The Secret to Letting Go of Anger After Divorce

Let’s face it – anger and resentment (what I like to think of as silent anger) are natural parts of any divorce.

You may feel anger over the past events of your marriage that may have led to the divorce.  You many feel anger over what is going on in your life now; how your ex is treating you or resentment that your life has changed.

You may feel anger over how your future has changed from the fantasy you had on your wedding day.

The Dangers of Anger

While anger may be natural and it can serve a purpose – such as pushing you out of a toxic situation.  If you allow yourself to stay in anger too long it can lead you to play the victim role.  Anger gives away your power.

The mindset becomes that because someone else is to blame and they have “done this” to you, you are not responsible or powerful enough to move forward.

Most people hold on tight to anger at their ex-spouse.  They repeat the story about how they were wronged over and over to others, but most importantly, they also repeat it over and over to themselves.

They spend their life waiting for that apology that never comes and they live in the “if onlys”.  If only my husband had treated me better, if only he wouldn’t be such a jerk when I drop off the kids, etc – then my life would be better.

Holding on to anger and resentments leaves you stuck.  Stuck in the victim role and stuck in the past.

But how do you begin to let go?  You feel you were wronged and you have a right to those feelings.  However, the 1st step is to recognize that you need to move beyond the anger to create a better life for you and your kids.

The Secret Way to Move Beyond Anger

What is the most effective way to let go of the anger towards your ex?  Pray for him.  I know it sounds ridiculous and you might be rolling your eyes about now, but just bear with me here.

But what if I am not religious or I don’t believe in God?  That’s perfectly fine.  I didn’t either when I started, but I did it anyway.

You can choose anything you want to pray to.  The sky, a tree, a picture of your kids, a candle, a door knob, whatever – it doesn’t matter.  The point is to just think the thoughts.

And what thoughts are you supposed to think anyway?  Try not to make it result based like “please make my ex treat me better”.  Don’t dwell on the negative, what is not happening.  Instead pray from a positive place.

I personally pray that God wraps my ex in His Grace, that he finds true happiness and that God shines His light brightly along his path so that he can be freed from his struggles.

You should do this even when you are really mad – especially then.  It may be hard, but force yourself to think these loving thoughts.  This is not about God or the Universe “changing” your ex.  It is about changing your mindset from cursing your ex to blessing him.

Do it even when you don’t feel it.  Fake it until you make it.

My Experience

I first came across this secret as I sat in a recovery program meeting.  Someone was discussing how she had started praying for her long ago ex who had been abusive.

They had been apart many years and she had no direct contact with him, but the old feelings would rise up when discussing him with her adult children.

She started praying and found relief for herself.

So I thought I would give it a try.  This was back when things were really bad with my ex-husband.  I did it practically every day before I went to sleep, but I didn’t really think about the results.  In fact, I didn’t even consciously notice them.

When I was starting this website and reflecting upon the path that my ex and I had taken – how we went from threats, verbal abuse, and blackmail to actually being friends I had a hard time nailing down what had changed.  Yes, I knew that I had changed through hard work and the ideas discussed on this site, but how did his change come about?  When exactly did that happen?

When I started thinking of this particular article and the practice of prayer, a light bulb went off in my head.  A great, big “a-ah” moment.  I started praying, things changed.  I don’t know how or why but that doesn’t really matter.  Maybe it was a coincidence or maybe it was the natural progression of things.  Maybe it was my changed attitude or maybe it was something more.  All I know is that things are better and that is all that matters so I will continue to pray for him each night.

Your Takeaway

Letting go of anything, but especially anger and resentment starts with your mindset, with your thoughts.   Whatever you can do to turn those thoughts around will have a much more profound effect than just wishing that your ex will change.  He may or he may not – you have no control over that.  What you can control is your thinking and your attitude and saying a prayer for those who challenge us is one way to start that process.

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Comments

  1. cathy strouse says:

    My anger and bittnerness were eating me alive. I hated the sound of my own voice.
    I started Googling looking for a way to help myself deal with my feelings and emotions. It never occurred to me to pray for my husband. I felt a peace I had never felt before and I also knew I found the answer to overcoming my anger issues. I feel as though I can move on and through prayer I’m on a good path and the dark destructivness is now a bright light and I’m no longer alone. Prayer is powerful! It works.

    • I would like to add that God is real. HE is not some abstract idea he Is a true person. Religion has played a huge role in misleading people of His true existence and personality. The changes that occurred in your life is evidence that a “being” or God hears you. HE is never far off from any of us. HE is always near to those broken hearted and crushed in spirit.
      I have been divorced for 1 year now after 10 years of marriage. I am 30 years old, with 3 miscarriages and abuse as my past. I have much to be angry about. I fight bitterness everyday. I lost friendships, my family became more like strangers than close confidants. I just felt like more than my spouse betrayed me. But, it never dawned on me to hate my spouse because God says, vengeance is mine, I will repay. ” I always have believed that and sure enough because if how my ex treated me he did get what he deserved in the end. His life got worse. I am not saying pray for bad things to happen. But I do know it o’s a waste to let anger swallow you. GOD is ready and more than qualified to lift any burden. But you have to know GOD IS REAL. something didn’t just change. GOD used his hands of living kindness to change so that you could have peace. GOD HATES DIVORCE. Because it wrecks havoc and misery on the family unit and that saddens him. HE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR US ALL. We just have to be willing to talk to him and believe in Him.

  2. I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I have resigned from my digital position, I have taken 4 days away to be alone leaving my fiancé at home and I am looking after me. I too have built up anger and resentment towards my ex of 4 years. Starting tonight I am going to pray for him. I am wasting good energy on a bad situation. He thinks he’s gay and everyone sees it. I want him to find peace and move forward with his life and release the anger he has. Thank you for posting this. I think I may have a few other people to pray for…. Stay tuned!!

  3. I have a lot of built up anger about my ex and all the abuse I allowed him to get away with especially during pregnancy and the effect of his abuse on my children. The injustice of it all was making me boil with anger. I wanted revenge not to pray for him, how surprised I am, prayer actually works. I feel less and less anger and more at peace and optimistic for the future.

  4. Life happens. says:

    You are absolutely right about praying. In the beginning I was so angry with God that I was praying for mercy, then I became angry with my ex, then it manifested into being angry with life. I was marinating in my misery. Anger was deteriorating my soul and my robbing me of happiness. I was becoming that “Ex” who couldn’t let go. Then in Aug. I saw an old prayer journal and thought “Ill just try it…I need to move on. I’m becoming pathetic.” Its now Dec. and this is the strongest and happiest I’ve felt in 2.5 years. The focus was no longer about being angry it became about being thankful for the small things (like Advil for the headache my Ex still gives me, reality T.V., mashed potatoes, etc.) then it went to even being thankful for being a single mommy, then finally for getting out of that miserable relationship. As silly as it sounded, praying for the ex and being thankful really started to take the weight off and the pain in my heart away. In fact I find when I haven’t prayed in a few days the resentment starts to set in. The prayer journal is the only thing that helps me stay focused on the ball, me and my child’s happiness. The past is the past. Thank God for that.

  5. I’m struggling.
    My ex wife walked out… I did everything hoping she would stay. It didn’t work.
    4 yrs on and I still resent her. Her life is going great, more money promotions and I’m fighting for my life every day to keep my head above water.
    I can’t pray…. I wish I could.
    The overwhelming sense of injustice is killing me

    • I can sympathise with you Craig. My ex had an affair with her boss and I asked for the divorce. Her life is great, she got the dog, meet some other guy/s, is having fun, been promoted at work and going on nice holidays. Like you I am struggling to get by each month. However I have joined a church group and have found it to be great support. I am starting to let go of all the anger and injustice, with difficulty.
      It is hard but really try and concentrate on yourself: improve yourself, get a better job, exercise etc

      • Stephanie says:

        Craig….My husband has cheated and lied to me for years. I finally found the courage to say enough is enough. I feel empowered, but also resentful because now, where do I go from here?? He gets to play with his girlfriends and have his single life, and I’m here having to be a working Mom taking care of our boys. He doesn’t even want to be a father anymore. Talk about a scorned, angry woman!!! I feel more sorrow than anger. I think about the “whys and ifs”, but for what?? It’s about the choices we allow ourselves to be open to. I can hang onto being done wrong, or I can choose ME first. Is this easy?? NO!! But in the past I’ve let anger and resentment consume me. It’s a horrible and sad way to live. Prayer does work. It takes every ounce of what I have inside to pray for my husband (soon to be ex), but I can tell you it makes me a better person. He needs the prayer too! Pray for yourself!! Pray for guidance and hope. 4 years is a long time to stay consumed in something you can’t change. Dig deep and ask yourself what you really need? But trust me pray. Things will change but you have to try, even just a little. I’m with James, do good things for yourself. Blessings to you.

        • Hi Stephanie I am in identical situation with having to be single mother while soon to be ex enjoys single life n dating fun.he is money minded n passing pressure on me.I was being patient n letting go but sometimes struggle as feel sorrow of choosing this marriage n such man for children father.I know can’t have him out of life fit kids, but can’t even talk to him, it hurts.I still care but be makes impossible with his actions.Will try pray more.May we heal soon.Happy times to us.

  6. The anger is killing me, it consume my every moment, and i am unable to fight off my thoughts, the injustice don’t make sense to me, and the idea of praying for him sound bizarre, but i’ll do it if that’s what it take to free myself

  7. You Know I read these things and it seems prayer has helped you guys.. I have been married 18years to a liar and a cheater I call my wife. She has left me and out two children over 20 times in 18years having an affair… AND then wheit fails i get the calls “I love yous” I miss yous” and then what do you know I take her back! I do this because 1) I love her 2) I dont want to be a divorced father 3) I love her from her head to the bottom of her feet. She knows that when she falls I am always there to pick her up. Its like a cycle and the kids and I suffer. She has once left again and this time taken our youngest with her. I find it consuming my days my thoughts and wondering why?? I have prayed for GOD’s help with my family for years and granted when she comes back it is amazing ! for about a month then it gets the same way again. Man I live for that one month and having my wife back. The problem is I can’t anymore I have to let go…. there in lies the problem. The thought of not having her the thought of my son growing up without me KILLS me inside.. I hate this life right now. I am struggling on almost every level and my wife tells our daugther(16) who is with me how much fun they are having. My daugther is starting to be so angry with her. I try to keep the sanity but I am finding it hard everyday. PRAY you say? It has not worked yet an honestly I dont see it working.
    M

    • Hi,I know it’s scary n losing time with kids puts us off marriage.But I have come to learn if not happy self, can’t be good parent.kids understands, even at young age.my all means stay together but do it for right reasons else you will build resentment n no one specially kids benefit from that.Good luck

  8. So the web gets bigger. I have come to find out the when my son and his mom went back to florida less then amonth ago. they moved in with the man and his kids. to top it off this used to be one of my closest friends and he is black. (I am and she is white) so I think to myself pray… u say?? ALL i have is pure anger right now and if I went home i would probably be arrested. GOD HELP ME !!!!!!!!!

  9. I am just signing final agreement paperwork for divorce. I have suffered through physical verbal and mental abuse and losing a child for six years. We have one child together n this divorce is hurting so bad! I no I am not losing a good man at all! So with that part im ok however I do lose my daughter every other weekrnd she goes with him and his pregnant girlfriend. That s the part that hurts. He got another women pregnant and moved her n her daughter in with him years ago I was trying to get preg n he refused n I was his wife now my daughter has a lil sis coming n he seems to be living on top of the world. However I am very angry n im trynna to keep a roof over me n my daughter heads. I want god to lift this burden n heal me from the inside out n my hopes r to remarry a god fearing men. Through all that god has held my hand. Ppl im saying let go n let God try him n watch things change I will start praying for my ex and watch god change things for the better.

  10. I have been really sad and worried for my lovely youngest brother who has been treated like a doormat by his ex, who also betrayed him in more ways than one, finally after the divorce she ignored court orders and took their 2 children aged 4 and 7 to another state so that she could start another life, and punish him along the way. This has gone on for 14 years. He is hurt, bitter, angry and unable to move on. He loves his kids and plays a fantastic father figure inspiteof the obstacles she placed in his path. She destroyed him financially, emotionally and it pains me to see how he lives now. Unfortunately, while we are really close, he seems not to trust anyone any more and even uses passive aggressive statements, that make me and others feel that he is accusing us of something – not caring etc. How can I help him to more forward – it seems that all his anger is all-consuming and he has not moved forward at all, although he claims that he has.

  11. Hi there, I was devastated when my ex left me for the women he worked with for over ten years. I felt a lot of anger the worst of it has been his constant under mining me for the last year and a half.
    I have started to forgive myself and on a journey to a new life now. The only way I got there was to read lots of books to understand my feelings along with a great support network.
    I understand sending love and forgiveness is the way forward and now his emails just get deleted. I feel so much stronger and hope everyone who has experienced these things come through the other side.
    Keep strong peeps there is light at the end of the tunnel
    Hazel

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I closed my eyes and prayed.  I was able to give it over again.  Right when I was done, my phone rang.  All the awful things I was afraid of happening, didn’t happen.  Everything is alright.  But, actually, for me it was finally alright before I even picked up the phone. [...]

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