Let’s face it: the thought of your ex-husband causes you pain. He hurt you; you might even hate him. Many moms share your pain. But Tiffany V. is trying hard to get rid of the anger, for her sake and her children’s.
"I don't know how to deal with the hate I have for my kids' father," she says "I know that hating someone is not good and really is only hurting myself, but I just don't know how to get over it. Help."
Since it’s not a good idea to live in the hate space, especially as a role model for your kids, Circle of Moms members are coming to the rescue with their tips and techniques for easing your anger toward your ex-husband, moving on, and stepping up to be role models.
1. Make a Conscious Choice to Let Go
Tovah, who was married and abused for 12 years, made a conscious choice to "let it go" because she wanted to create a new family and be a forgiving role model for her kids. "I have just had to make the choice on my own that this hate I carry for him is not doing me any good and only hurting me," she says.
Kristen H. also sought help for her anger because she didn't want her 10-year-old daughter to suffer. Upset over her ex-husband's issues with drugs, she joined Narcotics Anonymous to get the support she needed. "I go to NA meetings," she says. It helps to not go into the anger place when her daughter asks about him.
Keep reading for more valuable advice from divorced moms.
2. Give Yourself Time to Heal
One of the first steps to letting go of your anger is to have patience with the process, says mom Julie R. "Some injuries take a long time to heal," she says. "When the person hasn’t asked for forgiveness, the behavior that has hurt you is still out there. It takes far more grace to let go." Sandra G. also cautions that it takes time to work through the anger and forgive and try to forget.
"Forgiveness seems difficult at times and really it is not for your partner as much as it is for you to move forward, so it is good that when you recognize that you need to move on," she says. It takes time, but she says it is important, because you need your heart open to find love again.”
3. Focus on Your Children to Motivate
Stay focused on how important it is to protect your children from suffering through your anger too. That is what motivates Circle of Moms members like Adriana F.: "My son was 3 when his father cheated, left and we got divorced,” she says. "I loved and hated my ex with more feeling then I ever thought possible. I thought I would never get over it. If you always try to put your child first and take the time to allow yourself to heal, it can and will get better."
Sharon R. says she realized she had to keep peace for her daughter’s sake too – and she is constantly working on keeping her anger at bay. "I am determined to keep up the contact for my daughter's sake," she says. "She deserves the best from both parents. But it kills me at times."
4. Set Clear Boundaries
Limiting your interactions can help give moms the space to heal, say moms like Chasity: "The best way is to not talk to them or see them more than you have to," she says. "I find if I only talk to my ex about my children or only see him to pick up or drop off the child, then I do better. When I called every day or would answer when he was lonely and called needing someone to talk to, then I would start really missing him and be sad and depressed."
5. Do Whatever It Takes
To let go and move on, Karen H. makes a point to focus on being grateful for the new life she is creating: "I think the best way to get over it is to remember the reasons you're no longer together to begin with."
How did you get past your anger for your ex?