Letting go of anger in order to make smarter divorce decisions

A couple weeks ago, we discussed the potential fallout from the recent hack of the Ashley Madison website. The site’s purpose is summed up in its slogan: “Life is short, have an affair.” There are apparently millions of people who took that advice, and the personal data of more than 37 million users was stolen by hackers.

As we mentioned in our last post on the subject, proof of infidelity likely won’t provide the “upper hand” in divorce that many heartbroken spouses assume that it will. And as we’ll reiterate in today’s post, approaching divorce with a “get even” attitude may very well lead to disastrous outcomes for both spouses.

This sentiment was recently echoed in a Crain’s Wealth article. Why is a revenge-driven divorce harmful to the revenge seeker? Divorce requires rational decision-making, because the outcomes of the divorce will affect your short-term and long-term future. Very few people can make wise or level-headed decisions when they are upset, angry and hurt.

Here are some reasons why revenge-driven divorce could be harmful to you and your ex-spouse:

  • A contentious divorce is likely to be litigated (rather than mediated), which usually takes longer
  • Divorce (using any approach) takes longer when the two spouses cannot or will not talk to one another directly
  • Litigated divorce that is highly acrimonious may leave both spouses will little control over the outcomes
  • If you are angry and prioritize revenge over other goals, you may make decisions that compromise your long-term financial health
  • You may be more likely to argue and fight over every aspect of the divorce, including issues/property that you might not care about otherwise
  • Stress and anger are often toxic, and they could erode your physical health in ways that also jeopardize your judgment (insomnia and exhaustion, for instance)

If your spouse has been unfaithful or has hurt you in other ways, your anger and resentment may very well be justified. But when it comes to making level-headed decisions, it does not matter if your anger is justified – it is still a liability.

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