Example #1: she leaves him.
His side: “I came home one day and my wife told me she didn’t want to be married anymore. I was completely shocked and upset. I can’t believe she would just turn on me like that.”
Her side: “I tried to talk to my husband about how unhappy I/we were for years. I begged him to go to therapy. We tried it once and he was completely closed off and not interested in continuing. I felt like I was living alone for 5 years, so I moved on.”
The truth: No one really knows except God?
What typically happens? The woman calls an attorney and starts proceeding with the divorce. She’s a doer, she wants out and she’s going to make that happen. She starts acting nicer to the husband because she feels a certain amount of guilt, even though her decision was a long, thought out process, and maybe even took years to arrive at. She tries to help him accept that it’s over and even logistically might try to assist him in moving on, finding a place, etc. etc.
The guy, on the other hand, gets angry. All of a sudden, he’s so pissed off, he can’t even breathe. How dare that bitch do this to me! he’s thinking. F her!! So, he begins to act angry all the time, he’s rude to her (even in front of the kids), he’s hostile, quick-tempered, and says mean, horrible things (one woman told me her ex-husband told her “I hope you drop dead today,” at the bus stop in front of their three kids.)
Example #2: He leaves her.
Her side: I thought I was a good wife, I tried to do everything right. I tried to make him happy. One day, he comes home and tells me he met someone else and he’s leaving. That bastard! How can he do this to me? I’m now in my late forties and I haven’t worked in 15 years. I now have to go back to work because some bimbo is clouding his mind with good sex?
His side: My wife was cold and unemotional to me for years. She never wanted to have sex. She never wanted to do anything fun. I was lonely. I tried to talk to her. She wouldn’t discuss it. Said everything was fine. I was lonely. A man needs sex. It’s a physical need.
The truth: Again, who knows? God.
What typically happens? The guy moves onto his new, younger model girlfriend, maybe has another kid, while the wife tries to pick up the pieces, continue raising her kids, and try to figure out her new life as a middle-aged single woman. And yes, she becomes angry, too. She hates his guts, possibly tells that to the kids, refuses to ever acknowledge the “whore” who stole her husband, and basically becomes bitter when his name even comes up. I actually know a woman whose husband left her for another woman 40 years ago, and she’s still bitter and angry.
I hear tons of divorce stories from people, and here’s what I find regardless of who leaves who. In EVERY case, there is always one person of the two who is angry. Pissed as hell. So mad they want to kill the other person.
According to Wikipedia, Anger is an emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation.
I HATE ANGER! It angers me when I see an angry person. In my opinion, anger is the biggest waste of time, energy, and it will not only hinder a person in healing and moving on, but it will eventually destroy the person.
I want to make something clear, though. I don’t think people should let others walk on them and wrong them and not get angry. I think it is normal to be angry, I’ll even go so far as to say it’s healthy to experience anger. But, at some point, isn’t it time to let it go? And this is what I see from so many divorced people: one of them can’t let it f***ing go! And that angers me!
The pettiness I see in my own divorce (even now) and in so many others is infuriating. The little things men and women try to do just to hurt the other person. It just baffles me.
Being angry takes so much energy, energy that the person could be using to do productive things. And anger hinders any kind of life success and/or true happiness. I’ve known people who get remarried and they still hate their ex. Why?? I ask. Can’t you just accept it, learn from it, take the good away and keep the bury the bad?
Some people thrive on being angry. I often wonder, are they angry at life, maybe? We all know those people. I bet everyone who just read this is thinking of a certain person right now, that person who has road rage beyond belief, the person who just seems pissed off all the time about little things that don’t really matter, a person who makes a huge issue out of nothing and works themselves up about it, just because anger fuels them and defines their persona. They guy who gets pissed at a bad waitress, the girl who gives someone the finger for cutting her off while driving. People, what’s the big deal? You got your food and you managed to get to your destination without getting into an accident. Isn’t that all that matters??
I want to tell these people that they are killing themselves. They need to go to a therapist and figure out why they’re so pissed.
Another thing anger does is, it affects children. If a child sees their parent angry all the time, they are probably going to think that’s normal behavior.
A woman I know whose husband left her after 20 years of marriage (for another woman) recently said to me, “After 5 years, I’m still really angry with him. I don’t want to be, but I can’t help it. I don’t know what to do to get rid of the anger.” My response to her was, “I think it’s really healthy that at least you recognize it. At least you see it. That’s probably the biggest step forward to begin healing.”
I don’t anger easily, and if I do, I stay angry for about 2 seconds. In fact, my family is always telling me I’m a pushover, that I need to be MORE angry. So, maybe I’m not qualified to write this blog.
That said, I see anger so much, just because people talk to me about divorce a lot.
Here’s another thing. Ask any divorce attorney, and they will tell you, anger means big bucks in their pocket. Do you know how many people take legal action purely because they are angry? And what ends up happening is, when the people’s anger subsides (temporarily, that is), they end up reaching the settlement they could have reached, without the $20,000+ lawyer bill.
I’m begging the angry people to just STOP BEING ANGRY. No matter what your bitch ex-wife did to you, let it go. No matter if your ex-husband is currently in child birth classes with his perfect, new, 28 year-old bride, forget it. Focus on your own life. You have one! Live it! You let yourself be angry for awhile, but it’s enough.
And to the ones who are dealing with the angry person, don’t let him or her know it bothers you. Keep your head up, keep taking the high road, and if you don’t respond to the angry person’s name calling and abusive behavior, that will make him or her even angrier, because ambivalence is infuriating to angry people, because they want you to be angry, too!
I’m not saying no one should get angry. But how long is long enough when it comes to holding a grudge? The woman who has held it for 40 years has had a shitty life, and it’s her own fault. Had she let the anger go, life would have gone differently for her. I’m sure of it.
Anger is for losers. Acceptance, grace, patience and inner peace is for winners.