People sometimes don’t know until after their wedding that their spouse has a serious temper. Many people are able to suppress their natural, explosive behavior when they initially try to present the best version of themselves to new people. However, after prolonged cohabitation, they may finally be comfortable letting their anger show.
You may live in constant, low-key fear of your spouse’s temper. You may worry that they might damage your property, verbally berate you or physically injure you if you upset them. You may have heard that your risk of injury increases when you leave someone with anger issues or abusive tendencies.
To better ensure that you stay safe, here are a few tips for handling divorce when your spouse is an angry person.
Protect yourself physically and legally
If there have been instances of physical violence or threats against you, you may need to make arrangements to leave your home. You may also need to pursue a protection from abuse order to avoid any violence during the divorce process.
The more documentation you have of threatening and violent behavior, the better your chances of convincing a judge that you need an order limiting your spouse’s access to you. Such orders can also help protect your children from abuse if you have children together.
Minimize direct communication
If you don’t have children or your children are adults who no longer live with you, you can ask your spouse to only communicate with you through your attorney. You can potentially go through the entire divorce process without actually sitting down together. Couples can even attend mediation in separate facilities or rooms to avoid angry outbursts.
If you do have children together, you’ll need to put rules in place to protect yourself and your kids. Insisting on all communication going through a parenting app in the initial stages of divorce can help prevent issues like a scheduled change from blowing up into a massive argument in front of the children. You will also have written records so that they can’t change their story and then accuse you of lying to them or not showing up for the kids.
Get yourself the support you need
Divorcing someone with anger issues is stressful. Counseling and support groups can help some people who are coming to terms with an unhealthy relationship. Others may find that physical activity or artistic outlets, like painting or poetry, will help them to better cope with the intense emotions that are associated with divorce.
Protecting yourself, being proactive about reducing conflict and giving yourself space to process your emotions will all be important as you prepare for a divorce from a spouse with anger issues.