Divorce is hard—but if you’re here at the DivorceMag blog, you already know that. I’m guessing that the majority of readers were probably the dumpee in their divorce. Those who did the dumping have likely moved on already; odds are, they moved on months or years ago, while they were still in the marriage.
I want to discuss an important topic; maintaining your cool during your divorce. I didn’t!
Why I Regret Letting Anger Get The Best of Me:
As the dumpee, you probably feel hurt and betrayed and you might even hate your ex. I did.
I’ll freely admit that I did not maintain my cool—not even close. I was blindsided by my divorce, and it came at the worst possible time. My wife and I had just bought a house and I had only been at my new job for about three months. Things were already stressful. The divorce hit me like a brick on the head.
After some of the initial shock wore off, I sort of lost my mind. I would go to work in the morning, leave at 5 o’clock, and wander around the city. I was living in various AirBnBs around town, and it was no fun going “home” to a stranger’s house. My ex and I were still on relatively good terms at this point. But my shock and sadness morphed quickly into another stage in the grieving process; anger.
Anger and rage. I was infuriated with my ex. How could she just walk away, and do it at such a terrible time?
I made her pay for what she’d done to me.
I truly felt like I’d been knifed in the heart. Soon, my text messages turned from business-like and detached to scathing and cold-blooded. I won’t bore you with the details of some of my most insulting communications—they wouldn’t be fit to print on this blog, anyway—but I really laid into her. As a writer, I’m used to pouring out my heart or spilling blood on the page. But this was not the time to do it.
Had we been in litigation, she could have used my texts and emails against me. One of the only positives of my divorce is that we did it without lawyers, but that’s not the norm.
Now I live with the regret.
Now that I’m two years past the divorce, I regret the things I said to her. Not because she didn’t deserve it, but because it made me look small, wounded, and desperate. Looking back, I would much rather have kept it all business-like and professional; my literary missiles were fun to launch but ultimately unfulfilling. I shouldn’t have given her any more of my heart and soul. At the time I was writing those messages, I just wanted to hurt her as much as she had hurt me, and words were the only things I could use.
So, dear divorced readers, I implore you: before you hit send on that nasty text message or email, think about what you’re doing. Hurling insults feel good in your moment of hurt, fear, and rage—but you can’t take back what you send. Be better than I was. Be the bigger person. Stay calm and detached in all communications with your ex. You’ll be glad that you did.