No one can predict what the experience of divorcing their spouse will be like until they’re in the thick of it. It’s at that point that you may realize you’re in the process of divorcing someone who is not fun to divorce. Splitting up is never easy, but some marriages break apart in far more volatile ways than others. But there are ways to protect yourself – and your children – from the negative side effects of a high-conflict divorce.
1. Pick your battles.
When divorce is heavy on conflict and low on resolution, it can feel like you’re in a constant fight. Make a conscious effort to pick your battles instead of rising to every taunt, poke, jab, or objection.
- Ignore the derogatory statements, the blame, and the gaslighting.
- Don’t try to reason or argue with your ex to set the record straight.
- Limit contact with your ex.
- Stick up for yourself through the appropriate channels – like through your divorce lawyer.
In the midst of your divorce, you may discover that your ex is passive aggressive, overtly aggressive, or even a narcissist. None of these situations will be easy to navigate, and you will be on the receiving end of behavior designed to make you feel bad. It might make you feel better in the moment to fight back or defend yourself but, ultimately, your efforts won’t make a difference in changing your ex’s mind. Spend your precious energy on your kids or establishing your new life instead. Don’t engage.
2. Adopt helpful coping techniques.
There may be things you’ve never tried before that could be the most helpful and healthy behaviors during your divorce. Try anything and everything until you find the techniques that keep you feeling even and sane, even during a high-conflict divorce.
- Write it out. Journal your feelings and thoughts – sad, angry, joyful, etc. – to help you feel like the emotions are out there without you having to speak them to your ex.
- See a therapist. Get therapy from someone who understands the divorce process and is prepared to guide you to recovery from this major life change.
- Join a support group. You’re not the only divorced person out there. Find a group that suits your demographic, your parenting level, your reason for divorcing and talk with likeminded people who can be your foundation when you’re feeling shaky.
3. Get the right legal help.
Divorce lawyers have free initial consultations so you can meet with them, ask your questions, and get a feel for how they manage the process. It is so important to connect with your divorce lawyer and trust that they can get you through this process successfully, especially when you’re embroiled in a high-conflict divorce.
The right lawyer will be an advocate for your children, help you understand your rights as a parent and spouse, and empower you to ask for the things you need both financially and legally. You should not have to navigate the divorce system alone – the right Michigan divorce lawyer will be by your side the entire time. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb County to schedule your free initial consultation.