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Diffusing Fire from the Ex: Never You Mind

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Why does my ex-wife still have anger issues with me?

As I see it, she has no justified reason to be angry with me:

  • She got the divorce she asked for
  • She got the majority of time with the kids
  • She got the house
  • She got the child support
  • But I guess she never got happy as a result of divorcing me

Why is she still angry? (In my mind.)

  • Because I’m happy
  • Because things didn’t work out as she planned
  • The greener grass has died
  • Her happier ever after isn’t all that happy

It’s a funny thing, this animosity between ex-partners and co-parents. How do you co-parent when your ex is unhappy all the time? Do you simply “rise above it” as I have tried to do, ignoring their barbs and jabs? Do you try to make things better by asking questions? Can you be detached from your ex-partner and still attached to your kids?

The answer is: sorta.

While it’s a process, you can detach from your ex completely. In my life, these days, there is nothing I need from her, no kindness I expect from her, and no “closure” I can get from any interaction with her. That’s good to know. And it gives me some distance from her vitriolic moods. However, I still hold on to anger around how I have been treated over the last 8 years since our divorce. Even though, I know, I cannot get any satisfaction from her. I actually need to work on my own anger and frustration. I am obviously holding on to some baggage. If I can’t let go, how can I fully show up for the new relationship in my life? The answer is, I can’t.


I have to actively work on letting go of my anger towards my ex-wife. I am whining. I am complaining. I am holding on to a lot of energy about her behavior. And I simply should not care. If I were “over it” I could laugh at her shenanigans. I can’t. Her anger frustrates the hell out of me.

My kids are more important than any unfinished business I still have with my ex-wife. And this new relationship I am starting is certainly more important and deserves the energy and attention I’m wasting on my ex. When I really let go of my anger at my ex-wife I will have a new level of satisfaction and joy. It’s a process. A process that I will not complete tomorrow or next week. But a process that continues as I continue CHOOSING THE POSITIVE in every interaction with her.


  • Your kids are the most important thing in your life.
  • Your ex is history.
  • Turn anger and hurt into energy to strengthen the relationships you have with your kids.
  • Let go of everything else.
  • Renew your love and openness with a new relationship.

Always Love,

John McElhenney

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image: Peter r, creative commons usage


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