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Author Topic: Dealing With Anger (essay) - Vicki Stockard Phipps  (Read 587 times)
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« on: March 18, 2008, 03:56:52 PM »

Dealing With Anger After Divorce

Vicki Stockard Phipps

After twenty-five years of teaching life skills to the disabled, I am now, "one of them." I lost my sight suddenly, over night, and no one could tell me why. I'm disabled now.  I was also once a victim of cancer and many other things, but my role changed to "survivor".  Beyond my life as a mother and teacher, I've been a wife two times and those things I learned between the loves of my life inspired me to write about relationship issues too. When I lost my sight, I gained more vision in life and now God has given me the time to write. I suppose that's why they say, "God works in mysterious ways."

The divorce is finally final, but it won't be over until you let go of the anger!

The Bitterness Trap:

Someone wise once said that bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other guy to die. There is no greater bitterness than the anger one feels when years of sacrifice, effort and time has been misused, abused and abandoned, but at some point in time you have to let go of your bitter soul. Otherwise, it won't be the other guy who pays the price.

There's a fine line between ending your marriage and arriving at the place where you are finally free.

Tips on letting go of a bitter soul:

1. Never say anything about your ex that you'll later regret. When children are involved, keep in mind at all times that your ex will always be the co-parent. Trying to win any battle by using the kids as your weapon, will only come back to haunt you. Never say anything about your ex that you don't want he or she to say about you. Use the basic golden rule.

If an affair is involved at all, beware of what you say and do. In the midst of bitterness, it's easy to kill with words, but in the end, this will only hurt you worse. Take my advise and when in doubt, silence is the best way to go.

2. Fake it until you make it. It may seem insanely difficult, but try to develop and attitude of gratitude. Believe it or not, your ex-spouse was a blessing for you. Maybe you learned from the experience how to be more independent. It could be that by abandoning you, your ex taught you how to stand alone on your own. It may be hard to do, but when you think of your marriage with an attitude of gratitude, the anger will slowly be released from you.

Try this: Put an empty chair in front of you. Visualize you ex, sitting there listening to you and say, "Thank you for giving me the experience." Note the word, "forgive," in that sentence?

3. Be nice! Believe me, it's easier to catch any fly with honey. Haven't you heard the phrase, "Kill them with kindness?" Don't give any excuse for the blame of divorce to be put on you. If you're angry, anger will come back to you. It's the law of attraction, and it's true. Be polite and kind at all times and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll feel free and healed.

4. Happiness is the best revenge. Practice going through your day with a smile on your face. No matter what your ex says or does, don't allow anyone or anything to take your peace of mind away.

5. Take responsibility. It's hard to admit it, but the truth is that we make our own choices. No one else can be to blame for the destiny we have created. The next time you're tempted to blame your ex for the misery you are experiencing, remember the words of the famous Dr. Phil: "How's that working for you?"

In the end, the only soul who will be committed to your happiness, is you. No one else lives in your skin, so take responsibility for what happens to you.

6. Seek counseling. If time goes by and you find no relief for your grief and anger, do whatever it takes to see a counselor. Believe me, anger kills. It creates depression, lack of sleep, stress and misery. It's common knowledge that these things create disease. Until you find a way to release those things, you'll be living on borrowed time.

7. Pray every day. Prayer is the best way to, "let go and let God." Even if you are not a person of faith, pray anyway. After all, what have you got to lose? You do want to get over the anger and get on with life, don't you? Praying to that part of you who knows there's a higher power somewhere, can do amazing things for you.

8. Read, see and believe only happy things. Surround yourself with positive energy. The more you hash and rehash your history, the worse it will seem. Let the past go and move onto your new and improved destiny. Listen to upbeat music or read in inspirational book. Watch a comedy on TV. Do whatever it takes to erase the pain and the anger that will only revolve back to you again.

9. Be proactive: If your ex and yourself can't be in the same room without bickering, learn to psych yourself up ahead of time. It's amazing what you can do with your mind. Meditate upon peace until it feels right. Don't set yourself up for a fall.

10. Love yourself: Take time to relax and clear your mind. As you do, think of YOU, instead of that bad guy. Take a mental inventory, as if you were someone wise who could see you objectively through someone else's eyes. Say to yourself, "I forgive you and I love you too." In the end, there is nothing you can do that will take you from you, so love who you are. If you've made mistakes, remember that everyone does, including your ex. Be kind to yourself.

If these tips don't help you to release the anger and bitterness, you might want to ask yourself this: "What is my anger doing for me that I can't find some other way?" The answer might be surprising.


Vicki Stockard Phipps

283 essays by this author


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Gender: Female
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Relationship status: Divorced (thankfully) and NC with EX - single and probably staying that way for a while
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No good deed goes unpunished....

« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 08:33:07 AM »

Some great tips here... .thank you for this.

I've thought about the "anger" alot, and anger is usually thought of as being bad and destructive. There are some that argue that this is a misconception. Anger itself is neutral. Anger may be expressed in destructive or healthy ways. Moreover, healthy expression of anger enhances communication and personal growth.  It is when we cannot let go of the anger that we really start to have a problem.

I've worked hard at letting go of the anger/bitterness... .mostly faking it at first and now just focusing on other things.

I'm still pissed, at him for the damage he did and at myself for allowing it all to go on for as long as it did.  I came to a point of realizing that he's not sitting around upset about any of this, why the heck should I be... .I let him control my feelings for too long already... .I refuse to give him ANY control over how I feel now.

He in no longer in control, his behaviors no longer affect my life... .I am now responsible for what I do with whatever feelings are left over from this relationship.

So, now... .I'm rebuilding my life in my way and becoming a far better person because of it. 

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