How to Keep Conflict Low During a Divorce

While going through a divorce can be one of life’s most stressful events, that stress can be reduced by keeping the conflict low.  The first step in keeping conflict low is practicing self-care during this challenging time. Treating yourself with kindness, compassion, and sensitivity is essential. We want to make decisions for ourselves, and our family, that are based on calm rational, and mindful deliberation. When we are emotionally exhausted, sleep-deprived, or “running on empty” we are more vulnerable to engaging in unproductive conflict and emotional reaction. Discover what self-care techniques work for you, some examples include meditation, time with friends, exercise, sleep, artwork, therapy, and religious practice. The important thing is that you are checking in with yourself and apprising your needs on a regular basis.

Another technique that can be helpful in reducing conflict is practicing a polite business-like communication format. While your ex may know the exact buttons to push, you can choose to not react and create a new dynamic. In order to stop engaging in unhealthy communication patterns, you might want to avoid a spontaneous “natural” style if that hasn’t worked well for this relationship in the past. This is a time for new beginnings and creating new patterns that work for you. If you find yourself being pulled back into a dysfunctional communication pattern, you might want to seek the assistance of a therapist or divorce coach to help in practicing new healthy boundaries and communication formats. Stay focused on the present and the future, and ask for what you want politely, clearly, and succinctly.