Do You Have Anger Issues Triggered By Your Divorce or Relationship?

Do You Have Anger Issues Triggered By Your Divorce or Relationship?

By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC

We all get angry when we believe we are being wronged, misunderstood or unjustly accused. It’s a natural reaction to circumstances that put us on the defensive. For many, divorce is the perfect storm that triggers all our anger issues. When we’re parents and cannot manage our anger, it can take over our lives and affect the wellbeing of our children. Focusing our anger on our divorcing spouse can fuel the fire to dangerous levels for everyone involved.

Anger is a feeling that alerts us that something is wrong. What we fail to understand is that we, as human beings, always have choicesregarding how we act regarding those feelings. Acting before thinking can lead to mismanaged anger.Once we have reacted to anger, we have allowed our feelings to control us. This can lead to actions and behaviors we never would have taken if we were making rational choices. Knowing how to manage anger can help us set limits and determine comfortable boundaries in our relationships – including co-parenting after a divorce.

If managing anger has been a challenge, it is important to recognize signs to watch out for in our behavior and identify “red flag” warnings in advance before we explode out of control. With intention and practice, we can learn healthier ways of expressing anger, frustration and other difficult feelings which will result in a more peaceful divorce and future.

Identifying Anger Problems:

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves which will identify whether we have an anger management problem:

  • Do I lose my temper easily and quickly? Do small things set me off such as a text from my ex, children running around the house or spilling my coffee? Do I have a low tolerance for frustration? Is it difficult for me to take things in stride?
  • Do I show inconsistent behavior that is intimidating to others? Is my behavior so unpredictable that one minute I’m feeling good — and the next I become explosive?
  • Are family and friends afraid of me? Do they often tell me to calm down? Do people say they “walk on egg shells” around me? Do they avoid giving me bad news for fear of my reaction?
  • Have I hurt people close to me because of my anger? Have I lost friends, family or even my job as a consequence of my outbursts? Do people distance themselves from being close to me?
  • Have I tried to control my anger, but failed? Am I unable to control how I react to my ex, even though I have tried several different approaches?
  • Do I find myself explaining or justifying my aggressive behavior toward my ex or the kids? Do I usually blame them for enticing or provoking me to anger?
  • Is it difficult to express myself without cursing, swearing and blaming? Am I defensive when talking about the divorce and usually believe the problem “isn’t about me — it’s them”?
  • Does anger cause me to become destructive? Do I frequently break things or become violent towards family members or friends? Do I pound on the table, punch a door or throw things to make a point? Have I hit, bit, pushed or forcibly held my ex because of my rage?
  • Does my anger spiral out of control? Once I get angry, is it difficult for me to de-escalate? Does it seem to take over and take a while before I am able to settle down?
  • Do I have difficulties with authority figures and the courts? Do I purposefully refuse to complete assignments or follow directions, as a sign of rebellion?
  • Do I frequently argue at home? Is it difficult for me to have a conversation without getting angry? Do I get upset when others disagree with me? Do I believe others have the power to make me feel stupid or inadequate?
  • Is my body language intense? Do I communicate with clenched fists, a tightened jaw and a glaring stare?

These are all signs of anger issues that need to be addressed. Divorcing parents who have been ordered by a judge to take an Anger Management Course can now takes these classes online. There are eight and twelve-hour courses available that provide the tools, skills and strategies to change our state of mind, perceive circumstances differently, catch ourselves before our anger explodes, harness our anger in more productive directions and create more inner peace in our lives. Those who haven’t been court ordered to take such a course will still benefit from learning these skills. Mastering them will not only make life more rewarding, it will improve relationships with our children as well as our ex and other family members — bringing more acceptance and respect from them.

Co-parenting after divorce is always challenging. Bringing emotional baggage from the past into play through angry displays, intimidation or violence will deliver dire consequences in the courts and legal system, not to mention severed relationships with our children. Parents who learn to control their anger and make better choices when emotionally charged enjoy the privileges of co-parenting more affectively and successfully. They discover how to get their needs met without the struggle, turmoil and negative outcomes.

Anger Management courses are available in many communities, as well as online.  An internet search using the terms Anger Management and your city should deliver numerous results. I highly recommend my own online course for divorcing and divorced parentswho need support, tools and techniques for overcoming anger issues and finding more appropriate responses to divorce and relationship frustrations and challenges. Making the investment in yourself will reap rewards that will pay off for a lifetime!

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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC and Amy Sherman, LMHC, are co-authors of online Anger Management Courses focused on divorce and relationship issues. The content includes insights, advice, strategies, questions, videos, quizzes and more, all designed to help men or women create better alternatives in their lives. The courses are also approved for court-mandated Anger Management programs in many counties throughout the United States. Click here to learn more.

5 Smart Ways To Strengthen Your Parent-Child Connection After Divorce

5 Smart Ways To Strengthen Your Parent-Child Connection After Divorce

parenting after divorce

parenting after divorce

By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC

Sadly, divorce is a time when we experience disconnection. We disconnect from our former spouse. Too often we often have to disconnect from time spent with our children as well.

That’s why it is important for you to strengthen your bond with your children. Find ways of strengthening or at least maintaining your connections during this challenging period of transition. This is equally true, when you are living with your children as well as when you are apart. That’s the basis of a Child-Centered Divorce.

Children want and NEED to know they are still loved, valued and cared about. Show them, tell them and keep in close communication with them – during the happy times and the sad ones. They need to feel they have a safe place to turn, a shoulder to cry on and a non-judgmental ear when they need it.

If divorce has been tough on you – remember it’s even tougher on them – whether they confide that to you or not.

Here are five important ways to reinforce your connection with the children you love.

1.  Connect through notes and calls:

If you’re living together, slip a note in your child’s lunch box, notebook or on their pillow every few days. A quick joke, cartoon, or just a warm “I Love You!” will let them know they’re on your mind and in your heart. If you’re not together, send an email note or a quick text to convey you’re thinking about them. Schedule phone, FaceTime or Skype video calls at times when you can have a longer conversation.

2.  Connect through idle chats:

While you’re riding in the car, helping with homework or doing chores together is a great time to ask questions, share your feelings, and be empathic about your child’s feelings and comments. Don’t turn these communications into lectures. You’re there to listen. If you judge or condemn, you’ll close the door to learning more.

3.  Connect through bedtime routines:

Spend time reading books, talk about your own childhood memories, achievements and challenges. Be honest about your childhood insecurities and failures. Kids like to know they are not alone in that regard. Ask your child about the best part of their day or a new lesson they learned. Bedtime routines help you both appreciate one another. It also creates a security bond that most children really value.

4.  Connect through new projects:

Create connection through new projects that take on special meaning: a multi-day puzzle, new shelves or other project in their bedroom or garage, perhaps a structure, model or work of art you complete together. It’s a wonderful time to talk and make a stress-free connection. Kids remember these special times and look forward to other experiences that await with you in the future.

5.  Connect through special dates:

Create a memorable outing alone with just one of your children: lunch, the zoo, a shopping trip, sports game or a movie. Prepare in advance so you both have something to anticipate in the days ahead. End the date with a token gift as a “reminder” of your time together. Game tickets, a menu, special photos all do the trick in saying, “I love you.”

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to reinforce your connection with your children, especially as you transition through and after a divorce. It’s the sincerity of your effort, not the money you spend, that matters. Your caring attention positively impacts their lives. It  helps your kids to feel safe, loved and secure, despite the changes and challenges created by the divorce.

It’s also important to welcome these same “dates” and experiences scheduled by your child’s other parent. Never bad-mouth your ex to your children or criticize their special time with the kids. Children are hurt when they feel they have to choose between parents. It’s equally painful for them when they try to emotionally protect one parent from the other. By never putting them in that awkward position your kids will appreciate and respect you even more.

You can’t escape what you model for your children! By keeping that in mind at all times you will choose the path to more positive and successful parenting.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of numerous books, e-courses and programs on divorcing with children and co-parenting successfully. For instant download of her FREE EBOOK onDoing Co-Parenting Right: Success Strategies For Avoiding Painful Mistakes! go to:

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