Do you feel drained by your acrimonious divorce? Are you wondering if things will ever get better? Sinking into despair will deplete your energy and make you feel more stuck than you actually are. Regardless of your ex’s behavior, you can change the dynamic by following key steps to lower conflict in your divorce.
Lower Divorce Conflict: Four Things To Stop Doing
Stop trying to get your ex to be different
If you couldn’t change your ex when you were married, you’re even less likely to be successful now. No one appreciates being criticized, or wants unsolicited advice, especially if it’s delivered in a harsh, condescending tone. Nothing you do or say will convince your ex they need to modify their personality or choices to suit you, and your efforts to turn them into a different person will only perpetuate conflict.
Stop engaging in electronic warfare
So much divorce warfare is carried out via email and texting. Even if you’re not the one that typically initiates an acrimonious email, you may be responding in a way that invites more conflict: being defensive, sarcastic, or refusing to respond to important information. The best way to neutralize nasty communication is to reply in a brief, neutral way that sticks to facts.
Stop acting like the Perfect Parent
Are you giving your ex parenting tips? Trying to discredit them to doctors and teachers? Worse, are you doing anything to give your kids the idea that your good-enough co-parent is unfit? Your #1 job as a divorced parent is to support your child’s relationship with your ex, not to win the Perfect Parent competition. Unless your former spouse poses a legitimate safety risk to your kids, or asks you for your advice, you need to let them parent in their own way.
Stop trying to get revenge
Be honest: are you doing anything to make your ex suffer? Seeking revenge won’t change the past. It will waste money in legal fees and put your kids in the middle of a war zone. Let go of the compulsion to hurt your co-parent and get on with your life.
Four Things To Start Doing To Lower Conflict
Start living in the present
It’s important to allow yourself to go through a grieving process to mourn the loss of your old life. But make sure not to let resentment and bitterness towards your ex keep you from building a functional relationship in the present for the sake of your children.
Start practicing effective communication
If your ex sends you nasty emails, are you responding in kind? You don’t need to, nor should you, verbalize your low opinion of your former spouse’s choices. No matter what tone your ex approaches you with, keep your responses brief and neutral.
Start being a good co-parent
You owe it to your children to be the best co-parent you can be. Think of your ex like a business associate that you don’t particularly like, but need to get along with in order to run a successful business – but in this case, the business is your children. Keep your focus on shielding your children from conflict and show them how mature adults handle differences.
Start taking accountability
Instead of using your divorce as a meditation in everything that’s wrong with your ex, think of it as a meditation in everything that’s “wrong” with you! Be honest with yourself. Lower divorce conflict by identifying your own areas for growth. Shift your attention away from your ex and onto changing your own behavior.
Implementing these strategies may initially feel pointless if your ex continues to act badly. But don’t let their choices convince you to stoop to their level. When you learn to stop reacting and start making mindful choices, your life, and your children’s lives, are bound to get better.
Have questions about the best path forward in your divorce? Call us today to schedule a strategy session with one of highly skilled family law attorneys. Get answers to all your questions, learn your rights and get a clear strategy for your first steps. Start safeguarding your future today. Call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the green button below.