Communication in the midst of a divorce is not easy
Communicating with your spouse during a divorce can be difficult. You are trying to figure out how to navigate during the divorce. The question you are having are:
- How will I survive this divorce?
- How can I financially make it on my own?
- Will, he/she, take everything and leave me nothing?
- What about the kids?
- Where will I live?
You are hurt, and you want to tell the other spouse off. I don’t blame you, but by doing so, you will have a lot of regrets later for many reasons that you are not thinking of during a heated exchange with your spouse. Here are some ideas that I can highlight for you:
- Your spouse can record you and use it for a later time ex. the court or play it back for the kids
- Stress can overwhelm your adrenal glands and can exaggerate health conditions beyond your control
- Children can overhear your conversation, and that will leave a lasting impression for years to come
- A lack of control of your emotions can greatly impact your negotiations with the other parent
The thought of speaking to your spouse, seeing your spouse or hearing them overwhelms you with either anxiety or anger. If this is the case, then we have some work to do. Realize you have a choice. I don’t recommend you speaking to them while you are a hot head. It is important to treat each other with the mutual respect that way you both can effectively communicate and come to an agreement. Below are some suggestions on how to effectively communicate with your spouse.
10 ways to effectively communicate with limited emotions:
- Before speaking on the phone, think and speak from a good place and open heart
- When asking for something, put it in writing ex. email
- Limit your communication if you’re upset (give yourself 24 hours before calling or emailing)
- Write your communications as if a judge is going to decide your case.
- If you have children: if you don’t have anything nice to say about the other parent, keep it to yourself
- Have a designated number for the other parent to call you or your children ex. magic jack
- Remember to receive something; you have to give something
- Examine the why, what, when, where, and the how of your communications
- If there are kids, make it about the Kids. Your agenda should not be a priority
- Take time out for yourself so that you are centered and healthy
Why is texting not a good option for communication?
Texting is instant and loses translation on how people feel. The communication is short and not always to the point. If a spouse wanted to use your texts later in court, it will most likely not translate well before a judge. Email can be instant, but the content in your email will reflect better communication by you in a more formal setting. It will cause you to think, review and decide whether to send it now or tomorrow. A text is instant, and you are living in the NOW moment and feel as though you can’t wait until tomorrow. I am telling you to resist the temptation. You will thank me later.
Remember Text messaging and emails are forever, you can’t take it back once you send it. It’s a permanent record.
Should you consider having a designated phone number?
I put this out there so that you can preserve a piece of sanity and reclaim some control in your life. I have used this method myself, and it works wonders. Many years ago I had to disconnect my home phone and change my cell phone number. When I looked at my caller ID, I had tightness in my chest and anxiety. While at the airport one day a stranger suggested a simple thing “Have you considered changing your number and giving them a designated number?” The thought did not cross my mind until then. I didn’t want to incur a monthly bill, so I learned about magic jack. $40 a year. That was a no-brainer. Here is what you can gain with a designated number:
- Regain calm when the phone rings
- Meets the requirements of the court having a number for the parent to call or an email to communicate with you
- You can choose how to communicate with the other parent when you want to (this does not mean you ignore the other parent)
- Other parent does not control you anymore
- Allow you to take a step back when you are not in a good place to communicate
- The aim and fire approach is no longer available. You are now in control of your emotions.
The importance of putting everything in writing?
Email is a great way to have a record of your agreement with the other parent. If you ever have to go to court, a judge can see the agreement and see how you communicate with the other parent. Your communications will give the judge insight of your parenting styles. Ex. If you both parents agree on a sport for your child to participate in and how you will split the costs, you now have a record of your agreement. If one parent does not honor the agreement, then a judge will make their ruling based on your agreement. Verbal does not always hold up in court
Serving others is an honor. What you think and say matters to your mediator!
We assist families across the United States through Virtual Mediation through Video Conferencing. Call today for a Free Consult.
(Courtesy of East Valley Mediator 480-788-4187)