I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that, that first year after my divorce, I was very angry. In my state, a divorce is processed fairly fast compared to what I hear from ladies in other states. From the discovery day, separation, the filing of papers, and then to final day, everything was finalized and we were divorced in about one year.
And THEN the lies… the truth about the betrayal… and the gaslighting… were revealed to me.
A normal human just doesn’t get over and forget all of that in a short period of time. (Nor should they ever forget!)
I know too many other ladies who are still working through the divorce legal process from a discovery and separation years ago. That slow process would make anyone angry… let alone the other issues, feelings, and betrayals they’re dealing with.
Oh, it burns… knowing the sin happened or is happening… waiting for God to take care of it… watching it still continue… and dealing with all it.
I have been there! I have felt that lust for vengeance and the jadedness in my heart.
But then I learned…
Anger: the emotion of instant displeasure on account of something evil that presents itself to our view. In itself it is an original susceptibility of our nature, just as love is, and is not necessarily sinful. It may, however, become sinful when causeless, or excessive, or protracted (Mat 5:22; Eph 4:26; Col 3:8). As ascribed to God, it merely denotes his displeasure with sin and with sinners (Psa 7:11). – Blue Letter Bible (Source)
What is Righteous Indignation?
Righteous indignation is typically a reactive emotion of anger over mistreatment, insult, or malice. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice. In some Christian doctrines, righteous anger is considered the only form of anger which is not sinful, e.g., when Jesus drove the money lenders out of the temple (Gospel of Matthew 21). – Wikipedia (Source)
Many men and women of the Bible – and godly people of today – were angry because of ungodly, evil, and sinful people and their activities. Evils such as abuse (in all forms), pornography, sex trafficking, and inequality should infuriate us. King David said…
O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. – Psalm 139:21-22 NLT
We should hate what God hates… murder, adultery, sin, and injustice. But don’t sin in your own anger for such things. David went on to say…
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. – Psalm 139:23-24 NLT
That doesn’t give us permission to do anything with that anger that we feel. We need to control ourselves… and that includes our anger.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. – Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
Righteous anger is any anger that helps to restore people to Christ-like living. When people refuse to be quit sinning and don’t want to hear about following Jesus and His ways, then, of course, we should be angry about it. But their sin problem is not our sin problem.
Having healthy boundaries means that we no longer enable them… by leaving the situation… including a marriage if that’s what it takes to live in righteousness… and peace.
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. – Romans 12:17-18 NLT
No vindication in divorce court.
Maybe you’re angry for what you know to be going on, or what you’ve seen going on, or the lies being told, but you watch your STBX or ex-husband get away with it.
Women ask me, “Can I bring up the new girlfriend in court?”
(I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve coached and mentored ladies through the divorce process and healing after, for a few years now.)
And sadly I have to say that the court doesn’t really care what your ex-husband is doing or was doing with other women while he was married, and especially not after. Yes, that tarnishes his reputation and shows his lack of integrity, but beyond that, sadly it’s all too common these days, so it really doesn’t matter to them anymore.
Additionally, there is no justice in the family court. Most men (and women) are given a slap on the hand if they break any normal court’s guidelines. I’ve watched men blatantly lie to a court official or mediator, and nothing was done. Perjury just gets ignored in the family court. Manipulation is side-stepped. Or worse the victim gets blamed for not allowing herself to be manipulated.
And there may never be vindication for what you’ve been through… because there is just no way to punish someone in family court.
(Have a criminal issue? Make sure to bring that up immediately after it happens… or you may lose your chance… especially during a divorce case after. Call the police or CPS and report criminal activity. You don’t have to cover for anyone in this world. Carrying burdens is not covering sin.)
No validation from others.
Maybe you’re angry that you haven’t found validation from what you went through. Everyone seems to believe the liar, sinner, etc. Or he plays the victim well and blames you for everything.
Another thing I hear a lot is, “How do I explain to others what this person is like (or what they have done)?”
I just say… “You saw the truth eventually, right? So will everyone else.”
It’s not the victim’s job to try to tell everyone what that other person has done. There will be many people fooled by a narcissist abuser, but you can take the load of trying to show everyone the truth off your back. It’s a heavyweight, trust me I know! Just give it to God to handle… and He will.
The truth always comes out… God does that! (Luke 8:17.) Nothing is hidden from God’s eyes. And everything will be revealed and made known to all, in God’s perfect timing. Trust Him!
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. – Exodus 14:14 NLT
Leave Everything in God’s hands.
Anger that we hold onto in our hearts for a long time is a burden that we weren’t meant to carry.
God says that revenge – or vengeance in some versions – belongs to Him. Don’t let that anger harden your heart. (More on forgiveness soon!)
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. – Romans 12:19 NLT
You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless. — Exodus 22:22-24 NLT
We may want justice but so does God. Personally, He is WAY more powerful than I am, so I’ve gladly handed over any justice-seeking that I tried to find, in the hands of God to take and do what He sees fair and just, considering all that I have had to deal with.
He holds the power to vindicate us and validate us! God’s got this!
God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day. – Psalm 7:11 NLT
Have you handed your post-divorce anger over to God? How can I pray for you?
Many days growing and learning in Him,