09 Oct How To Communicate With Your Ex-Spouse After a Divorce
Communication is one of the most basic human experiences that we encounter in our daily lives, and growing up with people around us should make it easy to express ourselves. However, the same cannot be said for a couple who just came from a divorce. The old way of conversing with your partner – who is now your ex – cannot be replicated after the separation.
Phoenix divorce law firms encounter divorce cases not because the husband and wife are happy with each other. In fact, divorce usually happens because of several factors, mostly related to misunderstanding or miscommunication between the two parties. The divorced couple will naturally have some negative feelings about each other, and some have even traded harsh words before and during the divorce process. Of course, expecting the ex-spouses to be comfortable talking to each other again will just end up in frustration.
The communication situation becomes a bit more complicated – and quite important – especially when the ex-couple are dealing with shared responsibilities. For instance, the separated couple may be working in the same company, or have children. In these cases, both parties have no choice but to encounter each other and try to communicate.
First and foremost, when it comes to communicating with your ex, remind yourself that you are independent individuals now. You cannot control or influence your ex anymore. In fact, trying to do so will probably end up in another verbal quarrel. I know this might be tough for some, but you should try to understand what your former partner is saying. Instead of looking at him or her as a dartboard with a bullseye, treat your ex with respect just like you would an acquaintance or a co-worker.
Speaking of understanding your ex-spouse, it’s very likely that he or she is experiencing the same emotional and mental tidal waves as you are. When you figure in a situation wherein you two have to talk, try to relate your own feelings to what your ex is sharing. Words like “I feel the same way” or “I believe we’re going through the same issues” will make your former partner understand you as well.
Another suggestion that I want to push is to make sure that you talk in a soft and calm voice. Being survivors of a divorce, both of you may still be prickly and sensitive to a raised tone. You wouldn’t want to enter another heated argument with your ex, right?
If you are talking about common responsibilities, keep your discussions within the bounds of the shared issue. Do not be a snoop and dig up your ex-partner’s new personal life. Just think like you’re business associates driving towards a common goal.
Lastly, never – and I mean NEVER – mince words that may make your feelings during the divorce resurface. Scathing comments such as “you’ll never change”, “I don’t understand you” or the infamous line “it’s your fault” will not do anything good.
I may be a Phoenix divorce lawyer and not a clinical psychologist, but I’ve been in the business well enough to have seen the struggles of divorced couples. My only hope for those who just underwent divorce is to become amicable to each other, especially if they need to communicate for the sake of their kids.