Hatred Is Normal

Hatred Toward Your Soon-to-Be Ex Is Normal

By Lloyd Malech

The data is coming in and, sure enough, divorces are spiking due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the New York Post, the percentage of Americans pursuing divorces from March through June of 2020 is a whopping 34 percent higher than the same time period in 2019.

To repeat: The divorce rate this year is more than one third higher than it was last year.

Newlyweds are faring the worst, with 20 percent of couples seeking divorce married within the last five months or fewer.

There is simply a tremendous amount of strain on marital relationships right now. I discussed some of the reasons for this pressure in a previous blog.

Writing in Psychology Today, Susan Pease-Gadoua, L.C.S.W., says feeling intense hatred toward your spouse is normal during the divorce process. Some people may need to feel this in order to grieve.

This hatred seems to crop up from a variety of typical scenarios, she writes. One spouse may feel that their trust has been betrayed. Another may feel rejected. During the divorce process, spouses may feel their partners are handling things in an underhanded way or asking for too much in a proposed settlement.

These all-too-common circumstances seem to generate hatred. However, the true source of anger stems from the level of attachment to the spouse, Pease-Gadoua asserts.

Moving forward, such anger keeps us connected to the individual with whom we are upset, she says. When you hate a person you were close to, you retain an emotional attachment to them. They live “rent-free” in your mind.

Instead, the emotional goal for spouses undergoing divorce should be indifference, she writes. Indifference means the connection has ended. It is the opposite of love and a sign that healing has occurred.

Certainly, reaching an equitable agreement as part of your divorce can help you move toward indifference. I am a divorce lawyer with 25 years of experience. If you are a Maryland or Washington, DC resident contemplating divorce, feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

And know that the anger you are feeling is normal, and it can and will pass.

Lloyd Malech is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Lloyd A. Malech in Bethesda, Maryland.

September 17, 2020