You may be wondering what grief has to do with your present marriage. Well, it has a lot to do with your present marriage’s level of success. This is how:
Whenever there is a loss–not only due to a death–we humans need to grieve it. Even if your previous relationship ended by your choice, because perhaps it was unhealthy, you still experienced a loss, as something that was there is no longer there.
The classic steps of the grieving process include shock, denial, anger, guilt acceptance, and working through. Grieving means going through these stages, and both acknowledging and allowing the hurt to exist.
Many people are uncomfortable with the anger stage, because they are concerned that they might act it out and lose control. Acknowledging the anger is a crucial step in the grieving process. Not acting it out is a necessary choice. Dealing with the anger needs to be done in an emotional and physical way. Emotionally, it helps to write an uncensored letter–without mailing it–to your former spouse. Many people report that it is a very powerful and safe tool in expressing and letting go of anger.
Anger that is unexpressed may turn into depression. It may also contribute to a feeling of victimhood. So, expressing the anger even if it is only in writing may be empowering.
Try it, and let me know how it worked for you.
Anger also tends to be stored in the body and can lead to various health concerns. It is helpful to (given your physician’s permission) take a brisk walk, jump rope, dance, or engage in other physical activity that will help you release the physical tension stored in your body, as a result of your anger. Letting go of the anger will enable you to be more present with your current spouse, and will contribute to deeper emotional intimacy. Consequently, your stepfamily will become much stronger and happier.