Anger Gets You Through Divorce

Using Anger to Fuel Productivity in Divorce

Divorce is a transition and that means that the emotions you feel at the beginning of the divorce may change by the end. It’s a process. And there are stages of grief in divorce just like there are in the loss of a loved one in death. In fact, you may move through these Kubler-Ross stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance—just as you would when someone you love passes away.

But one of these stages in particular can be helpful in getting things done: anger.

Anger: It’s Not All Bad

Anger is an emotion we tend to be embarrassed about. It’s something we feel we should hide. We often hear “control your anger”. And, certainly, we’d be in a pretty miserable place if every person we passed in the street was anger. But isn’t there an upside?

According to Psychology Today, there are a few advantages to anger:

  1. Anger Helps You Get Your Needs Met: anger can act as an alert system to help you realize that something isn’t right or something isn’t fair. Your anger is actually a defense mechanism against being treated unfairly!
  2. Anger Helps You Define Boundaries: if there are people who make your blood boil, that’s a good sign that you should keep your distance. Or, if there’s a topic that gets you hot under the collar, you can tell people you don’t want to talk about it.
  3. Anger Can Fuel Productivity: if you’re frustrated by lack of appreciation at your current job, use that anger to propel you to look for something better!
  4. Anger May Strengthen Relationships: That doesn’t just mean marriages. If you have siblings, you may be able to relate that sometimes conflicts are precisely what draw you together.

Anger as Motivator

My guest this week believes that anger is good because it is a great motivator. This week’s guest is Anne-Louise DePalo, an attorney in Staten Island.  She’s been practicing in the area of divorce and family law for over 30 years, and she’s the author of the book, Divorce Now What?  How to Survive, Thrive and Become Fully Alive Through the Divorce Process. She says that anger is a powerful tool that can be harnessed through meditation, exercise and reflection or prayer to help you reach your goals.

The “heat” of anger can be the fuel that you need to run when everything else has been depleted. DePalo suggests learning what you need to do for yourself to alleviate that anger. And for each person it’s different. But leaning into and backing away from your own anger can be a valuable tool as you move through divorce.

So there’s no need to feel ashamed of the fury you feel in divorce. Instead, use it to make personal progress.

If you’re considering divorce but would like to try an approach that might mean a brighter future, call my team to schedule a confidential consultation.