I am really struggling! I have come to hate and resent my ex-husband so much that it is causing me to behave in a way that I never thought I would. I see myself driving a wedge between him and the children but I just cannot seem to be able to stop myself! I just want him to go away and leave us alone. He was the one who broke up the family and for him to think that he can have his cake and eat it by having a wonderful time with the children after all he has done to us is killing me and part of me just wants him to suffer.
You are experiencing what many if not most people feel after a divorce.
The hurt and anger fills us up with a rage for the other person. We want them to hurt. We don’t think they hurt and maybe they don’t. But we do not have any control over what they feel, only our own emotions.
Your children did not experience the divorce in the same way. From their perspective, they lost a family unit. Given that they appear to have a good relationship now with your former spouse, it is probably safe to assume he was a decent father. Or there may be other reasons. For right now, your children want a relationship with him.
In this instance you need to rise above your own personal feelings and let your children have this time with their father. There may come a day when they see their father differently. But for now they are happy to spend time with him.
Most people who have ever experienced a divorce have known the rage and anger you are feeling.
However, they would probably say it felt much better to get beyond it. It feels like such an enormous personal injustice to see your children having fun with him and wanting to spend time with him. But it is very important for them to do that. He is their father. You need to get to a state of acceptance for what has happened and for the family life in its present form.
The hurt and anger we feel comes from our personal sense of loss. Beginning right now, it is important to create a new life for yourself. Spend the time they are with him healing yourself. There are many ways to channel the rage in other more positive ways.
First and foremost would be to start journaling your road to the future. There’s an assortment of journaling books available. Get one that appeals to you and the pen you prefer. A journal never gets tired of hearing about your pain and anger. As time goes by, it will also present a very vivid picture of your healing in its pages.
Do you have any type of exercise regime? Even walking is a great start if you don’t. Check your local area for exercise classes. There are usually some and for a nominal fee you have a new activity and will meet new people. Healing ourselves involves our physical well-being as well as our emotional health.
Books saved me in many ways. The bookstores are crammed with self-help books. Spend some time browsing through them. Check out your local library too. When you are there look for what types of workshops and groups are offered. There might be something that interests you.
Meeting new people in a group environment is an excellent way to forge new friendships. You will begin to have a life that does not have a connection to the past. The loss you felt begins to fill up with new possibilities. These new friends, not connected to your past, give you the opportunity to practice talking about anything but your divorce or your former spouse.
Anger serves a purpose in the initial stage after a divorce. It gives us an emotional impetus. But if it lingers too long it hinders our future. It takes an enormous amount of energy to be consumed with rage- that energy would be better spent on new activities.
You want the world to know you are better not bitter. Make some good personal choices, get some good books, and meet some new people. With each step forward you will feel the anger dissipate. Your children will notice the new you and that will make them very happy.
If you are in need of a place to seek some advice on a way forward during separation and divorce please write to firstname.lastname@example.org – Reaching out is the first step.
ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON
“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.
She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.