Anger is one of the top three emotions individuals experience before, during and after divorce. In fact anger is perfectly normal during this difficult time in your life. It’s highly possible that anger may have been what led you to divorce in the first place. During the divorce, your ex may say or do something that will leave you fuming. After the divorce is said and done, you may still find yourself angry with your ex-spouse for months or even years. Is there a time limit on how long you can be angry with your ex? How natural is it to still be angry with your ex-spouse ten years after your divorce?
Anger can be expressed in many ways. I used to think that others couldn’t tell when I was mad, but my husband and my children have it figured out. They say I hold my mouth a certain way. When I am really upset, my shoulders tighten and my temperature seems to go up because I feel like I am having a hot flash. It takes a lot for me to get angry, but when I do, I am really mad. I remember when I was going through the many bouts of anger I had.
When it comes to divorce, you may be angry for a while after the divorce, but consider the fact that there are long term effects of anger on our bodies. Anger can actually increase our risk for chronic diseases like coronary artery disease and heart attacks, even breast cancer. In fact, long time anger can be just as dangerous as obesity and smoking is on our health. I have seen this phenomena occur where individuals harbor anger and unforgiveness and as a result the anger eventually manifested itself in the form of a deadly illness.
Just about everybody in the family will become angry sometime during the divorce process. You will be angry at your spouse and he or she will most likely be angry at you. Your children will probably be angry at one or both parents for ruining their lives. Everyone may blame the other for the demise of the family.
I have met individuals who indicate that they have been divorced for more than ten or twelve years and are still angry at their ex. That’s a long time to harbor resentment against another person. Some of my clients indicate that they are no longer angry, but their behavior says otherwise. How can you tell if you are still angry at your ex? Here are 4 ways you can tell:
Finally, learn how to deal with your anger in a healthy way. God does not desire for us to walk around angry and frustrated when He can fill our lives with so much joy. If after reading this article, and find that you are still angry at your ex, it’s time to put an end to your anger and live a highly favored life. Remember… “My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done. James 1:19-20 (CEV).
Are you still angry?
On any given Sunday morning, 61% of church attendees are women and roughly 39% are men. For the married women who attend, only 25% of their husbands attend church with them. Look around you, there are probably many women and children attending church alone. When looking around my own church, I realize that many of the women attending church alone are because they are single or divorced.
Divorce, the dreaded D word that nobody likes to talk about in church. In fact, if the annual Sunday school lesson on divorce didn't come around at least once or twice a year, nobody would say anything. The truth is, divorce is very prevalent in the church. When you look at the research numbers done by the Barna group, the divorce rate amongst Christians is similar to that of non-Christians. Again look around your own church and see how many have gone through a divorce at some time in their life. Even some of the married couples are in their second marriages.
Even though the bible teaches against divorce, the church can no longer avoid the population of divorced individuals sitting in the pews. The divorced or those going through divorce need to be ministered to along with everyone else in the congregation dealing with life's issues. What can the church do in particular to be a blessing to these individuals especially women? Here are 3 things the church can do to help.
1. Don't ignore the divorced individuals in the church. When new members join, include marital status on membership forms. Find out what the needs are amongst divorced women in the church. Some may need to network with others for assistance with children or to meet other needs. Offer a directory or list of individuals in the church who perform maintenance and repairs, lawn services or who offer moving assistance or other pertinent services.
2. Acknowledge that divorce happens in the church and offer ministries that support individuals in need. Offer a ministry or a support group for the divorced. Several churches offer marriage ministries for new couples and single's ministries to cater to young adults looking for mates. Although the singles ministry is great, based on the age demographics, the single ministry may not be the best fit for a women over 40 who has recently experienced divorce.
3. Pastors and Church Leaders must be trained in how to minister to the divorced. Women may be experiencing a full range of emotions including fear, guilt, sadness, anger and confusion. If those they seek for counsel do not understand the divorce journey, they may not be able to truly help. In addition, trained leaders can also assist couples before they reach the point of divorce.
Finally, we can no longer afford to ignore this growing number of individuals sitting in our pews. The church is supposed to be a help to all it members. The next time you are in church, ask yourself the question, "What is my church doing to minister to the divorced?
While growing up cooking was not my favorite sport and to be honest with you, I really only enjoy cooking every once in a while. I think I was born to have a private cook, however I just haven't gotten the money to hire one. Thank God my husband likes to cook. By the way, that's not a picture of my kitchen. Maybe if I had a kitchen like that I would cook more. Whatever my husband says. Anyway, this blog is not really about cooking and the kitchen it's about getting involved in stuff that we may not be able to handle.
Being a stepmom is one of those things. I have heard on numerous occasions that being a stepmom was the hardest job/role some women have ever had to handle in their lives. Having been a stepmom for over 12 years I must concur. Yes I am pretty much over the hump and am doing quite well in the role now, but it wasn't always that way.
While doing a webcast interview with Jim and Teresa Adams (Twitter @FamMatters1st) on my book "One Plus One Equals Ten", Jim commented that reading my book would scare people out of becoming a stepfamily. Because data says that 2 out of 3 remarriages involving children from a previous relationship are destined to fail, there are some people who may not be able to handle the pressures of being in a stepfamily. I am not being harsh, but the last thing you want to do is end up back in divorce court.
I wish I could count the number of times I have heard women say, "Where were you ten years ago before my marriage failed? " Others have commented, "Being a stepmom was not for me because there were too many issues." Still others have said, "If I had it to do over again, I would have waited until his children were grown or I would have not married a man with children."
A while back Jada Pinkett Smith posted a letter on Facebook she had written to a friend who was complaining about being a stepmom. Basically, Jada responded with.... Girlfriend, you knew he had kids when you married him so put on your big girl pants and figure out how to make it work. If you have watched Jada's posts, you see that she is making it work. I don't agree with everything she does but she is rocking the stepmom role.
The question is... Are some women not cut out to be stepmoms? Should you hold off until the children are grown? What do you think?
Back in the day I used to sing along with Johnny Taylor as he sang "It's cheaper to keep her." As for many songs I heard from the 70's, I only knew the chorus lines. I guess I wasn't really listening to the lyrics because I didn't know he was discussing the financial issues related to divorce. One line in the song says, " You didn't pay but two dollars
Whether you are in your 20's, 30's 40's or 50"s there is never a good time to divorce. Individuals in their 50"s may have more equity in their homes and more money in their retirement plan or may have been married long enough to collect (10 years) to collect social security on their spouse. However, the cost is still great. If you are thinking about remarriage, the success rate goes down each time you remarry. You could easily be back in the same boat five or ten years from now.
If you are thinking about divorce, contemplate the costs. Don't just think about the financial costs, but also think about the emotional costs to your family. Instead, spend your money on a good counselor and try to find a way to work out your differences. You may find that the cost is too great and determine that "it's cheaper to keep her or him!
I remember the first time I had to complete a survey that gave the option of the following boxes:
□ Single □ Married □ Divorced
Even though I completed forms like this a million times on paper and online, the first time I had to following divorce I felt devasted. I even tried to leave it blank, but a response was required. Somehow, I didn’t even want complete strangers to know that I was in the divorced category. If you think checking a box was difficult, try saying "I’m divorced" aloud for the first days, weeks and sometimes years.
Why is it embarrassing to admit being divorced? Is there the fear of others being judgmental? Is there the fear of our testimony being ruined? I told a friend I was writing a book entitled: Divorced and Still Highly Favored and tears began to form in her eyes. I was concerned about her response and asked her if I had said something wrong. She shared with me that she still feels stigmatized by having to admit she failed at marriage not only once, but twice. Even though her last divorce was more than five years ago, the pain and embarrassment was still there.
I too remember feeling like I had let the whole world down. I didn't like having to admit I was divorced. In speaking with my current husband, he indicated it was over five years after his divorce before he felt comfortable saying the word “divorce.”
The Bible offers a remedy for our emotional shame when admitting being divorced. Read John 4: 1-42 where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. This woman needed water for her household but deliberately came to the well at midday as to avoid others. Jesus knew she had been married five times and took the time to minister to her to let her know she was worthy of salvation. After her conversation with Jesus, she was no longer ashamed and ran through out the community to tell others Jesus told her everything about her past. In fact, she set the record for being the catalyst for a whole town getting saved.
After encountering Jesus, she wasn't worried about the gossip and what other's thought of her. This story did wonders for me. I hope it will encourage you as well. Just because you are divorced, it does not mean that God no longer loves you or that He is mad at you. In fact He wants to go out of his way as he did for the woman at the well to redeem you.
Now, I can not only admit that I am divorced, but tell the world "I am Divorced and Still Highly Favored."
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach