Effective communication isn’t easy, especially for those who have gone through disturbances in their relationships. A couple that has separated and intends to divorce may be in a very bad place.
Still, if they share children, they will have to find a way to communicate. Even if the two of you may not be able to become friends again, the three tips below can set you up for more effective communication and less conflict:
Focus on facts, not your feelings
How you feel about your ex isn’t what matters. The reason for the communication is what is important. Is there a change to the schedule? Did your kids have a discipline issue at school?
Leave out your frustrations and feelings and instead focus on getting the most important parts of your message across to your ex. Staying calm makes your communication more effective and helps protect your kids.
Communicate in writing until you adjust
No matter how hard you try to be rational and focused in your communications with your ex, your feelings can sometimes still get the best of you. The more you talk directly to one another, either face-to-face or on the phone, the greater the opportunity for one of you to say things that can further damage your relationship.
Keep your communication in writing until you reach a point where neither of you has overwhelming feelings about the change in your relationship.
Wait a day to send important messages
When you have to talk to your ex about something that upsets or frustrates you, write out your email or text message and then save it instead of sending it.
Giving yourself a night’s rest or even a full 24 hours to cool off before sending it can help you identify ways to temper your response. Rereading in fixing your email before you send it could help prevent a conflict before it occurs. Committing to developing better communication skills can help you and your ex share custody after your divorce.