How to deal with anger after divorce or separation

anger and divorce

It is really hard to describe the mixture of emotions you might feel when going through the difficulties of divorce and separation. Feeling angry and resentful is a very natural part of the process of moving forwards and sometimes it is common to go through the negative before you see that light at the end of the tunnel.

It is important that you are able to acknowledge your feelings and any triggers that might be making you feel angry and work on these. As a parent you have to try and set a good example to your children so it is important that you do find ways to manage your anger when situations become heated.  

Normally when anger takes hold you are given some signs such as a quickening heartbeat, tension or a knot in your stomach. This is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right. If you can recognise these signs before the anger takes hold then you can try to change the way you react. Of course, everyone is different some tempers flare up in a second, while others can be slow burners.

Top tips to help you stay calm

If you can recognise the symptoms of anger then you can do something about it.  If you feel that things are getting heated removing yourself from a situation will give you some breathing space and allow things to calm down. You can then take a quick breather for a few minutes but remember to ensure that your children can come to no harm.

If you feel unable to speak to your ex because things are just too raw and you normally end up rowing think about writing a letter or an email where you have time to think about what you want to say, and how you say it. Keep a diary, it’s a great way to express how you are feeling and it will avoid you bottling up your emotions.

Try to avoid “bad mouthing” your ex in front of your children. Think about the affect this could have on them if they overheard what you were saying.  You don’t want your children being placed in a situation where they feel as though they have “divided loyalties” because they know you are so upset. Think about the example you are setting your children.  If they see you behave aggressively and angrily they might think this is normal and it could have a knock on effect later in life.

If you feel that you can no longer manage your anger speak to your GP.  There might be some anger management sessions that you could attend to help you with this.

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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