Difference between Anger and Resentment

Resentment or Righteous Anger: How to Know the Difference

Divorce can be a hard, disempowering experience that leaves us feeling angry, marginalized, and powerless. It’s natural to try and regain some kind of control in the aftermath, but lashing out with manipulation and coercion is often a misguided attempt to do so. Instead, we must strive to understand where we stand within ourselves before taking any action – this is the only way to respond to difficult emotions with thoughtfulness and power. Doing so involves facing these challenges head-on and acknowledging our own vulnerabilities. With courage and self-awareness, we can take steps toward overcoming our breakup and reclaiming our true power.

Moving on from divorce can be an emotionally difficult and taxing journey. We all experience a range of emotions when going through the process, but it’s important to know the difference between righteous anger and resentment so we can better navigate our experiences and move forward positively.

Difficult Emotions when you move on after divorce

It’s normal to feel a range of intense emotions when moving on from your divorce. Anger is one of them, but it’s important to identify if that anger has turned into resentment or if it’s righteous anger. Knowing the difference between the two can help you move through this challenging time with more clarity and peace of mind.

Knowing the Difference between Resentment and Righteous Anger

Resentment is a feeling of deep bitterness, indignation, or animosity towards someone or something due to a perceived injustice or hurt. It often carries with it an emotional charge that is usually related to not feeling heard, understood, validated, or taken seriously.

Righteous anger, however, is an emotional response that is connected to justice. It’s what happens when you stand up for yourself in the face of injustice or mistreatment. Righteous anger helps us set boundaries and speak up for ourselves in situations where we feel disrespected or taken advantage of.


Resentment is a very common emotion after divorce because it’s rooted in pain and hurt from a situation that was out of our control – our partner chose to end the relationship. It can also be fueled by feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and humiliation. There can also be self-resentment when we begin to blame ourselves for “not being enough” and feeling like we failed in some way.

Resentment is often the result of not tending to our own needs, and expecting others to do for us that which we have not asked for. When expectations go unmet, it can lead to feelings of disappointment or even anger. It’s like planting a seed that can grow over time; if you don’t take care of it, resentment can spring up in unexpected places.

When resentment takes hold, it’s natural to want to respond in kind – to make someone pay or get back at them in some way. By the time a relationship has deteriorated to the point of divorce, these resentments can become deeply entrenched. But it isn’t impossible to find a way out – with focused effort and intention, we can actively work to release our resentments and discover the peace of mind that awaits us on the other side.

Righteous Anger

Righteous anger is focused on fairness, equality, and respect for oneself and others. It can give us the motivation and strength to take action and set proper boundaries. This type of anger can also come from a sense of justice – we may feel wronged or betrayed, but instead of stewing in resentment we take action in pursuit of justice.

When faced with disappointment, it can be difficult to move forward in life. Whether the cause is a divorce or a breakup, you may feel powerless and resentful towards those involved. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

When we express our feelings of anger honestly and directly, they become something different: righteous anger. This type of anger isn’t born out of resentment—it comes from knowing ourselves deeply and having an understanding of our boundaries. It grows from a source of inner power, allowing us to communicate our needs without making accusations or blaming others.

Standing up for yourself after a major setback is sacred work. In doing so, you may find that some of the decisions you made in the past were not beneficial for your growth. However, instead of wasting energy on blame and remorse, focus on giving yourself what you need. There will be times when you won’t get the outcome you want—but even then, it’s possible to slowly let go of the bitter feelings and reclaim your strength.

It’s not about Right and Wrong

It’s important to recognize that there are no “right” or “wrong” emotions – there are only emotions. So even if you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused about how you should express your anger, it’s important to stay mindful that these underlying feelings are valid and worthy of attention. Learning to express both resentment and righteous anger appropriately will help you manage these strong emotions as you transition into your new life post-divorce.

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