While it the idea alone is upsetting, it is true: the vast majority of divorces involve intense feelings of hate, anger, resentment, and sadness. The life that you wished for you and your spouse is no longer possible, your heartfelt promise to stay together through tough times has been broken, and you may be overwhelmed about the uncertainty of your future.

But while anger can be healthy and natural during a divorce, it can also be crippling and consuming – and it can complicate the legal proceedings related to your divorce. So, how much anger is okay to feel during a divorce, and how can you move through the anger to a place of healing? Here are a few ideas that could help you cope with your divorce-related anger:

•    Don’t bury your feelings. Many people hid their anger for the sake of their children or so that they can appear strong. While you should not display your anger in front of your children, it is very important that you yourself acknowledge your anger and let yourself feel your anger. It is even important to vent your anger so that your anger doesn’t come rushing out at an inappropriate time or in an inappropriate way. 
•    Talk yourself through your anger. Examine what specifically is making you angry. Are you mad at yourself or self-blaming? Are you angry at your ex for mistakes of the past? Could you simply be angry that your life feels out of your control? Understanding where your anger comes from is key in dealing with your divorce-related emotions.
•    Talk to someone else about your anger. Whether it’s a close friend, a relative, a divorce support group, a counselor, or a therapist, expressing your feelings to someone else can help you understand your feelings and release some of your pent-up thoughts. Friends or professionals can also help you process your anger and then let it go.
•    Fill your life with other things. It is important not to let anger consume you. Keep to a routine,  focus on other pursuits, and occupy your mind. It’s hard to stew in your anger if you are busy with your kids, involved with the community, focused on work, or taking time to exercise. Do an activity that has always brought you joy.

Remember: if you are feeling overwhelmed by anger or if your anger is affecting your daily life, it is best to speak with a professional about your emotional state and what you can do to get through your divorce process in the healthiest way possible.
Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington