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Three Responses to Your Divorcing Spouse's Anger

Posted on in Divorce

Three Responses to Your Divorcing Spouse's AngerDivorce has the unfortunate tendency to bring out the ugly side in some people because they feel hurt and stressed out by the end of their marriage. Your spouse may react by becoming angry and spiteful during the process. The anger may be obvious if your spouse has frequent outbursts or accuses you of wrongdoing. It can also be more subtle if your spouse is unwilling to negotiate and seems more interested in hurting you than reaching an agreement. There is little you can do to change your spouse’s behavior, but you can try to make the best of the situation with these tips:

  1. Respond to Anger with Calm: You may be angry at your spouse for his or her behavior, but showing your anger will make the situation worse. Stick to constructive conversations and ignore your spouse’s provocations that are meant to drag you into an argument. Let your attorney speak on your behalf if you find yourself losing your calm. Remind yourself that the divorce process will eventually end and you can limit your contact with your spouse after that.
  2. Understand Why Your Spouse Is Upset: Your spouse’s anger is part of his or her grief over your divorce. People who are grieving often experience anger before they reach acceptance. Your spouse is angry about the divorce, and you are the natural person to focus that anger on if your spouse blames you for the divorce. When you view anger as grief, it may be easier to remain calm because you feel some empathy towards your spouse.
  3. Defend Yourself When Necessary: You can stay calm and even be empathic towards your spouse, but you still must protect your own interests during the divorce negotiations. Some arguments are worth having if the issue is important to you, such as the allocation of parental responsibilities. Explain what you need to receive from the divorce agreement with an understanding that your spouse may disagree. Insist on having respectful and reasonable negotiations. If your spouse’s anger is out of control, you can tell your spouse that you are pausing the negotiations to allow him or her to calm down.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

The best way to respond to a difficult spouse during a divorce is to demonstrate a calm and respectful demeanor. You can hope that your spouse will follow your lead, but you can control only your own behavior. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can prepare you for success in a high-conflict divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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