Guest Post: How to Talk To Your Ex after Divorce

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.

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5 Comments

Filed under Children and divorce, Communication, Confidence after Divorce, Divorce, Divorce Support, positive thinking, self-esteem

5 responses to “Guest Post: How to Talk To Your Ex after Divorce

  1. It is important to remember that establishing new ways of communicating with a difficult ex takes planning, finding the right strategies and practice over time. Despite your best efforts, you can expect to sometimes slip back into destructive habits, but with on-going determination you should see some results that include less tension, overwhelm and stress. By taking control of the way you respond to your ex, you will gain strength and self-confidence as you begin to develop a more constructive way of dealing with the issues that must be resolved following divorce.

  2. While yes it is important to rely on family members when you go through a Divorce, one must always “take stock” about the reality of the healthiness of the family nucleus before they employ their help. Why? While it goes without saying that your family loves you very much, often by the time you have decided to get a divorce, however, there is a battle some history that may have transpired and there may be prejudices built toward an ex. If indeed that is the case, while your family can give you very constructive advice that feedback may also contain many biases towards an ex. The end result of those resentments may only stand to complicate matters and the advice may become more heavily weighted at targeting anger towards your ex rather than resulting in constructive advice for you about how to get through the process. It goes to the old adage of “blood is thicker than water”. Additionally, family members themselves often become very stressed out at your suffering and they in turn need to talk to someone else about what is going on in your life and pretty soon you are not dealing with the opinions of only one trusted family member, but rather a “consensus” of all your family members even though they may not have been provided the full details. What’s the best advice insofar as talking to a family member about Divorce, then? Please feel free to forge forward however, when you sense negative feelings from them about the issue recognize that that is the time that you need to “back off”. Also, you want to be very careful about “over relying” on family members because truly the most important thing you want is to maintain the strong family bond that you have worked your whole life to attain.

  3. Pingback: Tips on talking to your ex after divorce. [#5: Be brief] – Splitsville » The Latest From Divorce City

  4. Nina

    Thanks. My husband told me 3 weeks ago that he is leaving us, while I was visiting my family in Europe. I need all the advice I can get….I still am in shock and denial…

  5. Pingback: all review » A Traditional Family

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