Even the most amicable of divorces can be traumatic, so imagine what happens when at least one of the individuals involved is literally looking for blood. No matter what the other person does or says, it just upsets the other person and a fight ensues. Simply put, there is no pacifying him or her and being around him or her becomes more and more difficult every day.
This is the definition of a toxic relationship. Anytime you are around this person it makes your life more difficult. Unfortunately, and especially if there are children, the two of you may be tied together for quite some time ever after the divorce, so something has to give. So, what can you do?
Hire an attorney – if your spouse is coming at you from every angle, you can bet the divorce is not going to be an easy one. In all likelihood, he or she has already hired someone and just to protect yourself, you had better do the same. You also need to keep in mind that with your spouse being so difficult, it may take a “special” attorney to diffuse the situation to expedite the divorce. If you have a confrontational attorney, it is only going to make matters worse, prolong the divorce, and cost you more money.
Start documenting – spouses that are angry are known to do some “off the wall” things as well as tell some untruths to anyone that will listen. If you walk up to the door to get the kids and a Tonka truck comes flying at you, write it down. If a mutual friend tells you something that he or she said that is simply untrue, document it and get them to verify it. If he or she breaks appointments just to make things difficult, document it. In other words, keep a daily record of all activity between you and your ex during and after the proceedings to ensure you are protected.
Avoid the elephant memory – if you go into a new situation holding a grudge, it is never going to get better. Regardless of what happens, you need to treat each and every meeting with a fresh outlook, especially when your ex is aggressive. If you start doing the same thing he or she is doing, this is going to be a never ending loop that never resolves anything. Be the bigger person and try to keep things civil all the time.
Seek professional help if needed – if you need to vent, consider seeing a professional therapist. In some cases, talking to friends and family can help. However, there is always the danger they will talk to the wrong person about your conversations and it somehow gets back to your ex. Talking to a professional will keep everything “out of school” as well as provide you with feedback about the situation than can help you deal with these difficult situations you are facing on a daily basis.