Since I first began sharing my story with women about my own journey through betrayal, there is one question that keeps coming up again and again.

“How do I get rid of the anger and rage towards my husband and the other woman?”

I have to be honest…this isn't a simple question to answer. And whether or not you have personally experienced betrayal, I'd be willing to bet that you have been angry with someone before…so stick around 🙂

In an effort to get the conversation started, I'll share one key to overcoming anger here. But this blog would be miles long if we covered all of it here, so please know that this blog is not an exhaustive look at anger, I am simply opening the door to conversation.

With that said, let's jump in! Here is the first thing you need to know as you work through your anger. This is the foundation.

Anger is a secondary emotion.

In order to overcome your anger, you first have to take time to lean into the anger, be curious and figure out what is underneath the anger.

STOP.

Read that again.

In order to overcome your anger, you first have to take time to lean into the anger, be curious and figure out what is underneath the anger.

For instance, in dealing with betrayal obviously you feel extremely angry. It is very normal for you to feel a kind of rage you have never felt before. It is very normal to want to act on that anger. The goal is act on it in a healthy way and not in a way that leads to regret later.

Finding out what is going on underneath that anger helps you find healthy ways to work through it.

This also helps you set yourself up for healthy relationships down the road, not just with a spouse, but with loved ones, friends, co-workers, etc.

Let me give you an example.

In my own story, there is one particular day that I found out certain details about the betrayal that I will never forget. To say I was angry, would be the understatement of the century. I was fuming mad, furious, filled with rage! I was so angry that I wanted to throw a computer across the room and shatter it into a million pieces.

Can you relate?

I was beyond ANGRY!

For me, breaking the computer is what I wanted to do as a result of my anger, but what would that have solved? Nothing, except costing us more money to buy a new one.

anger post

So I didn't break the computer…thankfully.

And when I calmed down enough to figure out what was really going on for me, I found that I felt rejected.

I felt like a failure.

I felt ugly.

I felt unloved.

I felt confused.

Have you ever felt any of these? I understand.

Full disclosure: The calming down process didn't happen after a five minute break. This was a process that took literally weeks, months, even years for me to really understand, grasp and work through my anger to the point of being able to let it go.

But in the mean time, I learned to communicate my feelings in a new way.

Now before I share this with you, you need to know up front, that I failed at this more times than I succeeded, and if you are new to my blog, you should know that my marriage still ended in divorce.

But all is not lost, I have learned to be more in tune with my anger and frustrations in all of life, and this has served me well.

So, back to the story. Through many counseling sessions and good books, I learned how to communicate the truth about me, rather than lashing out in my anger. This is what I believe, “Be angry, and do not sin,” looks like.

Before I learned this, when I was angry, I would attack…using lots of “you statements,” like…

How could YOU do this to me?
YOU make me feel so __________!
This is all YOUR fault!

And on, and on…

However, on the good days, I was able to communicate my pain with words like, “I feel ugly, dirty, confused, and like a failure.” Communicating how I felt let the one who betrayed me see into my heart, which was super scary I admit. But it opened the door to communication rather than heaping on more accusations which only lead to more arguments and conflict.

These glimpses of working through the anger allowed me to heal and let go of these parts of my anger. For me, my anger was like an onion. I would peal back one layer and deal with that, only to discover another layer hiding underneath.

As you work you to discover what is underneath the anger, you might start to see some insecurities in your own heart. This is scary because you are hoping that your spouse, boss, loved one, partner, child, friend {you fill in the blank} will fill that void and restore your confidence in yourself. But that doesn't always happen. Which is actually a good thing, because when you do this work of digging deep, you open the door for God to fill that void, and for God to restore your self-worth.

Understanding my underlying feelings helped me heal in a way that honored God, myself and my family because it allowed me to heal even though things didn't turn out the way I hoped.

Often we want our anger to be resolved with another person's apology or repentance or even by getting even with them. But none of these actually heal the pain. Apologies are great, but the choice to work through our anger rests solely between us and God.

Pealing back the layers of my anger helped me understand myself in a better way. I didn't always like what I learned, but I did come to realize that God was able to handle this. I learned that I was stronger than I thought. And I learned that I would make it through this.

And here I am four year later. By God's grace, I have let go of most of the anger regarding betrayal. That doesn't mean I never have negative emotions or triggers as I move forward, but it does mean that I have worked through a lot of it and have surrendered to God the rest.

Today, I would love to hear from you…

What questions do you have?
What have you done to work through your own anger?
What tools do you have in your toolbag?
What doesn't make sense from what I said above?

As always, I am here to support you! So please let me know what questions, comments and ideas you have! Let's get this conversation started!!

 

Looking for more information about anger? Check out these two related blog posts:
3 Reasons Why I Choose to Be Angry
6 Words that Turned My Anger into Peace

 

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