Finally turning the corner from the healing land of denial, I entered an emotion that was all too familiar to me…ANGER. Now I know anger is not always bad, in fact anger is not completely condemned in the Bible. Jesus displayed anger. The Bible assumes that we will experience anger, but the admonition is to not let our anger lead to sin. A very simplified way to describe the “sin” type of anger is anger that leads to destructive behavior stemming from bad attitudes.
In working with people who struggle with anger I have seen the tendency to deal with anger in a couple of ways:
While there may be times when these can be healthy, they can also be harmful. RAGE many times can lead to violent outbursts that can be hurtful and even harmful to those around you. Anger tends to hit a lot of people who are not the ones you are actually angry at. For instance some have been known to take the anger of divorce out on the kids. There are also those self-destructive urges such as drinking, drugs, and sex. REPRESSION is turning that anger inward and can cause health issues.
There are a couple of healthy ways to vent anger. Let me suggest REDIRECTION. Redirect your energy into healthy activities: Serving others, gardening, writing, soft punching bags, etc. I remember one angry outburst I had where I so wanted to punch something (Ok, in reality I wanted to punch someone!). There just happened to be a brief case in front of me so I wisely (sarcasm) kicked it shattering my big toe and thereby spending the morning in the ER. Perhaps I should have stuck with gardening or writing.
Let me end this by suggesting another option… RECONCILIATION. First of all, reconciliation does not always mean you get back with your ex. While that would be a good thing, let’s assume you’ve already been down that road and came to a dead end. Sometimes reconciliation can be a redefining of the relationship. You work to create a healthy post-divorce relationship with your ex. This will include things such as forgiveness, boundaries to keep the relationship civil and if there are children, teaming up to fulfill the important task of child rearing.
I’ve read that time heals but I have revised that. I believe that God heals and time is one of the ways He heals. Don’t rush the process. Enter the reconciliation process with care, emotional health, and wisdom. I’ve written other blog post on anger that I can recommend. Closing admonition: Anger, handle with care.