Step 1: Buy Crazy Glue. For many of us, all joking aside, contending with the feelings, and in particular, anger after divorce is an ongoing miserable reality. Divorce and its legions of emotions disrupt everything you know and (used to?) hold sacred in your world. No, your marriage was never supposed to end up this way! Yes, you have every right to be angry about it. But you really don’t want to be that bitter, angry person forever. That woman is not really you.
Anger is the very natural feeling in divorce as you break from your past (or are forced to against your will) and prepare for an uncertain future.
If you are still steaming, swearing, venting, struggling with your anger after divorce, we get it. We felt it. And now, we want to help you. Here are four steps to take to release your anger in a productive way:
#1 Renew Your Surroundings
Everything you see reminds you of the Old Days. People, places, things. Each time you see, smell, hear, or feel something from those days you get flat out MAD. (Why? Why did divorce, wait, let’s start with your mate! Why did HE have to come along and ruin your life?) Well, don’t let your surroundings make you any angrier. Move stuff around. Throw things out. Give things away. Switch it up!
Check out the KonMari Method of decluttering like the goddess you are. Pick up a copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and start asking yourself does every item you own “Bring you joy?” You’ll be able to remove everything from your surroundings that invokes anger or reminds you of your ex, your past life, your divorce. Free yourself of this cluttering, cloying, anger-inducing “stuff” and the emotions it conjures up.
#2 Refresh Yourself
Once you’ve purged everything around you that reminds you of him and triggers all that anger, it’s time to focus on yourself. Begin with your inside and focus on the reasons why you are so very angry. Ways to do this include:
- Go to a therapist, preferably one who is experienced with divorce, and not the same one you went to if you tried marriage counseling, as this could trigger emotions just being in the same office.
- Speak with a divorce coach who is an expert in dealing with anger issues during and post-divorce. Certified coaches understand what you are going through and can provide tried-and-true action steps to help you move out of that negative space.
- Start journaling. Write down how you are feeling every day to process through your grief, anger and sadness. By talking to yourself via pen and paper you give yourself the freedom to say exactly how you feel without any judgment or regret. Let it rip, there!
- Go to a meditation workshop or a hot yoga session. Each of these activities prescribe a meditation system that will help you focus on the happiness inside of you.
- If you have a wonderful friend or close connection with a family member lean on their shoulders when you are in crisis mode. Vent your troubles and frustration with someone safe.
The goal is to find support and a way to re-channel your anger, whether through talking to someone or being totally silent in order to let your emotions go.
#3 Clear Your Ex From Social Media
Washing him out of your hair is not enough! Delete, delete, delete that ex from your social media pictures, postings, and friends’ lists. Get rid of these artifacts completely so you aren’t reminded of him when on social media. Check out the KillSwitch app. This app deletes your ex from everything on your Facebook profile.
No more going through your gushy pics from the golden days. No more worrying about comments from the ex reemerging after months. No more fear of those timeline pics popping up years from now to remind you of the Old Days. Wall posts, videos, status updates, pictures…gone for good when you make the kill with KillSwitch. It’ll feel oh so good to take this step!
#4 Avoid Future Arguments
Choose your battles. Whether fighting about custody or financial accounts, everything has its place. You may not want to give a little in any area, but you can’t fight about everything just for the sake of fighting. You’ve probably heard this but do it now: Pick the areas that mean the most to you, and use your energy to fight those battles. Let the others slide and avoid conflict just for the sake of the fight. Be the better person. Avoid activities such as hiring a private detective to spy on your ex or stalking or sneaking around after him yourself. Doing this is only going to make you angrier. Trust us on this. Take the upper ground and steer clear of activities that prolong your pain. As Queen Elsa would say, you want to learn to let it go.
You have the power to choose otherwise. You don’t have to live with anger after divorce … not when there are so many OTHER beautiful things to live with. Learn a few in a free session with SAS for Women.