That’s what I heard my dad telling one of his friends one time, I think I might have been in my early teens and it just stuck with me. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now.
When you find yourself convulsing with anger, don’t make any decisions. NONE, especially where children are involved. Because chances are that that decision will not only be a wrong and specious one but it will be one that will end with negative repercussions that your children may have to live with for the rest of their lives.
Divorce and anger go hand in hand – that’s a fact.
As Benjamin Franklin said,
“Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.”
One of the things that can be badly damaged by decisions made in anger during divorce include the ability to reach a co-parenting plan that will have the children in mind and that will be conducive to their welfare and development.
You might find that you are so angry with your ex or your future-ex-to-be that you want to do nothing more than punish him/her by limiting of flat out denying the him/her contact with the children.
Having said this it is also important to keep in mind that the origins of anger are hurt, fear and a reaction to threats.
What is the origin of your anger? Know it and you will most likely be able to take more control of it.
The answers to the following questions might be able to help you:
- What is the origin of your anger? The answer to this could be anything relating personally to you. But one thing I would like to point out here is very much related a form of therapy called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Very simply put, your thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all linked. You cannot have one without the other. So what you think will definitely have an effect on how you feel and what you do. Try it and see. The next time you get angry or you feel yourself getting angry check what your thought was just before this emotion began to rise in you.
- How do you know that you are getting angry? The answer to this question is usually related to physical symptoms. Some people feel their palms getting sweaty, their temples begin to throb or they feel it in their belly. Once you know how to detect your anger rising, then you are on the way to being able to control it other than it controlling you.
- How do you behave when you are angry? What do you say or do?
- And of course the usual talk it through with someone who cares about you enough not to fan your flames of anger. Someone who will keep you calm and objective – and no, that doesn’t include your children, no matter how old they are.
Being able to answer these questions is much easier than it seems. What is hard is to put your “new” knowledge into practice but if you can just keep going at it, checking your thoughts and recognising the rise of anger within you, then it will become standard practice in time.
So before you make that decision or you say those words, stop, sleep on it and then come back to it when the engine is not hot – when you are in a better, much calmer place.
Remember again – “Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.”
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org