STAGES OF DIVORCE RECOVERY FOR MEN:
THE POWER OF ANGER
by Robin L Goldstein, EdD Licensed Psychologist
Sadness feels weak and men often experience humiliation when they feel weak. This makes it easy to become angry. Anger feels powerful. It can cause men to say or do things that hurt the person who rejected them. This tough guy stance may come out with friends and family who try to support the bereaved man, pushing them away. The message can be “I don’t have a problem, I can handle this fine on my own”. A high price is paid for that momentary sense of power; further isolation and often further despair. A greater toll is taken when the anger leads to a more complicated divorce or when children are exposed to the toxicity of a parent’s hostility.
A man who is losing his partner will feel out of control of his life. Anger can be a tool to regain power, punishing with words and deeds the person who seems to be causing the pain. It is easy to justify such anger. “She cheated on me, she was always drinking, she was a lousy wife/mother/sister.” We have all heard these howls from our friends who are separated. Another way that men use their anger to feel powerful is to punish the departing partner by damaging her reputation, reporting long kept secrets or complaints, attempting to diminish her to her friends, family and community.
- Stages of Divorce Recovery for Men: Surprises and Myths
- Stages of Divorce Recovery for Men: Acceptance vs Denial
- Stages of Divorce Recovery for Men: Custody
- Stages of Divorce Recovery for Men: Anxiety
- Stages of Divorce Recovery for Men: Grief
- Stages of Divorce Recovery for Men: Recovery and Renewal