Divorce and conflict are two words that usually go hand in hand. Even uncontested divorces have their ugly moments. After all, a relationship that was supposed to last a lifetime is suddenly ending. It is only natural that hard feelings will come into play. But, when children are involved, the couple needs to do its best to avoid conflict and work out an agreement that benefits everyone.
Avoiding Unnecessary Conflict
Conflict is natural and during divorce, partners will often “poke the bear” just for the sake of doing it. Unfortunately, that “fun” jab you are throwing will often result in your soon-to-be ex coming back at you tenfold. All of a sudden, you are at total war with each other. Simply put, this needs to be avoided, especially around the children. Arguing around or in front of them will not only make things more difficult between you two, but it will also negatively affect your children.
Anticipate Your Meetings
You really need to think about what will happen during interaction with your ex, especially if you are generally a quick and hot-tempered individual. Odds are you know your ex very well and you can anticipate how he or she will act during certain situations as well as what will push his or her buttons. Think about what you do, say, how you act, and how you respond before you actually do it.
Communication during Divorce
When it comes to communicating with your ex, realize he or she will be looking at body language, tone, and the actual words you use. If you tend to communicate via email and text, realize words may come across differently than intended. What is intended to be light-hearted can come across as sarcasm and aggravate the situation even more.
- Body Language – how you look when you say something can provide the a very different meaning than your actual words. For instance, did you know that crossing your arms with clenched fists during a conversation is considered an aggressive and hostile move? Is this really how you want to start a conversation with your ex? Be very aware of the message your body is sending as well as the words. Speaking of…
- Choosing Your Words – you need to consider how the words you use will be perceived by your ex. Certain words may set him or her off, so avoid using them. There are obviously some topics that can lead to a confrontation, so make sure these meetings are scheduled when the kids are not around. You may even want to hold them in a public place to keep both parties at bay.
- Tone – what was it that mom used to say, “It is not what you are saying, it is how you are saying it.” During a divorce, there is no room for sarcasm or cockiness. You have to realize that each party, especially during a difficult divorce, is looking for a reason to pounce. Stay positive and avoid a sarcastic and/or condescending tone to avoid elevating a difficult conversation into a make or break issue during the custody battle.
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