Reducing Conflict Post-Divorce
Once you have gotten a divorce, the world around you changes. You no longer have someone you could depend on for emotional support. The trust you once enjoyed, has all but vanished. What hasn’t ended though is your need to communicate with the other spouse. Being parents, you have to put your children first and for them, you need to communicate with one another.
The danger of conflict lies in these post-divorce conversations. Both the spouses will still be reeling from an unfulfilled relationship and will want to place the blame on one another. At such a point, a person is at their most vulnerable emotionally; they can react to the smallest of things and breed conflict. For people who have just had to go through their divorce, here is a list of three simple steps to reduce conflict.
1. Decrease How Often You Talk and See One Another
Did you know that interestingly, around 40 % of the communication that we have is through hearing, the other 55% is visual? Either of these can have an adverse effect on you emotionally when conversing with your ex spouse. Yes, you may be parenting the children and yes, you may have to converse with them but it is natural for the emotional tension to build up every time you communicate. This can lead to conflict.
One of the easiest ways of doing that is to use neutral exchanges with the other parent. The most common reason you have to see or talk to the other parent is because of child handovers. It’s best done through day care, school events etc., allowing the child to transition from one place to another without you having to run the risk of conflict.
2. Don’t Exercise Authority or Demands
When you were married, you were perhaps the dominating spouse, perhaps you weren’t. Either way, it doesn’t in any way mean that post-divorce; you can dominate the other spouse. They are no longer a part of your life and will not adhere to anything you say as long as they don’t want to. So no matter how much you want something to be done in one way, you cannot force it on them.
For example, if you want them to give their opinions or decision on something, you cannot forcefully engage with them and give them ultimatums. Give them time and freedom to make up their mind, because once you start to impose yourself too much, it may lead to conflicts.
3. Use Emails
Emails are not the new chip around the block, but they definitely are what will save you from future post-divorce conflicts. They are short and formal ways of communication which can be used to keep the conversations to the point and logical. Even with that, there must be rules to follow such as no more than one email per day, the issue or question to be laid down clearly, etc.
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