Isn't divorce anger horrible?! I can't stand it! I know many men and women who after years and years are unable to let go of their divorce anger. It's sad. It's pathetic. It's infuriating and I want to slap them and say, "Wake up!" Even when the people get remarried, they still burn with anger, and still feel the need to treat their ex like crap.
What is particularly bothersome about it is that the children grow up seeing this behavior, so what chance will they ever have of NOT acting the same way -- with the same divorce anger -- in the event that they get divorced, or even just in general?
The thing is, his or her divorce anger is out of your control. How you handle it is very much up to you.
Here are 10 things to tell yourself when your ex shows divorce anger:
1. This is HIS or HER issue, not mine. He/she is the one with the problem. I am not.
2. The fact that he/she is still so angry clearly shows he/she isn't over it and might never be. I am actually sad for him/her in that regard.
3. This is something in my life that I have zero control over. Zero. So, if I can't control it, why let it bother me?
4. My kids are going to grow up and sadly, they will remember how my ex treated me. But, kids have eyes and they will also remember how I treated and spoke to their dad/mom. They will be smart enough to recognize the difference. In fact, even at a young age, kids get the picture.
5. He/she can only hurt me as much as I let him/her. I have the power to let the divorce anger roll off of me and be unaffected by it.
6. I will no longer hold out hope that he/she is going to change. It only leads to disappointment.
7. I can only be myself and try to take the high road as much as possible. Being rude and angry back doesn't help my kids or me.
8. The only thing that truly matters in regards to our relationship is our children. They are my priority, and I will keep that in mind at all times.
9. I will continue to be polite to my ex because it is in the best interest of our kids. If I have to grit my teeth at times, so be it. It won't kill me.
10. I will do my best to live the life I want and be happy, and minimize thinking about my ex's divorce anger.
The thing about anger is, it's the most unproductive emotion a person can have. I always feel like angry people aren't very smart people. Otherwise, they wouldn't waste so much time being angry!
So, if you have an angry ex that just can't take the high road, just keep being YOU, keep taking care of your kids, live your life, and make it a happy one! Don't let his/her anger rub off on you. But you already know you won't do that because you're smart.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, "Love Essentially" for Sun-Times Media local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.