Managing Anger Triggered by Divorce or Relationship Issues

Dec 2, 2015

When couples face a divorce or separation, emotions can certainly run high. To determine if you have an anger problem triggered by divorce or relationship issues, Rosalind Sedacca, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, recommends asking yourself these particular questions:

• Do I lose my temper easily and quickly? Do small things set me off such as a text from my ex, children running around the house or spilling my coffee? Do I have a low tolerance for frustration? Is it difficult for me to take things in stride?

• Do I show inconsistent behavior that is intimidating to others? Is my behavior so unpredictable that one minute I’m feeling good — and the next I become explosive?

• Are family and friends afraid of me? Do they often tell me to calm down? Do people say they “walk on egg shells” around me? Do they avoid giving me bad news for fear of my reaction?

• Have I hurt people close to me because of my anger? Have I lost friends, family or even my job as a consequence of my outbursts? Do people distance themselves from being close to me?

• Have I tried to control my anger, but failed? Am I unable to control how I react to my ex, even though I have tried several different approaches?

• Do I find myself explaining or justifying my aggressive behavior toward my ex or the kids? Do I usually blame them for enticing or provoking me to anger?

• Is it difficult to express myself without cursing, swearing and blaming? Am I defensive when talking about the divorce and usually believe the problem “isn’t about me — it’s them”?

• Does anger cause me to become destructive? Do I frequently break things or become violent towards family members or friends? Do I pound on the table, punch a door or throw things to make a point? Have I hit, bit, pushed or forcibly held my ex because of my rage?

• Does my anger spiral out of control?Once I get angry, is it difficult for me to de-escalate? Does it seem to take over and take a while before I am able to settle down?

• Do I have difficulties with authority figures and the courts? Do I purposefully refuse to complete assignments or follow directions, as a sign of rebellion?

• Do I frequently argue at home? Is it difficult for me to have a conversation without getting angry? Do I get upset when others disagree with me? Do I believe others have the power to make me feel stupid or inadequate?

• Is my body language intense? Do I communicate with clenched fists, a tightened jaw and a glaring stare?

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