How do you let go of anger from the past?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
377 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Hmmmm.. for some reason I hated my exes gf – the one he dated right after me.  I had some crazy dreams about beating her up as well.  In time it passed.. social media makes things difficult though, but one day it was like a light bulb moment and things didnt bother me at all anymore.  Mainly because I finally realized that I’m a great person, have my crap together, have a wonderful man by my side 🙂 looking at what he had at the time when I realized this made me chuckle and wonder what in the world I saw in him in the first place.

Post # 4
Member
2400 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Sit down and write a letter to her. DON’t send it but just write a letter to her. Let all your feelings out on a piece of paper. It sounds weird but it works.

Post # 5
Member
394 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

The day I realized that anger like that only hurts me, I was able to let it all go.  The anger is ruining your day, putting you in a bad mood, making you feel crappy, etc.

Meanwhile, they are living their lives- happy, without a care in the world, and certainly not worrying about you.

Why would you let them have that control over your feelings?

Post # 6
Member
10992 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

If you are a person of faith, that would be the best place to start.  I am a person of faith, so I would not even know how to answer this question apart from that. I hope that something that I say may be helpful to you, even if your belief system may differ from mine.

I am a Christian, and I believe that God actually commands me to forgive those who have hurt me, and, although that has not always been instantaneous or easy for me, I know that my choosing to hold onto anger is not at all hurtful to the person with whom I am angry. Rather, my choosing to hold on to anger and resentment (which eventually becomes bitterness) is only hurtful to me, to my relationship with God, and most of the time, even to my relationship with others.

I have learned that my decision  to forgive does not at all  mean that what someone else did wasn’t wrong or hurtful. It just means that I have made a decision to let go of the offense and not to allow it to continue to affect my life.

It’s entirely possible with God’s help to not only forgive but also to even love someone who has hurt us.  And forgiving and/or loving that person — with God’s love, not necessarily our own emotions,  at least not at first — does not mean that you need to try to establish a relationship with her.  In this case, because this person is not someone with whom you would normally need to be in relationship, forgiving her just means allowing your heart to get to the point where you release the hurt, pain, and anger and allow yourself to want good things for her life. Again, this is based on my belief system, but I have found it to be extremely helpful to pray for those who have hurt me.  When I have done this, God has softened my heart toward them.

Post # 7
Member
2571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I used to (and still do a little bit) have big time anger over FI’s exes…  I have gotten MUCH better about letting that all go, and I don’t obsess over it like I used to.  I guess it is just a process of realizing that they really are not worth it, you have a good life yourself, and they aren’t worried over you one bit.  I think what helped me was seeing through a mutual friend one of FI’s exes (one who really had it out for me before FI and I were even together) in someone’s profile as their gf, so that was hard evidence that “hey, this person has moved on and never thinks of you or him anymore, you can let go now”.

Post # 8
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Therapy helps.

Post # 9
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

You need to get to the heart of this anger.  Many times, when people can’t let go of something like this it is because the person that is the target of your anger makes you feel bad about yourself.  I know you said that you thought she was a nasty person before you and your ex broke up, but I’d be willing to bet your anger is more seated in the fact that this ex of yours could love someone so nasty when he couldn’t love you in the way that you perceive he does her.  Even if you logically know you shouldn’t care or that you are better out of the situation, sometimes it just stings thinking that he would choose to be with someone like her over you, or that he could think she was an “upgrade” compared to your relationship with him.  Maybe it’s also something more surface like you think she is trying to get at you by taking up with him.  Maybe you feel like she was trying to break you two up and you feel like he was in some way (consciously or not) encouraging it because he wanted to be with her instead of you.  Maybe you still have feelings for him and are taking out your resentment on her for him making you feel less than while she steals him away.

 

All of these things can play with your self-esteem, even if you know they shouldn’t, and a lot of times it superficially comes out as anger because that is your go-to emotion or because you are frustrated that something like this gets to you.  Just some ideas to think through.  If you can’t seem to get it out of your head on your own, you may find therapy helpful in identifying the problems and then have it help keep you accountable for fixing them–they’re really just problem-solving, think-tank sessions.

Post # 10
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

therapy? It’s been 2 years, that’s a long time to be harboring anger.

Post # 11
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@wouldyoukindlyy:  To be honest, it just takes time. I was with my ex for nearly 10 years and it took a loooooooong time before I could look back on the relationship with a sense of happiness rather than bitterness. There were times that I would think I was totally over it, and then something would trigger it and I would realize that I wasn’t. I can give you some examples over PM if you want, but I’m not comfortable writing them here.

The one thing in life you can’t control is other people’s actions and you will drive yourself crazy if you try. I am a firm believer in removing all controllable stress from your life because life is too short to be miserable. The best thing you can do is stay busy so it is never your focus, and I promise – time will eventually make it go away. How much time is different for everyone, but the old cliche is true: time really does heal all wounds.

Post # 13
Member
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I LOVE this quote, though it is hard to remember some times:

Holding anger towards someone is like taking poison yourself and hoping it kills the other person. 


Perhaps try to think about what good being angry does for you. But also, I do think that having a little grudge, especially when it’s justified, isn’t such a bad thing, all part of life. 

 

Post # 14
Member
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I see a psychologist 3 times a week to deal with anger issues from some things that occured in my past. Talking about it really does help. 

That being said, therapy is expensive as fuck, and you can get similar relief from just having a really in-depth conversation about it. If you have a friend that wasn’t around at that time in your life (unbiased about ex and this girl), ask if they’d be willing to sit down and listen to you talk about whatever happened, in intense detail. Sometimes getting it all out can really help, especially because you end up realizing that there’s a lot of things you’ve never said out loud before. Getting it all out there might help you get over it, once and for all.

Post # 15
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

@wouldyoukindlyy:  I’m glad I could offer some support.

 

I think that this kind of thing is pretty common; it’s like thinking back on something really embarrassing that you did and reliving the cringe-worthiness of it whenever the memory is triggered.  At the end of the day, you just need to feel good about yourself and all of the other stray emotions should fall into place as lessons learned and tools to better your future with.  Once you figure out why she/he bothers you still, it should show you that it has more to do with you rather than them specifically, and then it will be easy to let them go as you focus and work on the insecurity that they just happened to have hit upon.  Moral of the story: you’re not weirdly obsessed with them; you just haven’t confronted and dealt with the uncomfortable emotions that they made you feel back when it all initially occurred.

Post # 16
Member
1574 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

It takes time. I’m still a little angry at my ex-husband. he was emotionally and physically abusive, and then spread some lies when we divorced. I was also rather angry at myself for letting it go on. I’ve be working really hard on forgiving myself, and letting go of the anger towards him. I’ve been trying to be more positive in general, and I think that helps. I do see a counselor (every other week right now) and that helps a ton. I wrote a letter to my ex (never meant to send it), and I do that occasionally. it helps get my feelings out. I also journal. 

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