point, Liv! Thank you!
Lisa Thomson says
Great point, Liv! Thank you!