Divorce: Best Way to Deal with Denial and Anger

Updated on April 19, 2011
A.D. asks from New York, NY
9 answers

I am finally meeting with a divorce lawyer in about two weeks. It took me a long time to gather the courage to make the appointment… fear had kept me frozen. I am still at the stage that I am only informing myself, but feel I have made a HUGE step in making the appointment.

I will not get in to the reasons why I am doing this, and I am not seeking advice on how to try to make my marriage work. Please trust me when I say that I have done what is in my power and although I go back and forth from time to time, I am convinced that it is 100% the right thing to do for my son and myself. (As a side note, I am in therapy in case you were wondering).

I would really like advice from those of you that have had to deal with a divorce where your husband is in complete denial, gets very upset and starts yelling that they will never be seperated from his child, and that you will have to be the one to give up anything, etc. Have you experienced this? How did you handle it? In a perfect world, I picture an amicable seperation, with 50/50 custody, and possibly even living very close to each other to ease things… but I know in my heart that will not be the case. How have you dealt with this and were you able to have a somewhat civil separation?

Any books to recommend for me or my son? (he will be 3 years old in the summer and loves his dad very much). Although I have spoken to him about divorcing on various occasions, I don’t think he thinks I have the balls to do this. As stated, he gets VERY upset and pretty much ends the conversation by yelling. That to me is an indicator of how this will all go down. I will need a lot of courage to follow through with all of this, so looking for words of wisdom from someone who has been there. Feel free to PM me if you don’t feel comfortable posting here. Thanks in advance for your help.

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answers from Fayetteville on

Why don't you tell him you are seeing a lawyer? He will then know you mean what you say and may decide to talk about it instead of just yelling and walking away...You'll have to talk about things eventually!

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answers from San Francisco on

Your husband's statement that he "will never" be separated from his child and that "YOU" will be the one to give up everything, concerns me. From what you describe, your husband doesn't seem to be able to control his temper. If you think he would be prone to violence, I would take my son and quietly pack and leave. As much as he loves his son, if he's unstable, supervised visits might be best for a while.

If you do leave make sure you have spoken with your attorney and file for a temporary restraining order until your hearing. It's a good thing that you are in therapy, but your husband should probably be getting some help as well. If he won't do it on his own, the court can order him to do so in the form of "anger management" and "parenting classes".

There are many cases when people have the "If I can't have you (or the kids), then no one can"attitude, bad things happen. I'm not saying things to frighten you but simply want you to make sure you and your son are safe.


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answers from Los Angeles on

I commend you for wanting to work it out 50/50. But that may not be realistic in the long run for your son given his father's anger towards you.

****Someone else's observation warrants your attention and you need to start taking notes and share this info with your attorney. Your son is 3, not 15. I am all for a child having a relationship with his father but SAFETY is the #1 goal in your child's best interest*****

he "will never" be separated from his child and that "YOU" will be the one to give up everything

Your husband sounds like he has anger and control issues. Has he been violent towards you? In the presence of the child? Does he raise his voice, intimidate, etc. FYI, my EH was awarded supervised visits for these very issues.

I am going to PM you.

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answers from Gainesville on

My marriage was a terrible one for a very long time, When my 10 year old was 1 my husband lost his job (got fired b/c he didn't cover his shift) and i had to go to work full time and did bill paying, house keeping, all child rearing when i was home etc. We got in a huge fight over the situtation I told him "what do I need you for?" and he said the same thing to me " you will never be able to take the kids from me i will fight you!" , we worked thing out for a while had another kid and when she was 5 I couldn't take it anymore and left him. When I told him he was very much in denial. I saw a therapist he never did thought it was all my issues- or just couldn't get it together ( spent huge amount of time on computer, was very disrespectfull to me in front of kids etc.) for 6-8 months after I moved out he fell apart- he gave me money but couldn't get it together enough to actually take kids for visitation. he didn't fight for the marriage and or the kids after all. He let me have whatever. I did the best I , I had a lot of help (money wise) from my family and I had a therapist! With out those 2 things I don't know what I would have done.
Like you I was 100% sure that it was the right thing to do for my kids and myself. I can look back and say it was very hard and very scary! But my life is so much better and i have soon to be new husband and my kids are now seeing what a real happy relationship looks like! Goodluck!

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answers from Boston on

Someone in my family is going through this right now - the husband does a lot of yelling (or crying) about how he doesn't want it to happen, how he's going to give her $100 a week and everything is on her, how he doesn't want to lose the kids, and so on. I think the threats ("you'll have to give up everything") come from a feeling of complete powerlessness, which men aren't used to experiencing in many aspects of their lives. In my relative's situation, the guy has been delusional for a very long time, thinking everything is perfect while his wife has been doing all of the work to make everyone happy (except herself). He has not realized or accepted that she has grown as a person, that she has needs, etc.

I think that 50/50 amicable separate is a great goal, and you can strive for it, knowing that you won't get there right away. You may not get there at all, but then again, any progress you make in that direction is a good thing.

My relatives have each gone to the other person's counselor, and it's not really working because the husband sees therapy as a place to only complain about his wife rather than to work on anything or achieve any insight. He thinks she needs to fix herself, and she needs to fix his part of the marriage too. When that isn't her goal, he gets angry and yells. Sounds like that's where your husband is.

One of the big reality checks is a meeting with a mediator (1 for both of you) or a lawyer (one for each of you). When he realizes what he WON'T get (which may take more than one meeting) and what his obligations will be, and how it can be made worse or better, and then after he goes through a period of adjustment and acceptance, then he may make some movement toward balance.

Good luck to you.

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answers from Modesto on

I would definitely hit the self help aisle at the book store and stop at the Divorce shelf, I'm sure a clerk will lead you to it, and scan and read. Honestly, you are better off separating first, and using that time to see how he is going to be so you are prepared to tell you attorney what you will be able to live with. You wont know until that time (when you actually pull out or have him leave your home with his stuff) what he ultimate reaction is going to be. If he still loves you and wants his family together under one roof, you will see a part of him that you NEVER knew existed.
Good luck, sorry you are having to deal. It will not be easy.

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answers from Visalia on

Is there anyone who can give you support? i was my sisters support when she left her husband, he was very very verbally abusive and he was starting to be verbally abusive to their little girl, so she decided to leave. mind you she was a very timid person. she lived with me and my family, i went with her to every court date.

first she gathered all important papers, birth certificates, ss#, baby shot records, your heirloom jewelry. her ex changed door locks as soon as she left, she couldnt get her daughters socks for school.

her lawyer ordered a 'move out' for the husband, because he would of blown up with anger when he would get served. meaning he had to move out of the house and the restraining order would help. but because his mother own the home, my sister was the one that had to move out.

she was very scared at each court date, her stomach would turn, at times a migraine. reading these books will help you chin-up at court when you have to speak to the judge during custody and spousal support.

yes ur son is gonna cry, not wanting to leave the dad at visitation when it comes. this very common. my sister felt like chop liver when her little girl was screaming not for her dad, but for the grandmother.

it will be a tuff road ahead, but you can do this, if my timid sister can do this after 18 tormented yrs so can you :)

my sister says dont wait, her sons were 14 and 18 when she finally left, and the boys decided to stay with dad. she had visitations but the father would make sure they werent home for the pick-up. eventually she lost her boys after some conniving from the dad and that is the one regret she has to this day.

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answers from Pittsfield on

Sorry, I have no real experience here, but I wanted to wish you well. I found some books with very good reviews that might be helpful:




Very best wishes for you and your son!! :)

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answers from Phoenix on

My best advice to you is when you draw up the Parenting Time, make it VERY specific...make sure it says "receiving parent" will pick up child, what parent will have child on what holiday (dad even year, mom odd year...) and what time (8am to 5pm). Once the custody/parent time is ruled on and in place, its VERY difficult to change it. So make sure it's very detailed and what you want. Also, make sure you get child support, don't feel sorry for your ex if he gives you some big sob story. And have a calendar only for documenting everything that happens with your son. And try to only communicate with the ex via email and text, and keep all in a file in your outlook so you don't run into he said/she said. That's all I can think of now...its tough...good luck!

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