How to best deal with your ex or soon-to-be ex during separation and divorce depends a lot on you, your ex, and the circumstances of your divorce. Relationships can vary from cooperative to extremely antagonistic. Communications may be business-like, hostile, badgering or even nonexistent.
Whatever the nature of your relationship with your spouse, here are three tips that can help.
1. Mind Your Motives. A lot of feelings are flying around during divorce. Resentment, anger, and revenge can take hold of your behavior unless you find a way to work through those emotions. (I’ll be posting more on dealing with the emotions later and of course you may want to seek counseling to help you to work through those emotions.) Unfortunately, letting those emotions direct your interactions with your soon-to-be ex can backfire on you. It can add to your internal grief as well as further antagonistic behavior from your spouse.
2. Act Don’t React. When there is grief within a relationship it can be so easy to react in kind to how another person acts. If that person is antagonistic or difficult, it seems only right to respond with similar words or actions. When you do that, you lose yourself by letting the other person’s behavior control how you act. Stop and handle the situation on your own terms by responding based on your own values.
3. Choose Your Battles. When you’ve been done wrong, everything can feel like a point of contention. If you choose to battle over everything, you lose. You lose because not everything is worth a battle, and battles take their toll. Give yourself some peace of mind and save your energies for the battles that really count.
Implementing these three tips can be a challenge. It will take effort and prayer on your part because the three things listed above don’t tend to come naturally in the midst of divorce. But hey, you’re worth the effort! Not only that, these three tips stand to help you protect your soul and Christian faith by helping you to choose behaviors most in keeping with that faith.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
–Mark 8:36 NIV
If there is not a Peace After Divorce Support Group & Workshop near you, approach your church about starting a group. It is a very easy ministry for church volunteers to offer. For more help with your personal journey, visit our Start Healing page.
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