02 Aug Anger and Pain in Divorce and Divorce Mediation
Even when using divorce mediation when you are getting divorced, why do you sometimes feel so angry and then immediately feel like you want to burst into tears? It seems to be that sometimes it is over something so trivial and others times it is over things that are so important. Most of the time when you lose control and allow the anger to surge through you are very sorry. It seems that when it is critically important to retain control and you don’t, you mostly get a negative result.
The answer is that most anger comes from pain. As children when we were in pain, we cried. As adults this same pain simply becomes anger. Divorce causes a huge amount of emotional pain and as a result a great deal of anger.
In general, emotional pain is a hugely significant part of most people’s lives. Whether it is a loss of a job, a child disappointing you, a partner betraying you, it is a constant barrage against you and a constant battle to maintain control.
Divorce ramps up all the emotional pain in a way that most people simply don’t understand at the time. It is completely overwhelming and feels like there is no end in sight. This pain causes a great deal of anger.
The strategy to use is to understand how the pain and the anger are interlinked. It is this awareness, or mindfulness, which can really help to understand the loss of control into anger from the pain.
Knowing that serious emotional pain can result in an overwhelming anger can help to ensure that the anger is kept under control. That outpouring of anger can result in many negative consequences and often says way more about us than it does about the person we are angry with. We say many things when we are angry that we regret. We also do many things that we regret.
In a divorce mediation, where you trying to achieve a peaceful solution, exhibiting anger and saying things which cause huge regret, can completely derail the process.
As a divorce mediator I always make people aware of the pain/anger issue, recognizing that the pain takes on a new dimension when there is proper awareness. Recognizing that we are becoming angry, if understood properly, can result in us understanding the source of the pain. Once understood, it is much easier to control and allows you to modify your responses appropriately.