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Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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I need an effective strategy to heal unresolved anger from

Resolved Question:

I need an effective strategy to heal unresolved anger from an ex-spouses infidelity (with my ex-best friend). We are forced to have contact every week (because we co-parent 3 minor children).    I would like to forgive the both of them, and have amiable relations, but every time I have approached a conversation about mutual healing, they each insist that they did "nothing wrong".   I can't imagine how they still sleep at night, given the bushel of lies they each told me during their affair, and after our divorce, not to mention telling my children that it was a mutual decision to end our marriage (when it was nothing of the sort). HELP - how do you forgive someone, when there is NO remorse, and you have to see the bastards every week?! They want me to be friendly and pretend that they both didn't break my heart to pieces over and over again.    They also claim that they are NOT modeling premarital sex for our children (all under 10 yrs old), since our children do not know tht they are in a relationship. (They told the children that they sleep in the same bed, because there's no extra bedroom in their apartment.)
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.

Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question here at JustAnswer. I have read what you have written and am happy to respond.

Bill :

I am sorry to hear about the anger that remains as result of your divorce. This is very normal and I commend you for asking for help in this difficult situation.

Bill :

One mantra that is useful and came from one of my Child Psychiatry Mentors is
"When kids are involved, there is no such thing as divorce"

Bill :

That does not mean to say that you cannot resolve your feelings of anger as a result and learn how to cope with the future.

Bill :

I think you will find lots of good information regarding this process at the following website:

Bill :

It has helped many women in your situation deal with anger and anguish after a divorce. It also has links to help regarding child issues.

Bill :

I wish you the best at this difficult time.

Bill :

PLEASE CLICK ACCEPT

Bill :

Bill

Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
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Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
Please see my reply above.
Best, Bill
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Bill,

As you might imagine, I have read countless materials on both Divorce and Forgiveness. But none seem to address how to deal with offenders that continue to offend, AND you cannot remove them from your life (given the coparenting).

 

Do you have specific insight into this aspect of divorce interactions?

 

Thanks,

Val

Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
Hi Val- Your husbands character structure sounds like that of a Narcissist and as you have found, they are very difficult to deal with as "I didn't do anything wrong." In 30 years of practice, I have dealt with many such people and it is usually in this type of format, the ex spouse who has a conscious
(you) dealing with the husband that is void of same. The term "Malignant Narcissist" was coined by one of my mentors, Dr. Otto Kernberg, MD, a psychiatrist at Columbia who has made it his life work studying and trying to treat this type. The following links are excellent for understanding this type and how to deal with them without being in the cycle of continually being angered while at the same time trying to raise children.
LINK: http://narcissism-support.blogspot.com/2009/01/healing-facts.html
LINK: http://thefastertimes.com/coparenting/2010/09/24/co-parenting-narcissism-and-emotional-abuse-of-children-during-after-divorce/

I hope this provides you with more insight.
Best, Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience: 35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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