Surviving Your Split

How to Stop Being Bitter after Your Divorce

How to Stop Being Bitter after Your Divorce

Happy Friday, Friends!

Here’s hoping that your summer is continuing to be full of sunshine, warm weather, lazy days enjoying cold beverages, and of course, lots of ice cream.

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, despite our best efforts, we can find it almost impossible to move on is when we are prisoner to one of the ugliest feelings of all.

Being Bitter.

Bitterness is nasty. Unlike feelings of guilt and shame, what makes bitterness so ugly is that it has a tendency to turn you, an otherwise kind and reasoned person, into someone who is so pissed off at their own life situation and so pissed off at their ex and their ex’s new life, that it is impossible to plan for the future and move on.

Bitterness makes it hard even for the people who love you to be around you. Bitterness makes it hard for you to focus on all the good stuff you have going on in your life. And bitterness keeps you from moving the hell on. Definitely not what you want or deserve.

Today, we are going to focus on beating that bitterness back (say that five time in a row!). Because 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 shit when you deserve to focus on a future of being happy instead.

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.

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. And the rest of your life, which I’m pretty sure you don’t want to live with the weight of feeling screwed over still resting on your shoulders.

So, knock that shit off. You need to spend that emotional energy on planning your future. 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 future and your new life.

Most of your driving is spent looking through the front windshield, looking ahead. Moving on from your divorce should be spent looking ahead, too!  (Image via QuoteAddicts)

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 feel pissed off because of the harm this person did to you during your marriage, the longer and easier it is for them to have control over you.

Keep in mind that your marriage with this person has ended, and you do not owe them ANY of your emotional energy.

There is most likely a reason that you are no longer with that person, and being divorced has given you the chance to start over and do things on your own terms. 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 sure as hell 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 sure as hell does not serve you.

Don’t be bitter. Be better. Because you are better than the drama. (Image via ParkStep.)

Exercise: How to flush that bitter down the sh*tter

Okay, okay, I get it. You may be saying, “Martha, that’s easy for you to say! You’re a divorce coach who’s trained in this stuff. But how am I, just a divorcee who’s trying to get my life back, supposed to get a handle on getting out of the bitter mindset?”

Well, I am sooooo glad you asked. And it should come as no surprise that….TA-DA!! I have a starter exercise for you to help you do away with that bitterness.

1. Write down—and be specific—about the things that are exactly making you bitter. But I don’t want you spending 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. 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? Take a look below!

  • I feel bitter because I got screwed over with money in the settlement.

  • I feel bitter because I see my ex moved on with their new relationship and I’m still here with nothing.

2. 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. See what I mean below.

  • I’m feeling like I got screwed over. What does that mean exactly? Screwed over with 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.

  • I’m bitter because my ex has moved on and I’m still here. Okay, so I’m not with my ex anymore, but that means that I don’t have to put up with all their craziness. Oh, so he/she has a new partner? Well, let them deal with my ex—I am better off without them and now I am free and my life is now my own. They actually did me a favor. I am better off without my partner, and if anything, I can actually feel happy and relieved that such toxicity is no longer in my life, dragging me down.

If the bitterness is still holding you prisoner, you do not have to fight the battle 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 weigh you down. You have an awesome future ahead of you and deserve to be happy.

There is more of the Summer of Feeling Better on the Way! Next time, we are going to take a long, hard look at divorce anger and how to overcome it.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! If bitterness has impacted your ability to move on, what steps do you think you can take to kick it to the curb?  I love hearing from you, so write away!

And, as always, remember to take care of yourselves! You deserve it.



10 thoughts on “How to Stop Being Bitter after Your Divorce

  1. Joan

    I have never seen my wonderful daughter bitter until now, with a complicated separation where the ex denies cheating but it’s pretty obvious because after just four months has introduced kids to new gf. She is 10 years younger and it makes my daughter even more bitter. I love her fiercely but realize that all us divorcees, myself included, share the demise of the relationship. I was bitter for years and feel ashamed of that now. My future is much more important than my past and hers is too.

  2. Rhonda

    I will like to share my experience although the story is quit long i will try to be brief. Michael and i have been married for Four years now, we have been doing relatively fine although is mother doesn’t like me,she has been trying to separate us ever since we got married. All of a sudden my husband started acting weird, he doesn’t eat home anymore nor relate with or play with our son. He came home one day and said he wanted a divorce, i was so heart broken and confused i didn’t know what to do. I was surfing through the net one faithful day and i came across an article about how to cope with divorce and all that. after reading it someone commented on how she was helped by a spiritualist/spell caster who helped her in saving her marriage, she dropped the spell caster email address so i decided to contact him. He promised to help me in getting my husband to love me like before and he promised me that he wouldn’t want the divorce once he is done with the spell. surprisingly he made it happened and i didn’t spent much. All i am trying to say is sometimes we need a little help in keeping the ones we love, i am not ashamed of what i did plus it doesn’t have a negative effect on him.
    If you need this spiritualist help in saving your marriage you can contact him on his email address

  3. Karen

    I’m not yet at a point where my reasons to be bitter are in the past. They are very fresh right now. My spouse of nearly 2 decades assaulted me, which effectively ended our relationship. While I’m recovering from injuries, having sole custody of the kids, and dealing with a lot of the aftermath of our split he is apparently out night after night living it up with buddies and meeting new women (yay social media and mutual friends). I’m having to do all sorts of things to keep ends met (I was home for 10 of these years with our children and have to rebuild a career from the ground up now) while he is getting his legal fees paid for by family, and likely will see very little punishment for his crimes. He got to destroy my life and severely injury me, and then walk away to live the party life with no kids. I wish he at least missed his kids, but he has always expressed regret that they exist. It is very hard to not be horribly bitter. I hope one day, with enough therapy, I can get to a place where I don’t feel so destroyed by this. I’m trying to see the good things – the fact that I do have the kids – but lets face it, it stings like crap to see him not suffering after what he’s done.

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  5. Jerica

    I have been trying for 3 years now to let go of the hurt and anger I have towards him. I have good days and then something will happen and all those feelings come flooding back in. I am tired. He cheated on me the short 3 years we were married. Kicked me out of our home right after I had his baby (the same baby that the doctors told me I couldn’t have), took my name off of his bank account and gave his mistress access to the account. I was devastated to say the least. And for the past 2 plus years since the divorce he has constantly been playing games saying he wants his family back but the moment I give in he gets ghost and I dont hear from him any more. Just a back and forth cycle. I finally said enough is enough I’m not playing this game anymore and he started acting so nasty and hateful towards me. Meanwhile I find a message from one of his other women that he stayed in contact with during our marriage telling me they have been in a relationship for 2 plus years…..and that I need to protect myself and my son……when I confronted him about it he told me it was none of my business. Now they are taking trips together. Playing house when my son is with him…..and here I am still damaged trying to rebuild myself. I hate it. And I know I cant hold on to this bitterness. I try so hard to just not care anymore, it was only 3 years, well about 6 years total dealing with him and all his bs. I just hate the fact that I’m still alone and he is happy. He doesn’t deserve to be. I dont want him back at this point…..I’m just ready to move on and be happy

  6. tony

    I feel really bitter and angry after being with a selfish wife and cheat for 11 years. I was totally under the thumb and willingly gave her everything to be totally exploited and deceived twice by her. I am so messed up and left with nothing, it so so unfair, I loved her with all my heart and always wanted to please her, I always done what she wanted as I just wanted a happy home life with my daughter. my head is so messed up with anger, bitterness, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, sleepless nights ect, why me? I didn’t deserve it

  7. Pingback: How to Trust Again When You're Devastated - Since My Divorce

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