What Begins in Anger, Ends in Shame

Salli's Divorce Support Blog

I was going through my journal from a couple of years ago and I saw this quote from Benjamin Franklin:

"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame."

I discovered this quote during a time in my life when Ken and I were supervising a lot of people who were poorly motivated and difficult to manage. Before that period, I felt I had developed a lot of patience with others, particularly in difficult work environments. But the job we were working at was new to both of us, the learning curve was huge, and the workplace had not been well-managed before our arrival.

Because of the trying circumstances, I found myself being pushed to uncomfortable limits with many of my on-the-job-relationships.

That's when I found this quote. Funny how when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears--right?

It was a timely reminder to me that anger--no matter how justified--is never a good place from which to operate. If it begins in anger, it will never end well.

Applying this concept to divorce is easy. So much of the time, as we navigate the process of divorce, our feelings will suddenly, and easily, turn to anger. Our ex-spouse is making unreasonable demands, or we're hurt and insensed that we're being treated badly by someone we formerly loved. Anger happens easily during divorce.

But try to remember that shame...and guilt...and pain...and regret...always follow displays of anger. Better to punch a pillow or scream at the trees in the forest than to let angry words escape your lips. Even to someone you feel might deserve it.

Bridle your tongue, that little member, and show self-mastery and integrity. Don't display your anger to the one at whom it is directed. Turn the other cheek, count to ten, hum your favorite hymn.

And remember: "Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame."

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My name is Salli.

Divorced and full of fret and regret, I found my 'Reason for Living' on the internet. Now, my life is lots of fun, married in Portland, Oregon.

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