Why Shouldn't I Be Angry?
I found out my husband of 12 years was busy loving someone else over a year ago. When I confronted him he told me it was none of my business and that she was his 'friend.' when it was obvious that he did not want me, I applied for a divorce. No point being in a marriage when I am not wanted.
My divorce came through a couple of months ago. I have three children, one of whom is severely disabled. Their father visits them for a few hours every four or five weeks, taking the able-bodied kids out but rarely my disabled daughter.
I can't get over the anger that fills me when I think about him and his 'friend' being together happily getting on with life when I have no time for myself because of the kids. I can't date and wouldn't anyway because I think all men are inherent cheats and couldn't give a damn about me.
I absolutely adored my ex-husband when we were married, but since the time I knew about his cheating I have considered him dead. Hate fills me when I think about the 'friend' and I know if I ever met her I would cause maximum damage and not think twice about it. She needs her life wrecked the way she has done to me and my kids. Now tell me why I shouldn't be angry at that?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thank you for writing your story on this site.
Of course you're angry! You have every right to be very, very angry about what has happened. You and your daughter have been deeply wronged and hurt, and anger is supposed to come up when that happens. It would not be healthy for someone in your situation not to be angry.
The question is not whether you should be angry or not, but what do you do with your anger. If you let violent impulses take over, for example, you could end up making your situation for you and your daughter much worse.
He has already hurt you, and your challenge is to not let him hurt you even worse. If you stay in the anger too long for example, or let it cause you to do something that ends up hurting you or your children, you are allowing him to hurt you even more. You want to stop the damage as soon as possible.
So, be angry, but also be smart in how you deal with it. Have you ever heard the quote, "The best revenge is a happy life"? Healthy anger is just powerful energy that you channel into something that makes your life better.
The only way for you to truly win here is to make up your mind that you will not be destroyed by his actions. Here is what I recommend:
1) You need to grieve the loss of your marriage. You've lost the dream of who you thought he was, and how you thought you could be together. You will find some information on grieving here. If you don't grieve and just stay angry, you will become bitter and become worse. You can't let him do that to you.
2) Take responsibility for your own choices that led to your current situation. When you see yourself as a helpless victim to his bad behavior, you are feeding an illusion of helplessness, and that will fuel a blind rage that could end up hurting you and your children--or just make you very unhappy.
3) Write in a journal about your anger towards men. Write about all of the other men that have reinforced that perception that all men are cheats. I'm sure you have experience that supports your feelings about men, and the point here is to get the stories told, so that you can have some clarity about where your feelings come from.
4) In your journaling, be sure and write daily from your anger. Then, when your anger starts to subside a little, write about the things in your life that are good, right and working. These are your strengths and assets, and they need your focus.
You can do this. You have been hurt, but not destroyed. You can rise above, and create a good life for yourself and your children. Believe in yourself, and don't let anything stop you.
My best to you,
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