Anger is a natural and common response to loss. Anybody going through a relationship breakdown is likely to get angry at some point. However, anger can sometimes be scary – not just for the person on the receiving end, but also for the person experiencing it. The intensity of feeling can make you feel like you’re out of control. You may swing unpredictably from feelings of rage and revenge, to insecurity and sadness, and back again.
Simply feeling angry is not necessarily a matter for concern, but how you deal with that anger is important. Feeling angry can be healthy when it gives you the energy to get on and take control; when it protects your self-esteem and helps you to stand up for yourself. It might also help you to separate emotionally from your ex.
To make sure that your anger works through in a healthy way, talk about your feelings to trusted friends and family, or a professional counsellor. Take care of yourself – eat well and get some exercise.
To get through an angry phase, you may need to acknowledge past pain. If you feel that your response to the current situation is disproportionate, it’s possible that you’re still reacting past injustices. Although you can’t do anything to change your experiences, you can work on changing your attitude towards them. It can be difficult to do this alone and counselling could help you to explore your feelings in a safe way.
If your ex’s anger seems extreme or if they seem to be stuck in anger and unable to move on, you may need to protect yourself by limiting your contact with your ex. Your priority is to make yourself and your children safe. You may need to involve a solicitor to help and advise you. The Domestic Violence Helpline offers confidential support and information 24 hours a day.