Ask Cindy: How Do I Deal With the Anger?

I just went through a horrible divorce in which I had 2 lawyers and neither one of them protected my interest at all. I made more than my ex and they let him have it all, plus alimony. The only thing he did not get is the children. He didn’t want them. I am having a hard time dealing with that anger. I find myself going out constantly to deal with it. Kind of like running. Each time I get content, he finds something to take me back to court for, thus paying legal fees for both because none of my lawyers are competent. They do not write my responses correctly or at all. But once again, my question is how do I deal with the anger? ~ Andrea in New Jersey


Even though your question isn’t about your attorneys, I want to address the fact that they work for you. If you do not like the way they are dealing with the situation fire them! Yes, it can be difficult to find a new attorney, but you must consider your livelihood and peace of mind.

An attorney knows the law. His or her job is to legally get you what you want and need, as long as it is considered equitable within the court. You pay them good money for a service. When searching for new representation, be sure to ask them what their caseload is like and how much help they have. If they are swamped or working alone, they will not have the time to respond to you in a timely manner - which in turn should concern you about whether or not they will file important paperwork in a timely manner. Specifically ask them what their typical response time is.

What and who are you angry about? It sounds like you could have a lot of anger about numerous things. If you are lumping all of this anger together, it can seem overwhelming and stressful. You might even feel like you are losing control sometimes. Pent up anger can create serious emotional and physical health problems for you.

To answer your question on how to deal with the anger, you’ll need to take some action. Allow yourself a couple of hours to sit down quietly with a notebook.

1. List everything that you are angry about. Your list could look like; a)I’m angry at my ex for taking me to court. b) I’m angry at attorney #1 because he did not return my call. c) I am angry at attorney#2 because he never answers his phone. d) I am angry that I have to pay alimony. e) I am angry that I have to pay my ex’s legal fees.

2. Now that you are clear on each situation that you are angry about, it is time to deal with each and every thing separately. On the next page, write the header of the first thing that you listed you were angry about. Write down everything you can think in regards as to why this makes you angry.

3. Write down your answer to the following question: “How does this thought make me feel?”

4. Write down your answer to the following question: “Who would I be without this thought?”

5. List every reason you can think of to release the anger and let it go. It’s time to forgive all these people and situations.

6. Take some deep breaths, shake it off and do something for yourself, such as getting a massage, manicure or spa treatment. You might choose to curl up and read a good book or to soak in a hot tub. Allow yourself to relax and rejuvenate your soul.

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