It is an unfortunate fact that after divorce you’ll often be unable to avoid your ex completely. There can be many reasons for this, including children, finances, friends, in-laws, etc. etc.
The truth of the matter is that you and your ex shared a significant part of your life together and will always have that in common. So erasing them after divorce isn’t really possible.
Divorce is an emotional experience, and it is important not to let it ruin a significant part of your life or embitter you to life ahead. It is important to accept the fact that divorce is real, final and understandable.
Even more important is understanding and accepting that you will not be able to completely cut your ex out of your life, especially if you share children. So, there will always be the need to communicate in some fashion with your ex. Here are some quick tips to help you when you have to talk to your ex after divorce, and are uncomfortable with the situation.
1) Be professional
Everyone knows what is and isn’t appropriate in a professional atmosphere. The best bet for successfully dealing with your ex, especially immediately after divorce, is if you act as professional as possible.
Don’t bring up emotional topics, talk about your personal life, ask for advice, or even ask them how they’re doing. What good can come of it? If they seem happy, it just serves to make you angrier and more bitter. If they’re sad it can cause guilt, anger, sadness and confusion. And if they rebuff you it can be emotionally devastating. So, stay professional, at the very least until the raw emotions start to fade.
2) Be respectful
Unless you had an extremely amicable splitting, this will more than likely be a struggle. But it’s important to invest in moving forward with your life. A large piece of this will be learning to put the past behind you, moving forward, and being able to deal humanely with your ex. This means respectful communication.
This combines naturally with being professional. Even if it’s just an exterior you originally have to project, it will help in your communication with your ex. Eventually it will hopefully become less of a façade and truly the way you interact with your ex.
3) Be confident
Often people categorize divorce as failure, and that failure with shame. There’s no reason for this however; it’s human nature to grow and change. And as unfortunate as it is, sometimes people grow apart. Don’t fall into the trap of guilt or shame during or after a divorce—these feelings are completely unproductive and only serve to hurt your future growth.
Being confident is an extremely important part of learning to communicate with your ex. Whether your divorce ended on friendly terms or not, more than likely you know enough about each other to push buttons. Being confident in your interactions can help you resist the urge to play these games, and hopefully give you the strength needed if they resort to less-than-adult tactics such as these.
4) Be independent
Independence after divorce is rough. It can be a serious struggle to accept the official distance between you and your ex, and the new role you find yourself in. But, it is important to accept your new life, in which independence plays a large part.
It can be tempting to search for a new relationship with which to fill your time, and is often natural. However, you should resist this until you’ve learned to be completely independent.
Similarly, independence is extremely important when dealing with your ex. There can be temptation to return to the familiar. Everyone has felt that shortening of distance when dealing with an ex. It can be hard to believe and understand life after your marriage. But independence is important in maintaining normal, rational, productive and healthy communication with your ex—not to mention moving forward with your new life.
5) Be brief
Brevity is vital in early stages of communication with your ex. More than likely you will find yourself stressed, frustrated, angry, or bitter when you first begin talking to your ex again. If you’re being overwhelmed by these feelings, make the conversation brief. Even if they don’t understand, you need to do what’s right for you.
Practicing common sense will help you talk to your ex after divorce successfully. The problem is that emotions tend to override more practical feelings, clouding judgment and leading to further problems. Your best bet to help prevent this is communicating in a professional, respectful, confident, independent, and brief manner.
Remember that no matter how hurt, upset, mad, or bitter you are about your divorce it will get better. And like it or not, you’ll probably have to continue to deal with your ex in the future—especially if there are children involved. Civility is important, and should be practiced as much as possible.
Author Bio: Alan Brady is a passionate blogger who loves to share his personal experiences concerning divorce, his daughters, and being a single parent. He is a freelance writer for the divorce lawyer locator, attorneys.com.