How to Stay Calm Managing Conflict in Divorce
Divorce is a stressful process in itself. There are battles, regarding custody among many others, which lead negative emotions to new heights. It is natural to become frustrated while trying to be calm and cool.
When a marriage ends, it brings many adjustments along with it. Due to this, both the partners find themselves amid confusing and angry sentiments. And with children involved, it becomes vital that you keep the conflicts at a minimum. Whether the parents are married, thinking to get separated for some time, or getting divorced, it leaves a grave impact on children. They could react negatively. The way you deal with conflicts with your ex is one of the biggest things that can impact your child’s wellbeing.
When you and your partner work together as a team to resolve conflicts, it is reassuring for the child, particularly when you exhibit optimism to work out an issue.
Here is some way you can manage your emotions and avoid conflicts during this difficult time:
- Get rid of all the negative emotions
Before you and your ex sit down to discuss things, you have to let go of negative thoughts and emotions. Let go of all the past grievances and issues, including the feeling of sadness, guilt, fear, or anything else that might make it harder to discuss things at hand effectively.
If you are feeling angry, write it down. But do not get into a shouting match. It is not going to get you anywhere. Find ways to release the pent up emotions. Try going for a run or working out at the gym. This helps you in having tough talks and making it easier to get your point across.
- Be Flexible
It is wise that you take a flexible approach if your ex wants to change the way how you two are co-parenting your child. This is important because you two can cope with the arrangements only if you are ready to be flexible. Chances are that you might have to make changes to your schedule and ask for a favor if you have a busy day at work, or your new partner wants to spend time with you and their children.
Both you and your partner would want to talk about boundaries if you are dating someone new. What was alright before may feel uncomfortable for you now.
- Look at the Big Picture
When you are in the middle of negotiating your divorce settlement, it is easy to lose perspective and get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions. There is going to be a sense of urgency in everything. You must relax and try to look at the big picture.
The best way to do so is to envision your future. How would you want it to look like 10-20 years from now? Would you still want to be stuck in this emotional turmoil and feel resentful towards your ex? Or you would rather want to be peaceful and move on with your life? If you are a parent, how would you want your children’s future to look like? These are the questions you ought to ask yourself and then do your best to pull yourself through the stress and conflict you might be feeling due to divorce.
- Work on your listening skills
This is something that would help you tremendously in the long run. After a few years, when you look back, you won’t feel this resentment because both of you took the time to listen to what other person has to say. If you constantly interrupt each other and are adamant about having the last word, you cannot end your conflict.
You need to be patient and listen to what others have to say. Rather than thinking about the perfect come back, listen to your ex’s word and try to understand what they want. Consider the possibility that you might have failed to listen to him/her in the past on many occasions. By being a good listener, you are going to boost your communication skills and even develop an understanding of the other’s perspective.
Although a short term and structured process, mediation could assist you and your ex regarding arriving a decision about financial and co-parenting issues. What happens is that your former partner or you bring someone along, a close friend, or a family member who could sit with you both and help you two reach an agreement. Later on, your attorneys could review that agreement.
In some states, when the parents are unable to agree on parenting time or custody, mediation becomes a requirement. The agreements are filed with the court and later on translated into court orders. There are different forms of mediation. The most common one being the facilitative mediation. In this method, a neutral third person helps the couple arrive at an agreement by exploring the common interests and then generate options. The mediator is not responsible for making the decisions. Rather, he facilitates the couple leaving the decision up to both the partners.
- Get Co-parent Counseling
When parents separate or get divorced, issues regarding parenting are bound to arise. A mental health professional who specializes in this area could assist parents in improving their communication skills. He could help you to find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate conflicts, including assisting parents on agreeing on after-school activities, bringing changes to the parenting plan, when to take a child to the doctor, or how to tackle the entry of a step-parent. This helps parents in resolving some of the pain, guilt, or grief of ending the relationship.
If both of you want to stay as involved as possible into your child’s life, then employing a child monitoring app could be a sound option as well. The app has been particularly designed for parents to keep an eye on children’s digital activities that have become a must now considering the number of threats the cyberworld emerges with every day. The app allows parents to effectively keep track of their kids’ text messages, call logs, emails, social media activities, locations, and many more. This way, both the parents can be in the know and stay on top of what their child is doing.
Moreover, tracking world comes with a wide range of remote functionalities as well such as remote device locking and surround locations. You could also take live screenshots of your child’s phone or even wipe data of it when it’s required. You can also set alerts on areas, words, and contacts you particularly want to be informed about.
Talk with Facts
One of the common reasons divorced couples argue so much, and are always in conflict is that rather than talking with facts, they allow their anger and emotions to get the better of them. When you allow your emotions to rule your rational thinking, it could go on for months. You would find you and your partner stuck in a constant loop of anger and resentment.
To resolve emotional conflicts, start talking with facts. Even if you are talking about your child’s visitation rights, stick to the factual examples so you can have a civilized and rational discussion
Resolving conflicts is a two-person job. Once both partners realize that they must work together, talk, and listen to each other, only then they can be successful in resolving matters and carry out being civil to each other. If they are parents, they can perform their parenting duties effectively after resolving conflicts.