Monday, May 12, 2008

Anger and Dignity

My wise sister (which doesn't narrow it down; I have two wise sisters) suggested that I dig deep and find my anger toward Dave. Yeah, yeah... I've tried that. In some desperation, she suggested that I pretend that the things that have been done to me were done to one of my sisters or brothers -or one of my children. How would I feel then?

All of it...

the infidelity
the renewal of the wedding vows with no intent at all to live up to them
leaving me homeless and unemployed and 800 miles from my friends
begrudging me financial support while I reclaim my life
hiring Lady Voldemort the attorney, to publicly belittle my life choices
leaving me vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases
trying to take my house...

You've heard the litany of his sins; it's longer than this. How would I feel if these things had been done to Victoria or Nicholas?

WHITE..... HOT.....RAGE....

That's how I would feel. And you BET that anger would power me toward action. So that's what I'm going to pretend. A strong, angry woman would stop letting things happen to her and take charge of the process. I may not fully be that person for myself, but I certainly would be her for my children.

So, I think that action starts with another phone call to my attorney. I know that she's protecting my interests and is as interested in defeating Lady Voldemort as any group of Hogwarts wizards could ever be ;) But we need to step it up here. I'm not going to be pushed around.

And when I forget, remind me please.


breadchick said...

Allow your attorney to unleash the hounds of hell on him Andrea.

With his infidelity, he doesn't have a leg to stand on and he knows it and his attorney knows it and he is hoping by playing hardball first he can frighten you.

Your sister is right, you need to be angry like you've never been angry before.

Lisa :-] said...

Dave sounds like one of those people who spent his married life learning where your buttons were located and exactly how to push them. He knows your aversion to anger and confrontation. And he is counting on using this to make sure he gets what he wants.

How can someone have such obvious and vicious disregard for the institution of marriage, and yet go on the full frontal attack in the dissolution of it? This is obviously a man who has one priority in his life--HIMSELF. And he will blithely annihilate anyone--even the woman with whom he shared a home for twenty years--to get what he thinks HE has coming.

I am angry for you, Andrea. What he is doing is not fair or just or even human. It is not okay to treat people the way he is treating you, and you should not allow it, as a matter of principle. Even if you can't summon up enough personal anger at him...

Jen said...

Your sister is very wise to point this out in the way she did. We are all too willing to play the games others decide.

Even while downplaying our own reaction to events that disturb us, we would mount an army of rage, as you said, to object to the same things done to one we love.

If it's worth rage done to one you hold dear, it's certainly worth thermonuclear scorched earth rage on your own behalf.

Elisa said...

There you go.

The only thing I want to say is to be careful that all the marital assets do not get swallowed up by legal fees. That does happen in really contentious divorces. I don't know how you avoid it when one party is being a complete dick, but it's something to keep in mind.

Anonymous said...

I can in a small way relate to your struggle to find your anger. I was engaged to someone once after a long-term on and off again relationship. After asking me to marry him he changed his mind and we finally were off for good.

I struggled for almost two years to get over him and move on. I knew that I needed to get angry to make this happen, but I was very reluctant to do this.

The reason I was reluctant was because I had spent so much of my adult life with him and it was too painful to think that I had wasted all that time. I was afraid if I got angry I would always look back at that time in my life and just see unhappiness, even though a good portion of my time with him was very happy. I was afraid my happy memories would disappear and I would stay stuck in the anger.

Is it possible you have some similar reasons for being reluctant to feel your anger? I'm only guessing, but I would think it would be similarly difficult to get angy with the father of your loved children.

Eventually, because it was obvious that I needed to get angry I forced myself to do it, and it was the best thing I ever did. I was able to move on - finally - and my biggest fears were not realized. I can now look back at the relationship, remember the good fondly, and at the same time have learned from the bad parts.

Your sister's idea seems like a really good one. I don't know if it will help with the divorce process, but I really believe finding your anger will help you in your future life. Good luck!!