No matter how collaborative or contentious your divorce is or was, your ex is a part of your life. So communication is a necessary. When things get nasty, it’s so tempting to stoop and fight back. It’s so hard to not share your point of view and you want to get your side on the record. When you get a nasty text, recognize first that your ex doesn’t care about your point of view. If they did, you’d probably still be married. So, read the text, refrain from answering, give yourself distance and time for a few hours, put it in perspective, and don’t engage in their games. You want to create a boundary. If they send you a text about the kids, only respond to the relevant info. Don’t respond to the name-calling. Don’t be passive aggressive and not respond, just respond to the important part. Write back, “Sounds good and I’ll pick up from basketball…”. If it’s high-conflict, use emails or The Wizard (email platform that courts can manage). One great response is, “I will not be participating in this conversation anymore. Have a nice day.” And disengage. If you are F2F and your partner is raising a voice, don’t escalate. Remain calm, and say, “I don’t want to argue like this…in front of the kids….”
Don’t use your kids as a communication tool. They don’t want to deal with this and these are adult messages. Never put your kids in the middle.
Through the process of our own divorces, Barb Hazelton and Jo Briggs learned more than they ever needed or wanted to know. Through their friendship, shared experiences, and connections through navigating their own divorces, they created this video series. They've been where you are and they hope Single Process can make it easier for you by connecting you to their resources.