Making choices to make divorce easier

Stereotypes of divorcing couples often include spouses screaming at one another or only talking through their attorneys. When people go through particularly acrimonious divorces, it can leave emotional scars that last for years. This can be particularly difficult when spouses need to continue to have a relationship to co-parent after a divorce. However, divorce does not need to be so contentious. People can follow some steps to make the divorce process and their relationships with their spouses after divorce easier.

Refuse to fight

One of the best, but often the most difficult, ways to make the divorce process and the co-parenting process easier is to refuse to fight with an ex-spouse. When a person simply decides not to respond to an ex-spouse's baiting, goading or criticism, there will be fewer fights. When one spouse refuses to engage in arguments, the other spouse will have no choice but to stop trying to argue. In many cases, spouses will stop trying to start battles when the other spouse consistently gives no response.

Do not disparage your ex-spouse

Resisting the urge to say mean things about an ex-spouse can sometimes be as difficult as trying not to say hurtful things to an ex-spouse. Insulting or putting an ex-spouse down to others can just exacerbate internal negative feelings towards the ex-spouse, creating friction. Insulting an ex-spouse in front of the children can confuse and hurt them. They may feel guilty for continuing to love a person with whom a parent is angry.

In some cases, others may put a person's ex-spouse down to try to sympathize with a person going through divorce. People should try not to use those instances as opportunities to vent all of their grievances. Instead, people should gloss over such statements and shift the conversation so that they do not focus on the negative.

Make small gestures

Small gestures of kindness can go a long way toward smoothing over a relationship - even though such acts may be difficult to make. People can do things such as be flexible about switching parenting time schedules when ex-spouses request changes, helping children buy present's for the other parent's birthday, congratulating the ex-spouse on successes such as a promotion or new job and being civil to an ex-spouse's new partner. These small efforts can set a positive tone in a relationship and encourage the other spouse to respond in kind.

Divorce often causes a range of emotions in people, and it can be difficult to manage relationships with spouses during and after the process. People going through divorce should seek the assistance of an attorney to help them through the legal elements of divorce while they try to handle the emotional aspects. If you have questions about divorce, consult a skilled divorce lawyer who can discuss your options with you.