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How To Get Anger To Work For You

How To Get Anger To Work For You

If you’re going through or already divorced and feel consumed by anger and frustration from being disrespected by the ex, I can relate to what you’re feeling.

I’ve struggled with the immense pain of being consumed by anger, frustration, being concerned about the effects on my young child, and feeling fed up with being disrespected by the ex.

It felt like I was walking on eggshells. No matter what I said or did, no matter how hard I tried, the ex seemed to get angrier and more unreasonable.

It was evident the divorce situation was having an extremely negative impact on our daughter. She was becoming whiny, which she had never been before. She was having trouble sleeping, which was also new.

The situation just kept getting worse.

There had to be something I could do to change things, but I had no idea where to begin.

Yet, I knew I had to do something different to try to create a change, and I knew it had to begin with me because I am the only person I can control or change.

The opportunity to shift arose during a situation that was having an extremely negative impact on our young daughter.

The legal custody of our daughter was an equal 50/50. We had been able to work together for over two years to communicate and figure out the schedule for when we each had our daughter. After several variations, we settled on an every other week schedule, with our daughter going to the other parent’s home on Wednesdays.

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the ex refused to talk (or listen) about the schedule and mandated we go by the schedule documented in our divorce decree.

I was astounded to realize that the divorce decree outlined an every other day schedule.

This would mean no consistency and no stability, as our little 3 year old girl was to go back and forth between our two homes every single day.

This doesn’t even begin to account for the differences between the two homes as far as parenting, guidelines, and so much more.

I was afraid this new schedule could result in extreme trauma for our young daughter.

My thoughts and feelings were confirmed when I shared the situation with a child psychologist, who was likewise appalled.

(If I were to go into the fact that any divorce attorney suggest, much less allow this type of physical custody schedule to be put into a divorce decree, I’d be writing for days… ).

I wasn’t just angry. I was stunned and furious that the ex was mandating that our 3-year old daughter be put on an every other day schedule.

How self-centered! How oblivious to the negative effects an every other day schedule would have on our child!

I found myself caught up in a vicious cycle of reacting with vehement anger towards the ex.

Needless to say, this only served to make things worse. I realized I had to do something differently, as what I was doing wasn’t working at all.

As I reflected on what could help, it dawned on me… my reacting to the ex wasn’t ever going to improve anything.

I knew I wanted to try to create an environment of divorce that provided balance and support for our daughter. And this is where I began to shift my perspective and focus.

Providing consistency and stability for our daughter was essential. This meant stopping the every other day schedule and trying to get back to an every other week timeframe.

The ex refused to even listen. In fact, she got angrier.

I felt I had no choice, so I took her back to court over the custody schedule.

There is irony in this decision as we never went in front of the judge. Sitting in the hall outside the courtroom, our respective attorneys started “negotiating”. There was a lot of back and forth, and a lot of accusations coming from the ex.

The ex said the only way she would change the schedule was if I would hand over 50% of an education fund I had personally set up for our daughter.

I was flabbergasted! How dare she! The audacity to steal what I’d set up for my daughter!
She couldn’t be more self-centered.

To me, our daughter’s well-being was the top priority, and her mom was making it about money, money that was NOT hers!

Then it hit me. By getting angry, I was being self-centered and making it about money.

I shifted my focus to what I wanted to create for our daughter. And this included having a balanced schedule.

I took a few slow, deep breaths, and calmly told my attorney to say “Yes” to handing over 50% of the education fund amount that I had established for our daughter, to the ex.

As soon as my decision was shared with the ex and her attorney, we were able to come to terms and agree on an every other week schedule.

I made this decision for the sake of my precious daughter. Yes, I had to let go of my anger and re-channel the stirring energy stemming from my anger.

This helped me to learn one of the most impacting lessons of my life.

When I am feeling really angry and allowing myself to react to it, I know it will never be very likely that I will be able to create or get what I really want.

When I shifted my focus to creating an environment of divorce where my daughter would thrive, I shifted the energy I’d been emitting, and we were able to come to terms.

Looking back, do I still think the ex was being self-centered and unreasonable to the extreme? Absolutely, yes I do.

However, I’d determined my number one priority, my daughter. And I was then able to let go of my anger and shift my intentional focus to creating a more positive and beneficial environment for our daughter… and this indeed was the outcome.

Here is my challenge to you… Think about the last time you reacted with anger toward the ex.

What was it that actually triggered you?

Did it get you what you really wanted? Of course not.

Now commit to being more aware, more prepared for the next interaction with the ex.

Think about what you really want to create and why.

For this, my why was my daughter. I wanted to strive to create a more positive environment for her.

When you find the anger starting to simmer in the depths of your soul, what is something you can say to yourself or do that will snap you out of it, that will help you shift your focus to what you really want to create?

Think about what you want to create for your children, intently shift your focus to it, and determine what you are going to say or do next to get you closer to it.

As you follow-through on this and nurture it, condition it by being consistent, you will be able to remain in self-control, remain calm, and change the outcome for the sake of your kids.

Shifting your perspective changes everything. It allows you to shift out of anger and into a state of being more intentional.

slurpuff evolution chart

How To Get Anger To Work For You

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