This post was updated on Apr 2, 2023
Divorce is a huge and often traumatic shift in a person’s life. It usually feels disorienting, confusing, and deeply hurtful. The feelings left behind after your divorce can range from relief to deep-seated anger toward your ex.
Whether the divorce was prompted by their ex’s infidelity, emotional and/or physical neglect, or the proceedings got messy, many people find it hard to come to terms with a betrayal from someone they trusted. This is why resentment is often a natural part of healing after divorce.
If you’re looking for a way to overcome this grudge or wish to discuss other relationship problems and solutions, you can do it in an intensive program for individuals. You can also read on to find out more about healing from divorce trauma and facilitating recovery.
Why Do I Resent My Ex?
Loving someone means trusting them with your most vulnerable side. When you committed to a life together, you decided that they were worthy of an enormous degree of trust. Having this trust broken can easily shake you to the core. Their betrayal can give rise to a variety of negative emotions, like resentment, rage, and even hate.
While this is perfectly normal in the early stages of grieving after your divorce, if these hurtful feelings linger, they can prevent you from moving on. If you let them get the better of you, they can keep you stuck in a loop and be a constant source of unhappiness. This is why it’s important to work through them, heal from divorce trauma, and achieve a full emotional recovery.
How Do I Deal With Resentment After Divorce?
Getting over your resentment can be a long-lasting process that takes patience and perseverance. Here are some of the steps that may help you to enter a new, healthier phase of your life:
- Recognize it: The first step to overcoming your anger is to admit to yourself that it’s there. Sometimes, people are far removed from their anger because they were taught to suppress it. However, it can be acknowledged and channeled in a healthy way. You’re entitled to feel angry if someone you loved disrespected you, lied to you, or mistreated you in a different way.
- Find an outlet: While taking out your rage on your ex would probably be your first choice, this wouldn’t solve the problem because your relationship is already irreparably damaged. It could also put you in a precarious position and give them even more power over you. Instead, you need an outlet that lets you focus on your own feelings. For example, you can keep a journal or talk to a relationship coach who’ll help you survive divorce emotionally.
- Accept support: It’s fine if you need some time to yourself to reflect. However, don’t reject the support of loved ones if they’re offering it, and don’t shy away from asking for help when you need it. Having a strong support network and someone to talk to can help you heal.
- Look at the facts: Try to take a step back and evaluate the situation with a clear head. While it is difficult to think rationally when you’re overcome with a variety of emotions, attempting this can give you important insight. Your loved ones may help you see things from a different, more rational perspective.
- Welcome the future: It’s tempting to go over your marriage in your head, thinking of all the things they could’ve done differently. However, it’s much healthier to let go of the past, accept things the way they are, and take it from there. You’ll realize that there’s a lot to look forward to.
Does Resentment Lead to Divorce?
Harboring resentment toward your spouse can put a strain on your marriage. If you let this negative feeling fester and don’t find a healthy mechanism to deal with it, your marriage may reach a breaking point and end in divorce.
There are many reasons why someone may feel resentful toward their partner, such as:
- Having an unequal power balance, with one person wanting to have the upper hand
- Feeling unappreciated and taken for granted by your partner
- Keeping things from each other and being distrustful of one another
- Having unrealistic expectations of your partner and feeling disappointed when they don’t meet them
- Not being able to get through to the other person and not feeling heard or understood
Sweeping problems under the rug and wishing they’ll go away on their own is what many people do in the face of difficulty. However, this is an ineffective strategy that tends to make people even angrier over time. This is why it’s advisable to tackle the issue directly. The support of a trained relationship coach can help you work it out.
How Can You Forgive Your Ex?
Forgiveness takes time and it’s an ongoing process. However, it is possible to recover from your divorce trauma and learn from the experience. Here are a few steps that could help you find the strength to forgive:
- Think about what’s preventing you from forgiving your ex. Processing these feelings will probably require time.
- Try to understand their perspective: Even though you got hurt, trying to empathize with your ex and understand their point of view may help you let go of your anger.
- Focus on self-care. Prioritize your comfort and well-being during your recovery process as best as you can.
- Avoid dwelling on the bad: Try to focus on the good times you had together and how, for a while, you had a fulfilling relationship.
- Express gratitude: Although counting your blessings may seem like a cliche, it can help you acknowledge what you have and diminish your feelings of resentment.
Can You Reconcile After Divorce?
Many people have the urge to run back to their ex while they’re feeling vulnerable in the early post-divorce stages. However, resurrecting an unhealthy relationship just because it feels familiar doesn’t typically lead to lasting happiness. On the other hand, some people get back together after divorce and make the relationship work in the long run. The reconciliation can give rise to a healthy, functional relationship if you work through the issues that led to the divorce in the first place.
Who Can Help Individuals Go Through Their Divorce Emotional Process And Overcome Resentment?
If you feel like you’re heading toward divorce, couples can understand each other better by taking part in a PIVOT retreat. If you’re going through a crisis because you’re trying to cope with the effects of your divorce, our individual coaching sessions can help you realize your potential and put you on a path of self-actualization. Our curriculum will teach you how to live a more authentic and more fulfilling life. Contact us right now to start a journey of self-discovery!