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.
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.
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.