Are you preparing to go through a divorce? Do you have children? Here’s what you need to know about communicating with your former partner.
Learning to navigate your relationships during and after a divorce can be a nightmare. Emotions are running high, which means you might feel short-tempered or irritable, and chances are that your former partner feels the same way. Unfortunately, learning to communicate during a divorce is essential if you have children. When you and your former partner share custody of the kids, you need to look for ways to set aside your differences and focus on parenting. There are several steps you can take to start communicating in healthy, effective ways. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Leave your emotions out of it.
You and your former spouse don’t have to like each other, but it’s important to avoid letting your emotions dictate your behavior or the way you communicate. Even if you’re feeling angry, stressed, or betrayed, try to set those feelings aside so that you can communicate in healthy ways. Remember that your children are watching you and the way you communicate will set the standard for their own future relationships.
2. Focus on your children.
Make an effort to focus on your kids. You and your former spouse don’t need to fight or argue anymore. You’ve already ended your relationship, which means you don’t need to try to work out whose fault the divorce was or who was more in the wrong. Instead, try to focus on how you can help your children move forward with their lives during this time.
3. Talk to your kids about their feelings.
Your kids might be experiencing some big feelings. They could feel sad, relieved, angry, or scared. Talk with them. Remind your kids that they’re allowed to feel anything they need to. No feeling is “right” or “wrong.”
4. Look for ways to move forward as a family.
Remember that even though you and your partner are no longer married, you are still a family. Look for ways that you and your former partner can connect with your children in group settings. Maybe you can plan regular dinners as a family. You could try an activity together, such as going to the zoo or visiting an aquarium. While these types of activities may be difficult at first, it’s important to look for ways to make your children feel connected with you.
5. Offer support to one another.
It’s important to focus on finding ways to support each other in parenting. While you may not have a personal relationship with each other, remember that you need to be in agreement as to how you will raise your kids. Talk with each other about PTA meetings. Discuss parent-teacher conferences. Communicate about how you can best help your kids during this time. If one of your children is having a difficult time coping with something, talk with the other person about it to see if they have any suggestions for helping.
For more assistance dealing with your divorce, reach out to your attorney today to talk about your options.