Embracing the Anger

Posted on | October 31, 2011 | 15 Comments

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to rid myself of the anger I feel toward my Ex.  I told myself it was wrong to be angry; told myself that this was the plan for my life and I just needed to embrace the changes and move on.  I told myself that I was bigger and better than blaming him.  I told myself I could work through my pain without embracing the anger.

But the fact of the matter is, I’m angry. And it’s time I accept that it is okay to be angry.

When someone decides to divorce you, they steal from you.  They reach into your heart and your soul and they steal from you the dream that you had of having a family.  They reach in and rip away the long-held ideal of a mother and father and two or three curly headed tots sitting around a dinner table for meals.  They break in half the hope of Christmases and Thanksgivings and birthday parties.  They run away with the dreams you held dear.

People tell me “You will find someone else” and “You can have more children” and while both of these are true, they do not erase what he took from me.  He sat across from me in a crowded restaurant and promised to love me forever. He nodded and smiled when I told him I wanted children.  He said he understood when I told him not having kids was a deal breaker for me.  He signed his name on the dotted line, he put the ring on my finger, he knew what I wanted and what I hoped for.  He knew my dreams.

And then, without warning, he stole those dreams and replaced them with something broken, something tarnished.

Now, even if I re-marry, it will be my second marriage.  Now, even if I have more children, they will be different from J and I worry that he will resent them and resent me for having to split his time when his brother or sister stays nearby always.  I worry that he will feel like the odd child out in a family where everyone else is related by blood and he is related only to me.

His decision to divorce me, his decision to look elsewhere and be elsewhere and love elsewhere… it changes everything.  It breaks more than just my heart.  His decision broke our family.  His decision broke a sturdy gold band into pieces.  His decision broke me.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep I lay in bed and think about the life he’s living now, the life he apparently wanted to be living all along.  I think about how he can go out to eat whenever he wants or stay out late or date without a babysitter.  I think about how he is whispering promises into some other woman’s ear and you know what? I’m tired of pretending that it doesn’t make me furious.  I am mad that he broke everything for me and in return gets to live the life he wants.  I am mad that he is a part-time father with all the hugs and love and sweetness of our son with none of the punishments or battles.  I am mad that he gets to be a part of our son’s life and mad that I have to smile and nod and tell J how much his father loves him while choking back the words I really want to say. 

I am mad.

And it’s okay for me to be mad.  It’s okay for me to want to scream and yell.  It’s okay for me to want to break him, too.  It’s okay because I will not always feel this way.  It’s okay to be angry now; it is still new, still fresh, still just the barest film of covering spread across my battered heart.  There will be a time when I can honestly smile at him and not feel forced or fake.  There will be a time when things are different.  But for now? It’s okay to be angry.  If he had broken into my home and stolen all of my possessions, I would feel right and just and perfectly okay with being angry at the mess he left behind.  If he had stolen my car, I would allow myself to rage and rage against what he had done.

But he didn’t steal my jewelry or my car; he stole my dreams.

And it’s okay to be angry about that.


15 Responses to “Embracing the Anger”

  1. MaconMom
    October 31st, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Yes, it really really is okay.

  2. Mae
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    Happy to see you’ve made it to this place. Truly.

  3. EJ Phillips
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    Amen, sista! But God will give you new dreams. And I wouldn’t worry too much about the “possible future family issues” because a) there will be time for that crazy, but it is not now, b) my hubs has half siblings from his dad’s 1st marriage & they love, adore, and visit one another all the time, c) being related isn’t about sharing DNA. At all. But mainly remember A. Because you’ve got enough going on now to be crazy about.

  4. Cookiecrums123
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Good for you! I’m sure there are MANY emotions you need to let yourself feel. I don’t know what you’re going through and can only imagine. But sounds as though you’re being honest with yourself and dealing how you need to deal. I think if your son knows you love him unconditionally, no matter what the future brings, the two of you will be just fine (as far as future marriage/kids).

    Wishing the absolute best as the holiday season is starting!!!

  5. Anonymous
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    Feelings can never be “wrong”. We feel what we feel, even if they are rational or not (and yours seem pretty rational to me)

    I will say that your dream to have one un-tainted marriage to last you the rest of your life might be over, the picture you painted for your life isn’t as perfect as you hoped, but you will still find happiness and joy.

    And you can look on the bright side — when J is with your ex, you can focus on something for you, and you alone. An activity, exercise, hanging out with girlfriends, even maybe dating down the line (when you are ready). Maybe that opportunity will lead you to some things you never would have found if you were still married to your ex.

    Scream into that pillow, girl! It’ll get better…

  6. Carol
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Right on sista!!!! You have such a gift when it comes to words. You have the right to feel any emotions you wish…and especially anger!

  7. Jennifer Williams
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Anger is an emotion I’ve never had trouble embracing. 🙂

    My therapist told me last week that we need to accept and nourish all of our feelings because they are all important. Just feel what you feel. That is never a mistake.

  8. Mrs MidAtlantic
    October 31st, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    It is definitely ok to feel angry! Be angry! Be true to yourself and your feelings!

  9. Kristinayellow
    October 31st, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    Heck yea! Admitting it and letting it out can only help you. And I think about those same thoughts–of course you can get married again, of course you can have kids, of course. BUT. You wanted to do it once. You wanted to have kids with the same guy. And he knew that. And made a difference choice, a cowardly and dishonest choice, instead. And that sucks, especially since you have to pick up the pieces. But you are strong and smart and funny and a hella-fab mommy. It’s his loss. But your feelings need to catch up to your head sometimes. Just give it time-they will. Meanwhile, go trick or treating with J and give yourself mental thrills picturing kids toileting papering his new place and scary the bejesus out of him. Teehee. (Yup, I’m not afraid to be petty sometimes!)

  10. beachmum
    October 31st, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    Isn’t anger one of the stages of the grieving process? Maybe that’s a good sign? Sometimes I feel angry too that the choices of others (and poor choices I might add) have stolen moments from my life. The choices others have made have robbed me from having a typical anything. My kid has half siblings I didn’t really imagine him having. My family now includes people whose behaviors I don’t condone or don’t want to be near. These are all things that make me angry. But do I really want to spend all my time being angry when I have so many other good things in my life? I think it’s ok to be angry. For now. And then one day I bet you’ll wake up and the anger will have subsided. But hell yeah, get angry. Get mad. Scream. Cry. Throw shit. Burn memories if it will make you feel better. Get it out. Is he spending this much time thinking about a situation HE created? I doubt it. Be angry but don’t let it eat you. Eat it.

  11. Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments
    November 1st, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    “Now, even if I re-marry, it will be my second marriage. Now, even if I have more children, they will be different from J and I worry that he will resent them and resent me for having to split his time when his brother or sister stays nearby always. I worry that he will feel like the odd child out in a family where everyone else is related by blood and he is related only to me.”

    I’m a twice divorced child. My mom and dad divorced when I was 8 and my mom and step-father divorced when I was 30. I have one “full brother” and we haven’t lived in the same house, gone to the same school or even spent all of our holidays together since we were about 10 years old.

    I have 2 “half brothers” and 2 “half sisters” and have easily moved between two houses filled with different people that I may only be half related to (or not related at all).

    I’ve been “adopted” into my step-father’s family as if I have aways been there (though I am very blond blue eyed and they are very dark and Italian).

    I have been “adopted” into my step-mother’s family and my step-mother is by far one of the most amazing women I have ever met, always refers to me as “her daughter” and is the best grandmother I could have ever asked for my children.

    I don’t remember my parents together and I certainly don’t resent them for having other children. In fact I love them all so much I can’t even imagine my life without them. While I know we are only “half” related you will never hear those words come out of my mouth. They are my brothers and my sisters. There is nothing half about them.

    Also – when my brother (same father different mothers) did a family tree for a school project a few years ago he included my brother and sister on my mom’s side. He’s nowhere near related to them and yet he understood without any resentment that they belonged somewhere on his family tree.

    All of this is IN SPITE of how nasty my parents’ divorce was, how crazy my mother really is and how they didn’t speak for over a decade except through their lawyers (I definitely don’t recommend any of this!).

    I grew up knowing my parents hated each other and likely on most days wished each other dead but among my brothers and sisters we have all seemingly found our way to understand that we are all the same and yet different.

    Wow – this comment is far too long but I just wanted to let you know that while you may lay awake at night worrying about “half siblings” know that I consider my own the best things that ever came out of my parents’ divorce(s) and I’m sure – if it should happen – J will too.



  12. lck
    November 1st, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    Totally. He is mind numbingly selfish. That’s not a criticism, it just IS. And being angry is very appropriate… it just… IS, what it is, that’s cool. Yeah, it’s not always in “order,” obviously, but if you are at anger in the grieving process (and acknowledging and accepting that will be awesome for moving forward), you would be past denial and still have bargaining, depression, and ACCEPTANCE! :))) That is exciting work. Pat yourself on the back!

  13. Bjhamill
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    Absolutely super duper OK to be mad. And it will come and go, don’t expect it to magically disappear one day when you’re “all better”. He’ll keep ticking you off if only b/c he’ll keep failing your son ( this is guaranteed, b/c by not being there all the time, he’ll never be the father J deserves). But here’s the part you need to remember when you get stuck in the whole “he gets to live the life he wants and i”m stuck doing this alone” riff: what he did, when he really absorbs what he gave up, he will regret every day for the rest of his life. I am not over-stating this. J WILL call someone else “dad”. He WILL hug another man when he gets home from school, there WILL be someone else cheering at his tball games, and putting bandaids on his knee after a soccer game. There will be another dad who holds his hand while he trick or treats, who helps him with his spelling words, who tousles his head at night after story and says “love you buddy” before turning off the light. His “real” dad left to have “the life he really wanted” and another, better, man stepped in, to love his mom, to make a family, and to help him grow. This is all a fact. Seems far away now, but it’s true. And when that day comes, it will burn a whole in your ex’s heart that can never heal. This is not vengeance, it’s just life. It’s the consequence of his action. Sure, he’ll always be J’s “real” dad, but what’s more real than being there every day? He blew it, bad, he just doesn’t realize it yet. So, yes, be mad; he’s a douche canoe. But also, feel sorry for him. I do.

  14. Joel
    November 2nd, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    wow.., great response. I am not commenting cause you just said it all there.

  15. Wallacs
    April 16th, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Hell yes, you get to be angry. You never have to say another non child-related civil word to him ever again. He had NO right to propose to you, marry you, go along with your vision of your life if he didn’t intend to carry it through. We was weak and easily led. He lied and by through his lies made you a liar as well because that’s how marriage works. If two people promise to love, honor, trust, and obey until death parts them, and one person bails, the other person is by default, a liar. That was what made me the angriest about my divorce. I didn’t take marriage lightly, and I would have stayed (unfulfilled) forever, because we had a child together. I realize now that wouldn’t have been good for anyone, but there was a better way to end our marriage, one that didn’t involve lying and infidelity.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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