What if I am really bitter and angry at my Ex?

PA post image  Q – What if I am really bitter and angry at my Ex?  I know I need to get over it but I just don’t know where to start.

A – It’s been said that hanging on to bitterness and resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  Keep in mind, your own emotional health isn’t the only thing at stake, your children’s is too.  

What can you do?

Connect the dots.

One of the benefits of anger is that it has the ability to serve as a powerful wake up call and bring deeper issues we need to address to the surface. When this happens we have an opportunity to push through to the other side and explore aspects of ourselves that may have been hiding in the shadows.  More to the point, we open up space for new growth. The key is however, lies in paying attention to it.  Not only does identifying what’s underneath curb toxic festering, it can also move us into action. 

How to get started…

When the anger hits do your best to take a step back from it.  For some that may mean taking a deep breath or calling a trusted friend to do a little constructive ranting.  In other situations, you may need to engage in something more physical like working out at the gym or throwing yourself into some serious cardio housecleaning.

Once you’ve moved beyond the initial surge, make time to explore what’s fueling the proverbial fire.

Ask yourself:

  • What was happening right before you got angry?
  • What thoughts were racing through your mind when the anger took over?
  • Where’s the link? 
    Is the anger being fed by a sense of injustice or unfairness? Do you feel out of control or helpless?  Is there unfinished business or some issue you need to let go of?
  • What do I need to change?

Although it may not feel immediately gratifying, remember change takes time and working through the anger isn’t going to happen overnight. There may also be times when it catches you off guard. If the anger ambushes you, bear in mind you’re only human. Learn from the experience, do your best to get back on track and keep working on it.

To go the distance make sure you have a good support system in place and create opportunities to be around people who add value to your life.