As grief and loneliness subside, your emotional temperature rises. Anger often occurs when we are hurt and can be useful if we can control it. While sadness induces a wish to shut down and hide under the covers, anger is energizing. It has many levels, from feeling annoyed, frustrated and piqued to rage, boiling, incensed, stewing, to name just a few. The latter recall fire, which keeps us warm and cozy, when managed but fire, of out control, is dangerous, out of the body and in the body. It can lead to headaches tension, ulcers and more. Feeling angry helps to emotionally distance from your partner/spouse to pursue your own path.
Have your anger help rebuild your life but titrate it. In private, allow yourself to cuss, cry, yell, write a letter [but don’t send] or dance your anger away. Fantasy is a creative means to discharging anger as long as you don’t act on it. I have heard many disasters befalling partners/spouses who were leaving. Thankfully, none of them occurred and the fantizers felt relief. With some friends, sarcasm and humor will also help but share your anger only with those you trust most.
Expect your children to be angry with you for changing their lives. If they learn that one parent wanted the breakup/divorce, they will likely be angry with that parent and protective of the other. It’s usually best to not share that kind of information. When parents are positive role models, children will have an easier time coping. They need to express their anger by being listened to and hearing calm, age appropriate explanations. If your partner/spouse is unable to do that, then it’s up to you. Sometimes children need to hear the truth, just some, not the whole picture. For example, “s/he is an alcoholic” or “parents who abandon children have a hard time with parenting”. Make it brief facts, not a condemnation.
- I understand why I couldn’t express my anger better before.
- I will not harbor my anger.
- I am able to communicate with him/her calmly.
- I don’t put all the blame on him/her.
- I don’t need to ‘get even’.
- I can express anger constructively.
- I am moving toward forgiveness, for myself and him/her.