How to Communicate during Divorce
You moved out a month ago. It’s been hard enough having to buy all new stuff at Ikea (and build it too) and you really miss the kids. It’s lonely but you’re doing your best to get along.
She just emailed you – she says she wants to take the kids to her parents’ place in Florida for Spring Break. You feel a lump in your throat – you were hoping to have time with them that week and she dropped this in your lap at the last minute.
Best advice – stay cool. First, there is a hierarchy in communication. Face to Face > phone > email > text. If it’s important, meet in person or at least call. The written word is not very good at conveying emotion (even with emojis) and things get lost in translation all the time.
Second, avoid possessive and accusing talk or written messages. Try to edit out this stuff from messages. Keep it short. Just say what you want to say. “I want you to give me my kids for Spring Break” will just make her mad. Try, “I would like to spend time over Spring Break with the kids.” Also avoid reminders: “As I said before, I wanted the kids over Spring Break” – basically you’re telling the other person they are stupid for not paying attention – you won’t win anything this way.
Phone first if possible. If you must write, take a breath and edit before hitting “send.” You’ll improve your chances of success.