By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
Anger is a natural consequence of a relationship breakup or divorce. But not all anger is the same and it’s important to understand how anger is affecting not only your divorce, but also your life and your other relationships.
Is anger seeping into your relationship with your kids? With your in-laws, or other family members? Will anger negatively impact your future romantic relationships?
If not handled affectively, it certainly will. No one wants to be in a relationship with an angry partner. But often we don’t see the anger others see in us. Or we feel our anger is so justified we don’t care about how it affects us. Or affects others. Especially our kids!
Balancing Our Anger Effectively
There are ways to handle, manage and work through our anger so it’s not destructive for us or others we need to deal with. There are also effective ways to handle anger in our co-parent and our children so we don’t get stepped on, disrespected or abused.
This takes awareness about how we use anger and an intention to not let it run or ruin our lives. We also have to consider how anger affects our children as we parent. What kind of role models are we for our kids? What are they learning from us? How is that affecting their lives?
Can we replace anger with other emotions that better serve us? Can we stop being victims and start taking responsibility for our behavior so we feel more self-confident, empowered and secure? There are many techiques we can explore together to do just that –for ourselves and for the kids we love!
Through Co-Parenting Coaching we dive deeply into this arena and come out feelling better about who we are, how to cope with difficult people and frustations as well as making wise decisions that lead us to a happier, healthier future!
One Mother’s Story
I had a client, a mother of three children under age 8, who was so angry at her husband for leaving her for another woman –a co-worker at the office –that she couldn’t get past that anger. She fought bitterly through the divorce and afterwards to win every co-parenting battle. She was immersed in RIGHT-FIGHTING –winning just to win, to make his life miserable. And she felt totally justified in doing that!
But her bitterness was affecting her children and dramatically affecting her own peace of mind. She was consumed with rage which was eating her alive.
And when I asked her that most important question: DO YOU LOVE YOUR CHILDREN MORE THAN YOU HATE YOUR EX? Her answer was: I DON’T KNOW!
That’s not the answer we want to hear from any co-parent. It means you’re out of alignment, off balance, impaired in your thinking. In fact, it’s putting your rage and emotional drama ahead of the wellbeing of your kids!
How will this impact her relationship with the three kids in the future? Not well. They are likely to resent her behavior, the embarrassment she caused them, the hassles she created on special occasions such as birthdays and graduations. They very likely will reject their mother when they grow older, adding to her sorrow and pain.
In addition, Mom will likely have trouble finding a new love partner because healthy men will pick up on her anger and not want to be in a relationship with someone carrying that level of unfinished relationship baggage. The men she will attract will be disappointing to her.
Effort Pays Off
Fortunately this mom got the message. We used some helpful techniques for releasing all that anger and opening the door to a happier, more peaceful life. She found a way to sincerely say she did LOVE HER CHILDREN MORE THAN SHE HATED HER EX! And she found a path to cooperative co-parenting that worked and enabled her to find a new life partner she could love and trust.
Every day co-parents overcome these obstacles through the guidance of coaching and learning useful tools for diffusing anger in themselves as well as their co-parent.
Never give up hope for a better co-parenting experience ahead. Your kids deserve the effort and will thank you for it one day when they are grown.
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach, Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — With Love!To get her free ebook on Post Divorce Parenting, coaching services and other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com. For her special programs on Managing Anger For Co-Parents visit www.angerconflictprograms.com.