When we are experiencing or recovering from divorce, remembering to find joy in everyday things during any season can be difficult. One of the reasons that we can find it impossible to move on is when we are still held prisoner to one of the nastiest feelings of all.
Bitterness is nasty. Unlike feelings of guilt and shame, what makes it so ugly is that it has a tendency to turn you into someone who is angry at their own life situation that it is impossible to plan for the future. But what you need to remember is you don’t need to live with it, it doesn’t need to become a part of you, and you certainly don’t have to resign yourself to a life of feeling like crap.
Remaining bitter means that you are a prisoner to your past, when you should be focusing on your future instead.
Bitterness is a combination of anger, disappointment, and resentment at being treated unfairly. Did you notice that? The verb treated is in the past tense, and it deals with things that happened that you cannot change and cannot control. And the more you continue to look in the past, the harder and harder it becomes to plan for the things you can control. Such as your future. And your happiness.
So, knock it off. Every time you feel yourself getting bitter for something that happened in your marriage, nip that thought in the bud. And instead start channeling those feelings and that energy into planning your new life.
Being bitter means that you are letting your ex continue to hurt you, and you deserve better than that craziness.
Feeling resentful because of being treated unfairly during your marriage sucks. It’s completely not fair and not right that your ex did not treat you with the love and respect that you deserved.
But remember, that the longer you allow yourself to angry, the longer and easier it is for them to have control over you.
Remember that your marriage with this person has ended, and you do not owe them ANY of your emotional energy. Divorce gave you the chance to start over. So why let your ex have any more control over you? This is your chance to define who you are, what it is that you want, and where it is that you want to be. And that has nothing to do with your ex being able to dictate how you feel, which is exactly what happens when you’re bitter.
You can let it go. You deserve to let it go. Because it does not serve you.
Exercise: How to get rid of the bitterness
Need some help shaking feelings of resentment? This exercise will get you started!
Write down the things that make you bitter. But don’t spend a whole lot of time reflecting on that type of stuff for a number of reasons. One, because the factors leading up to you feeling that way are in your past, which you can’t change. And two, because the only way you can overcome those feeling is to reframe how you think of it and focus on the future instead. Need some examples?
I feel bitter because I got screwed over with money in the settlement.
After you have written down what you feel bitter about, now is the time to reframe that state of mind. The problem with being bitter is that it forces us to look at something in the negative light, when, in fact, what we feel to be something negative may actually be a blessing in disguise. Like this;
I’m feeling like I got screwed over.
What does that mean exactly? Do I feel like I now have to be more careful on my finances? Well, doesn’t that actually mean that I now have the freedom to watch my own budget and prioritize what’s important for me, instead of having to ask for their permission or having someone watch what I’m doing all the time? Heck yes! Now I get to manage my own finances—it may be difficult because I may not be as comfortable as I once was, but what I have and what I control is mine and mine alone.
If the bitterness is still holding you prisoner, remember that you don’t have to get stuck in it alone.
It’s normal to have some residual hard feelings after a split. However, if you find yourself not being able to shake it after time has passed, and even by changing your mindset, remember that you have options for reaching out for a little assistance. Depending on your needs, you may find that working with a divorce coach or a therapist can help you pinpoint what is holding you back and can help you move on.
You should not have to be a prisoner to feeling bitter, and there is no reason that it needs to control your life. Remember that you are better than that, and that you deserve a hell of a lot more for yourself and your future than letting those feelings of resentment and unjust treatment way you down. You have an awesome future ahead of you and you deserve to be happy.
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