914.946.0848  .  contact  .  map & directions  .  subscribe  . 

The Difference Between Anger and Bitterness in Divorce

May 23, 2018  | 

{2:42 minutes to read}  As a divorce mediator, I certainly expect to have clients express strong emotions, including anger. But I’ve encountered a few clients recently who made me recall my earlier post on the difference between anger and bitterness.

The definitions of anger and bitterness are similar:

  • Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
  • Bitterness: anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.

The definitions may be similar, but to me, the emotions themselves are worlds apart.

I see anger as something that is of relatively short duration; a totally appropriate and human response to someone hurting you, or someone you love. Something happens, you get angry, you hopefully express that anger constructively, and it eventually dissipates.

Bitterness, on the other hand, is something that is a little darker and all encompassing. To me, bitterness doesn’t go away easily — instead it festers and begins to infect your general outlook on life.

When I litigated matrimonial matters, I saw that clients who were angry tended to move on with their lives after their divorce. Clients who were bitter, not so much. It always saddened me that clients who “won” and got what they thought they wanted, were still not satisfied, still bitter, and still evoking sarcasm and negativity.

Litigation doesn’t help anyone to move on in a constructive way. Instead, the goal to “win” and exact vengeance, encourages a battle in which holding onto negativity propels one to go to an even darker place. When the litigation is over, those feelings don’t go away, and without the outlet of the battle, those dark emotions prevent one from moving forward.

That is one of the many reasons I shifted to mediation many years ago. Of course, I still see clients who are angry, and yes, clients who show signs of bitterness. However, if you choose to engage in a process that by its very nature seeks to achieve a mutual result and not a one-sided “win,” there is more of an opportunity for the focus to shift from the past to the future — and for the emotions to do the same. 

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

Email »

Comments
Search
Topics
Mediation (70) | Divorce (70) | Conflict (9) | Divorce Mediation (9) | Mediator (7) | Litigation (7) | Child Support (7) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Collaborative Divorce (6) | Consultation (6) | Separation Agreement (5) | Parenting (4) | Separation (4) | Children (4) | Finances (4) | Family (4) | Expenses (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Settlement (3) | Communication (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Child Support Standards Act (3) | College Expenses (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Mediation Benefits (2) | CSSA (2) | Seperation (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Truth (2) | Custody (2) | Legislation (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Anger (2) | Divorce Mediator (2) | Couples (2) | Divorce Finances (2) | Agreement (2) | Calculating Support (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Assets (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | Bitterness (2) | Mediation Myths (2) | Clients (2) | Attorney (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Payments (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Extremes (1) | Separate Property (1) | Marital Property (1) | Husband (1) | Married Couples (1) | Nesting (1) | Disclosure (1) | Moving On (1) | Commingling (1) | Responsibility (1) | Apology (1) | Parents (1) | Compassion (1) | College (1) | Unemployment (1) | Contribution (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Spouse (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Divorce Coach (1) | Joint Account (1) | Wife (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Settlement Term (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Intervention (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Dreaming (1) | Therapy (1) | Spousal Support (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Joint Decision Making (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Fall (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Transmutation (1) | Living Together (1) | Mental Health (1) | Specialist (1) | Equity (1) | House (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | Relocation (1) | Change (1) | Control (1) | Balance (1) | New York State (1) | Self Determination (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Self-determination (1) | Step-Children (1) | Step-Father (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Halloween (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | Co-Parenting (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Consulting Attorney (1) | Step-Mother (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Equality (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Scarcity (1) | Relationships (1) | Abundance (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Grandparents (1) | Resolution (1) | Marriage (1) | Power (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | School Year (1) | Parenting Plan (1) | Summer (1) | Kids (1) | Living Apart (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Self-talk (1) | New York (1) | Advice (1) | Blame (1) | Year In Review (1) | 2015 (1) | Budget (1) | Agreements (1) | Listening (1) | Compromise (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Dogs (1) | Conflicy (1) |
Connect