I was PISSED. That was my reaction. And boy let me tell you I didn’t care who knew how mad I was. I felt that I had been put in a crappy situation because of my husband and he would be held accountable for it. I was completely fueled by anger and bitterness and this brought out the worst in me.
This emotion is very real and overpowering. How can it not be? When you feel that you’ve been wronged and you very well may have been, it’s so easy to be swept up in the injustice of it all that you get severe tunnel vision about what else needs to be kept in mind. Like other people.
I’m grateful I had this moment before divorce was even on the table, not because it was a highlight of my life by any means, but there were a lot of things I realized about myself and learned about relationships that shaped how I handled things when things got much worse. And honestly, how I want to handle things in my next marriage.
I was not kind…at all. I became very sharp, mean, and impatient. What had happened had gone against a huge cornerstone of what I believed was right. On paper my anger and treatment was more than justified, but wow what damage I had done by responding this way. I was so wrapped up in my anger I couldn’t even hear how I was talking to him or his family. This was not the way for me to feel better or allow any healing to take place for me or our marriage. I was like this for months.
What snapped me out of it was a conversation with my mom. We were talking on the phone and I was pacing around my apartment. I’m sure I was on a rant although I can’t remember the specifics, when suddenly she said, “Kaili, you don’t want to live life this way. You don’t want to live as a bitter person for the rest of your life.”.
Simple words, but they literally made me stop in my tracks. She was right. No matter what happened, what my husband did or didn’t do, I did not want to live like this. I had become this angry bitter selfish monster.
It’s difficult to admit the things you wish you could have handled better in your failed marriage, especially on paper and have others read and judge it. I’m sharing it with you to help you keep an eye on your initial emotional response, and if you already had the response and it was like mine, you know you’re not the only one.
Of course I look at all these things and wonder if I had responded better my marriage would have worked out, I’m a human being. Of course there are things I wish I could have done better and been better about, I’m a human being. If we had gotten divorced during this time I would still be asking myself these questions, but thankfully I had the opportunity to repent and try again.
On a practical note, we all experience these emotions and need to. My suggestion would be to be very aware of your emotions and what increases their impact. What playlist are you listening to that makes you mad? Which friend helps you breath and gain perspective? Every emotion you have is valid and NEEDS to be felt and processed, but be careful that you don’t unpack and live in only one. You have to process all of them in order to move forward.
What have you noticed that feeds your emotions, positive or negative?