Tips To Help Manage Anger During A Divorce

Anger is a powerful emotion and a common reaction in divorce. In fact, most people will inevitably deal with anger at some point in the divorce process. We will discuss tips to help manage anger during divorce, so anger does not take over the process.

Is Anger Bad?

Anger is not a bad emotion. In fact, it can be a warning sign to let us know that something is not ok, and there is a perceived injustice. It’s important to realize that anger is a normal emotion, and can actually help move you toward a positive change. Getting angry may cause you to set certain boundaries or give you increased energy. Do you know someone who cleans when they are angry, or exercises? They are releasing the increased energy in a positive way.

Reactions such as yelling, screaming and throwing things can be toxic and cause a negative effect on you; emotionally, physically and financially. Fighting with the co-partner out of emotions can extend the divorce process which can increase the cost, and it can also damage future co-parenting communication. Consequently toxic reactions to anger can affect your health, your kids, and your decision making.

So how to you prevent toxic reactions? Be informed and have a plan for when you are starting to feel the simmer of emotions of anger.

Subtle Signs of Anger:

  • Critical Comments: saying inappropriate critical comments to or about the other spouse
  • Silent treatment: not talking for days or weeks. Avoidance in communication
  • Withholding: information, children’s time from other parent, etc. Withholding what someone wants/needs is not healthy
  • Bitterness: You may get annoyed easily, start to isolate, not trust those around you, over react to seemingly insignificant things. You look at others in a negative light and compare or criticize

All of the subtle warning signs can build up and affect you, and your behavior negatively.

Tips to Help Manage Anger During a Divorce:

  • Be proactive: Watch for the warning signs. If you catch yourself doing any of the subtle signs of anger take action to shift your perspective. Listen to music, exercise, talk to a friend, talk to a coach/therapist.
  • Be Patient with Yourself: you will not be perfect. Take it one communication at a time and keep getting better. It will take time and patience.
  • Think Before you React: Before responding ask yourself if you would teach your child(ren) to react in the way you are wanting or thinking about doing.
  • Pause, Breathe, and Walk Away: Count to 100, take time to step away from the situation and decompress.
  • Write it Down: If you are under a lot of stress make a list of all the things that are making you angry. You can even draft a letter to the person telling them all the ways they are making you angry. When you are done, burn it or rip it up and let go of the anger in the process.
  • Set up Boundaries: protect yourself from being exposed to a negative situation by setting up boundaries with people who are triggering. Keep contact brief, communicate just formation needed, be friendly but firm.
  • Focus on You: Focus on what you can do. Do not waste your time and energy on the things that are making you angry, you are giving your power away.

The divorce process is an overwhelming time. It is important to be clear in your thinking because you have critical decisions to make about your home, financial assets, children, and future. For this reason, it may help to think of divorce as a business and try to keep emotions out of the communication.

If you are having trouble and need an accountability partner, I am here to help! A Certified Divorce Coach® is unbiased support to help you move forward and live your best life. Take advantage of the FREE 30 minute discovery session with The Bridging Coach to ask questions and get help. Schedule a time that works for you:

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Bridget Leschinsky is a CDC Certified Divorce Coach®

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