Divorce recovery for men is often derailed by one of our most primal instincts – anger. There is a phase in the grief cycle that we all go through where anger plays a major part and is important to at least get out of your system. I am not talking about brief moments of rage and self pity that you eventually move out of once the initial shock wears off and you adjust. I am talking about the long term anger, resentment and bitterness that can follow you through your life.
Now if you are going through a divorce, or are a long way past a divorce you will know this anger well. This sense of being so wronged that you want to lash out, you want someone to notice, someone to feel your wrath and be humbled, apologise, or something similar. It is an instinctual reaction to make ourselves feel more powerful, to try to obtain some sort of justice or supplication from another by righteous rage that stems from an injustice or hurt of some kind.
In a tribal society of old where life was not as complex, strength and power determined justice and law. However, anger these days does not achieve a huge amount does it? When has yelling at someone ever really produced a good long term result? When has being angry ever changed a situation for the better? Anger is just a triggered defensive reaction to a perceived injustice as can be seen by people who fly off the handle even when they are clearly in the wrong … it all comes down to perception.
The other point I wanted to mention is that anger can fester to become bitterness and resentment. You cannot maintain a raging anger, but many people manage to maintain a simmering loathing of their ex wife, the divorce process, themselves, lawyers, or anything else from this divorce. This is more dangerous than the initial rage which can often fade quickly and then is gone. This holding on to a grudge is a hindrance to your mental health for years to come and hurts your relationships and outlook on life.
Why you need to banish this resentment
While it may seem obvious to some, here are a few reasons why you want to get over this and fast as people who live with bitterness and resentment frequently suffer from issues such as:
- Poor self esteem
- A focus on revenge
- Trouble with future relationships
If you let this bitterness go, you can achieve so much more and be so much happier. The sheer amount of energy it takes to maintain such a mental state of mind is enormous and while you may not realise it yet, it is a CHOICE you have.
How to let go of anger and resentment
The key to achieving divorce recovery for men and letting go of the anger is by forgiveness. This is a term that has many preconceptions with it that stop people from truly utilising this amazing mental tool. The act of forgiveness gives you a grace that can have lasting positive consequences in your life.
What forgiveness is NOT is:
- Forgiveness is NOT about forgetting the problems, actions or insults. Whatever happened, happened and must serve as a reminder.
- Forgiveness is NOT about excusing the actions of your wife or yourself and making them okay in any way.
- Forgiveness is NOT about giving permission for continuance of these issues by yourself of by your wife.
- Forgiveness is NOT about reconciliation. Just because you forgive someone does not mean you need to enter into a relationship again with them. That is a separate issue and should not be taking in this case because we are trying to make a new life not rebuild the ashes of the old one.
- Forgiveness is NOT about religion and spirituality, unless you want it to be. Religion has its own interpretation which helps many people understand, but if you are not religious then this is a purely a mental process, and an important one too.
Forgiveness is a release from the anger, it is a way to acknowledge the hurt and set it free instead of keeping it in your heart. It is letting go for the need for vengeance so that you can mentally untie yourself completely form the negative emotions of the divorce and live your life without a burden. To lose the anger you must forgive those that wronged you because anger will never make anything better in your life. You must let it go and move on because emotionally it is crippling, and logically it achieves nothing.
For more information how to do this check out my full Men After Divorce E-book which will go through the complex psychological hurdles that make it difficult to forgive, and gives you the framework to be happy after a divorce no matter how bad it was.