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Life After Divorce For Men – Anger

Submitted By Marty Heddon :

Anger is such a strong emotion, it can completely overwhelm us. We feel out of control, blinded by it, reason gone.

Most of us have either experienced or witnessed road rage. That’s when anger removes all reason and someone literally loses their mind, briefly. Divorce, and separation, is like road rage only not so fleeting. Even when there’s no-one obvious to blame, we still do want to blame. We desperately need someone, or something, to direct our anger at so that we can get rid of it.

Divorce and separation makes us angry because it reminds us of ugly feelings of abandonment we had as a child and no-one likes that memory. Above all, it makes us vulnerable and no-one likes to feel so openly powerless. We use anger to hide that our defenses are down.

A force for good

Anger is a difficult emotion to deal with because many of us are taught that it’s wrong to be angry. But anger can be a very good emotion. It’s power can be very energising. It is driving you forward, giving you the fuel to move on, make a better life, and accept what’s happened.

Stuck with anger

If you remain angry with your ex-partner years after a split, then you’re remaining emotionally attached to them, albeit destructively. This is unhealthy and you may need counselling to understand why you can’t move on.

Your Questions Answered

Why am I so angry?

Firstly because your ex may have done some pretty bad things to you. But often we use anger to hide that we are vulnerable and powerless and to hide that our defenses are down. We also need to direct our anger at someone, in order to get rid of it.

Why can’t I stop feeling angry towards my ex?

If you still feel angry towards an ex-partner a number of years after the split, it’s likely that there is another reason for your feelings. Perhaps your break-up reawakened feelings of abandonment from childhood? Maybe your parents divorced and you never came to terms with this or maybe a parent made you feel unloved or rejected. It’s not normal to go on feeling angry towards an ex we haven’t seen for some years and long ago parted from. So you may need help working out what it is you’re REALLY angry about. Maybe you’re angry with yourself for falling for someone who turned out to be nasty and cruel? Think about why you’re still angry. Try writing your ex-partner a letter you’ll never send just to see, in black and white, what your feelings are towards them and why. Recognise that the longer you hold onto your feelings of anger, the longer you remain involved with this person. Do you really want that?

How can I control my anger?

It’s not about controlling. You need to get rid of the anger. Instead of directing it at your ex, try punching a pillow when you feel really mad or stand by a noisy railway or road and really scream.

Can my anger be good in any way?

Yes. Despite being taught that it is wrong to be angry, it can actually be a sign that you have accepted what has happened. It will help you move forward to a better life.

Next Steps

  • Punch a pillow when you feel REALLY mad.
  • Stand under or by a noisy railway or motorway bridge and really scream.
  • Write about how you feel, or draw if you’re more visual.
  • Redecorate.
  • Have a chucking-out session of old clothes.

Need to Knows

  • Anger can make you feel out of control
  • Divorce and separation are like road rage only not so fleeting
  • You desperately need someone to direct your anger at
  • You will use anger to hide that you are vulnerable
  • Anger will help you to move on

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