My Three Angers - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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My Three Angers

It has been over a year since my divorce. While the pain has ended I am still left with anger. In trying to deal with that anger I have attempted to identify the things that make me so upset. I think I have it narrowed down to three main problems. What bothers me is while the pain has subsided I am worried the anger will overcome me eventually. I really think it is the last obstacle to overcome.

My first anger is the hurt of my children. I sometimes see the pain in their eyes when they realize things are truly never going to be the same. Children are resilient but not invulnerable. They have plenty to occupy their minds but sometimes it is obvious they are hurting and upset. Regardless for the reason for their pain the very thought of them hurting upsets and angers me to no end. I work hard to make their lives the best I can just like I have always done but this pain is out of my reach to completely resolve. I fear this anger the most.

My second anger is the betrayal of my wife. This anger come and goes and has mostly subsided. The thought that someone I loved could so easily betray and lie to me still boils my blood. I no longer feel the pain but the overwhelming anger that someone I trusted could commit the ultimate betrayal against her family is overwhelming. I think this bothers me because I know that I could never do the things that she did. I could not look at my children or myself in the mirror. It’s this very thought that confuses me and feeds my feelings of hatred.

The final anger is the anger with myself. The ways in which I let myself be manipulated and lied can cause me to lose sleep. How could I be so stupid and overlook what everyone else was seeing. Her manipulative ways and lies were so obvious and I was blind to them. Sometimes I give myself a pass in that I was doing everything I could to save my family. But the cost to my self-worth is sometimes more that I can bear and I become very angry.

As I read TAM I have become pretty good at predicting most threads. There is nothing new about pain, jealousy, and betrayal that surprise me anymore. I can usually read the first thread and now predict what will happen 15 pages in. But what I have not seen is how to get over the anger. Stories of how the anger subsides and forgiveness take over. That is what I need right now. It’s the last thing holding me back. I believe that my anger is not new and is just as common place as the pain found her on TAM. I would love to hear the stories about how the anger fades. They say time heals pain but what relieves the inner turmoil of resentment and hatred?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:45 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

Is the anger productive? Does it do anything to improve your life or that of your children? If not, then you can work to let it go, as it is probably harming you rather than doing any good.

One way to let go of anger is to be mindful, and aware of what and when it's triggered. When you can reliably notice when this happens, you can thoughtfully consider what purpose it serves, and if it does not serve a productive purpose, then you can decide to let it go. It won't be easy, especially at first, but if there is nothing to be gained by it, then holding onto it is harmful - you can start to let it go more easily with practice. Eventually, it will lose its hold on you.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:49 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

It takes time.

You have identified one crucial piece as well. That is the anger at yourself, which frequently gets directed at others. It is hard to admit to ourselves that we were able to be hoodwinked, but ultimately we can look back and narrow down how we chose to see things a certain way.

Unfortunately, there's no better way to deal with it then to just keep walking. It will eventually subside.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 09:53 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

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Originally Posted by NoMoreTears4me View Post
But what I have not seen is how to get over the anger. Stories of how the anger subsides and forgiveness take over. That is what I need right now. It’s the last thing holding me back.
Time man...

There is no shortcut or secret answer. It's simply takes a LONG time, expect it to take many YEARS.

But it will get better as time goes on. Then one day, you'll wake up and you won't be angry anymore.

You still will never be the same person but if you focus all you energy on improving yourself, you will be a better man.

Guaranteed.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 10:05 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

you are only a year out.

you may think that is a long time, but it isn't.

for the reflective person like yourself, you will constantly reflect, ruminate, contemplate, and analyze what transpired in your marriage and why.
you will look into the soul of your wife looking for clues as to the why, why and why.

eventually you will probably find the true answers and find real peace.
be glad it's anger that's holding you now, not depression.

no, anger is not seemingly productive, UNLESS it is that transitional phase that eventually leads you to the promised land:
complete acceptance of who you are, who she is, the unfairness and transitory nature of life itself.
you cannot reach the conclusion that the earth is round unless you first posit countless numbers of erroneous theories of how the earth is shaped.

i am now about 7 years out from my own cheating relationship. i am now happily remarried, and believe me, i thank God every day for the woman i have right now.
but even now, i still find myself ruminating about her and who she really was. i've found a happy peace in accepting everything about her and about me.
but it took me years.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 10:13 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

Hey Bud, I can relate to you. I had some pretty major anger issues when I was going through my divorce and it took counseling for me to get past it. Luckily, I had a great counselor and after 5 sessions we had laid the groundwork for what I needed and he said he didn't need to see me anymore. My anger was because I felt that my divorce was the first major failure in life, I didn't understand how she could cheat on me since I was such a great husband/father, and I was upset at how it destroyed my family dynamic which I had worked so hard to build. For me to get past this the counselor went over these things with me individually and we rationalized them.

First we discussed the divorce being my first major life failure and I was able to reason that it wasn't a failure for me. I had done everything right and behaved as I should have. I was a great husband, put my wife first, took care of my family, was successful professionally, kept in shape, wasn't needy, and was an involved father. So we reasoned that since I had been so committed, the failure in the marriage couldn't have been my fault. The blame rested solely on my XWW, so technically it was HER failure and not mine. Since I was doing everything right I never failed, she failed, and I don't need to be angry about someone else's failure. With that understanding I was able to move past that issue.

To rationalize how she could cheat on me was an easier step. I just had to accept that the only person I could control was me. People are free to make whatever decisions they want and for whatever reason at whatever time. So I didn't have to understand the how or why she chose to cheat. She could lose sleep over it, but I wasn't going to. Quite frankly, I have some pretty good ideas of why she cheated, but I don't really care since it's her problem for her to rationalize.

Destroying my family dynamic was also a huge issue. But I changed the way I looked at it. It wasn't a destruction, but simply a change. Change happens throughout life and it can be either good or bad, and I am in control of the outcome in my life. I used this change for good and as an opportunity to be the best father I can be. I'm more interactive and involved now with my kids than I had been before. I get to raise them exactly how I want and since I am the better role model I can tell I'm making a much bigger impact in their life than their mom is. While my kids love both parents they model themselves after me, and I see my influence grow in them as they are developing.

So after all of these things, I really have nothing to be angry about. My life is MUCH better than it was before and the things that are important to me (i.e. my kids) are benefitting from the change.

So for you let's break each thing down and see if you can change the way they impact you. Your first problem is the hurt in your kids. So why are your kids hurt? Is it because they aren't getting enough love and guidance or is because they are projecting what they see in you? Can you make yourself be positive around them and really focus on living your life in the way you would like them to grow up and live theirs? Can you teach them resiliency and that even after a hurtful situation happens, you can thrive and be better than before? What in your mind would you need to do to be the pillar of stability in their lives and show them that you are devoted to them and they are your priority? F' your XWW, this isn't about her. It's about how you want to be a role model and how you get to decide on your own the best way to do that for your kids.

How can you deal with the betrayal from your ex? The best thing to combat this feeling is to live your life to the fullest. Be the best dad you can be, be the best man you can be, and live your life with the freedom you could only have with her gone from the picture. Once you start doing this and your life gets remarkably better than when you were married, the anger will leave because you'll be happier than you were before. This takes a bit of time but it doable. I joke with my friends now that my XWW having an affair gave me a "get out of jail free card", because I am so much better off than I was when we were married (and FYI, I was in a very good marriage up until her affair at the very end).

How do you get over the anger with yourself? Well this can also be rationalized. You loved your ex and saw her through the best light possible. You don't need to forgive yourself for that. Loving someone completely is what you were supposed to do with a spouse! If you hadn't loved her that way then you should have been angry with yourself. That love you gave her is why she was able to hide her true self and take advantage of the situation. Her not experiencing loving you the same way is one of life's great gifts that she missed out on.

The last thing I want to tell you, is forgiving someone is not about them. It's about you choosing to no longer let them have power over your life. Take back your power and your control from her, and reap the rewards that go with it. When you feel yourself getting angry, just remind yourself that she isn't worth it and this is an opportunity to make your life better.

Good luck!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 10:17 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

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Originally Posted by NoMoreTears4me View Post
They say time heals pain but what relieves the inner turmoil of resentment and hatred?
Time heals that as well, maybe not as fast as you want it to but it will. As you go through your life without her and realize that your life is better off without her, a person that is capable of all the betrayals against her family that sicken you, you'll start to see that you did do the right thing by your family by divorcing her. Tragic events in our lives, whether mental or physical, as they become less and less of our day to day routine, begin to heal. Instead of thinking about how you let her deceive you, think about how you won in the end by not having her as a part of your life now. It hurts bad at first and there's no getting around that, you're going to have to give yourself time to heal.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 10:48 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

I've been meditating on this a lot this past week...my first and second marriages failed on betrayal, financial and adultery, and I realized that I had moved past the anger in them but failed to understand why, and it came clear to me that knowing "how and why" was important.

Interestingly enough, I had been thinking of a word also thrown into the fray these last several weeks... "scorecard".

When a scorecard is present, anger is present... remove the card, the anger leaves with it.

So I learned the why, the how then became the puzzlement.

It may seem the light version, but I had to accept that life isn't fair... and when it isn't fair, how I handle it makes all the difference.

How your children see you handle it will make the difference too... feed them calm, that is their best nourishment in the present.

But you have to find it in yourself first... remove that scorecard of high fats and empty calories, it will take away the strength your soul needs for strength in finding forgiveness in yourself for poor reactions and losing faith in something that is no longer there in your life... her betrayal.

Sustenance in the good baggage... there is no room to digest the bad.

My scorecard has been burned, she can do what she wants with hers... it's not on my menu.

I hope this sharing helps.

नमस्ते 🙏
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 12:37 PM
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Re: My Three Angers

Anger is part of loss. A divorce is like a bereavement and anger is one of the things we have to go though. I would suggest counseling or writing it all down. writing can be very theraputic.

To be honest a year is nothing. I would say that it takes 2-3 years to get through the worst. A man I know was left by his wife 2 years ago and he is still devastated and had a break down.

Last edited by Diana7; 03-22-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 02:05 PM
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Re: My Three Angers

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Originally Posted by Bananapeel View Post
First we discussed the divorce being my first major life failure and I was able to reason that it wasn't a failure for me. I had done everything right and behaved as I should have. I was a great husband, put my wife first, took care of my family, was successful professionally, kept in shape, wasn't needy, and was an involved father. So we reasoned that since I had been so committed, the failure in the marriage couldn't have been my fault. The blame rested solely on my XWW, so technically it was HER failure and not mine. Since I was doing everything right I never failed, she failed, and I don't need to be angry about someone else's failure. With that understanding I was able to move past that issue.

To rationalize how she could cheat on me was an easier step. I just had to accept that the only person I could control was me. People are free to make whatever decisions they want and for whatever reason at whatever time. So I didn't have to understand the how or why she chose to cheat. She could lose sleep over it, but I wasn't going to.

The last thing I want to tell you, is forgiving someone is not about them. It's about you choosing to no longer let them have power over your life. Take back your power and your control from her, and reap the rewards that go with it. When you feel yourself getting angry, just remind yourself that she isn't worth it and this is an opportunity to make your life better.
Thank you for this contribution. Sounds like you were one of the lucky ones to find a great counselor.


“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My Three Angers

Lots of great responses. Thanks a lot. I will try to reply soon. Been slammed at work today.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 06:36 PM
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Re: My Three Angers

This is normal. I could have written your exact post at one point. Rage and anger get a bad wrap in my opinion. Anger and rage is what got me out of bed and moving my life forward toward divorce and surviving it. Without that anger and rage I think I would have just stayed in bed or fled, I have kids and neither of those were an option.

At the end of the day your anger, like mine, probably comes from guilt. You were a good husband and were betrayed....it's ****ing not fair at all. Your guilty that you picked such a horrible spouse and mother for your kiddos. At some point you have to forgive yourself that mistake and stop feeling bad about the things SHE caused. Your life was unraveled by her but you new life is what you make it. Forgive yourself and move forward. You will be happier for it.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 10:09 PM
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Re: My Three Angers

No words of wisdom, just here to wish you all the best for your future.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 12:38 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

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That is the anger at yourself, which frequently gets directed at others. It is hard to admit to ourselves that we were able to be hoodwinked, but ultimately we can look back and narrow down how we chose to see things a certain way.
This is so true for me. I am 3 years on from my divorce/betrayal and the anger at myself was the last part to remain.

In my previous mindset, I always looked for the good in people and I rationalized any bad behaviors too many times. I’ve examined this and I think it’s because I wanted to believe (and assume) that most people are basically good; I wanted to believe that the truly bad people in the world were easy to spot through their behavior. Well that didn’t work so I had to change my mindset.

In order to change I had to think about and actually write down specific behaviors that I would no longer tolerate. I decided that I could not be too quick to condemn, for example if a behavior boundary is crossed once (everyone has a bad day now and then). I decided to look for patterns and repeats of unacceptable behavior and, when I find them to minimize contact with the offending person no matter what my other feelings for them may be (you know, the “but I love him”, “the sex is great” nonsense).

This has helped to greatly lessen the anger at myself for allowing past betrayal because it has eliminated much of my fears about becoming intimately involved with people again. And that is where anger comes from … fear.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 12:47 AM
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Re: My Three Angers

Yea, I think we have all been through this same thing. All I can think of right now is to look at those three things and figure out what you can do to somehow make things better, and use that anger to get the energy to do it.

For example with your anger and the pain that this has and continues to cause your children. What could you do to help move them beyond that pain? What can you do to make their lives better, to help them over come and excel?

The same with the other two... how to make lemonade out of the lemons. Sometimes anger persists because we feel we have no power to fix whatever the anger stems from. Well you cannot fix the past. But you can improve the future. And in doing that, the anger will go.
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