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Divorce, Grief And Anger


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I read an article at this site that said before we can grieve a person, we have to let go of the anger we feel towards them. This would seem to make getting over a divorce particularly challenging.

In my case, I was happily married for many years but my wife developed multiple personality disorder. Suddenly our lives were plunged into chaos. In addition to frightening changes in personality throughout the day, she also became paranoid delusional and hallucinatory. Ultimately she left me, believing that I too was "out to get her".

That was seven years ago and I still feel completely devastated by losing her and by the very scary events that led up to and followed the divorce. In the midst of the divorce, she did horrible things to my children and I (never dangerous or violent, but nasty and hateful).

I have struggled all this time to come to terms with the anger that I feel. While I know rationally that she was/is ill, emotionally I still feel the anger from the hurt and destruction that she caused. I simply don't know how to get rid of that anger, and have tried numerous approaches in therapy. Meanwhie, I fell hopelessly in love with the "old her" and pine for her constantly. Her MPD has led her to become a very different person, one who barely recalls who I am to her, so there is no hope of ever reuniting.

So I slog along, seven years now in nearly constant pain, feeling lost and having no idea how to heal, or even incorporate this into my life.

Does anyone have any insight as to how they handled anger in their divorce, whether they felt they could grieve and deal with anger at the same time, or did it have to be separately? Complicating things further is the fact that we share custody of our kids and she continues to do hurtful and upsetting things to the kids and myself, which furthers my anger. But I know a lot of divorced people who deal similarly with ongoing anger towards their ex. How do we negotiate these tricky waters?

Alden

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Alden,

I'm sorry for what you've been through. My ex was Narcissistic Sociopath, also paranoid, he seemed to love me although he always did seem self-centered, but everything split apart when he got onto drugs...he led two lives, hiding his other life from me (he was a truck driver and only came "home" on weekends)...turns out he was living with another woman during the week 3 1/2 hours away...so I can understand how hard it is for you to come to terms with the old person and the one she developed into. Oddly enough, I don't feel a lot of anger towards John, I just don't feel much at all...some people were kind of perplexed by my reaction, I felt shock, hurt, disbelief, but eventually I had to face that my life was humpty dumpty and couldn't be put back together again...and it was then that action set in, separating our lives and working on getting over him. I think facing reality was the catalyst that helped me heal and move on. As much as he hurt me, as much as he used me, as much as he financially devastated me, I don't feel enough to hate him. I guess that's the true knowledge that my life has moved on and he holds no power over me. It was a choice, really, a conscious choice, and it took great effort on my part. For those lonely nights...I got a dog. Believe me, that dog was a much better choice than he ever was. Good luck to you...as to the anger, I think God just helped me, I don't know what else to say, it was kind of peculiar.

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Thanks, KayC. Yours is an interesting analogy to my situation. She was having multiple affairs, then coming home and being a wife and mom, but even at home there was a lot of switching of personalities. Like you, I could never hate her and in fact still feel intense love for the person who is gone. That is my grief, love her and miss her like crazy. one of the difficulties for me now, is that I have to constantly see her due to our custody arrangement. It's a hard thing. Seven years now and I stlll

grieve hard.

Alden

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Yes, I have Ted. Just not an angle that the courts will take on. And someone with MPD is an expert at being who they need to be at the moment, so when the time would come for an evaluation, they would look just fine. She has never hurt the kids physically, but does more mini abandoning things, leaving them alone, not preparing dinner, those kinds of things, which were simply never enough to make a case for full custody. The kids are older now and these things are not so much of an issue.

Thanks for asking,

Alden

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alden,

I got much help in dealing with the end of my marriage and the divorce from marriagebuilders.com

There is an infidelity section and divorce section. There are so many experts on there to lend advice, they were lifesavers.

It also helped to air my feelings here (Death of a Marriage). Just the caring support here was a tremendous bolstering for me.

Good luck to you, I know it's not easy, and yes, even though they can do devastating things to us, we still grieve what we had...or thought we had.

Kay

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