Communicating with Your Ex: Focus is Key

It’s so infuriating!  Every time I try to talk with my husband we end up yelling at each other,” said Teresa.

Does this happen to you? Is talking with your ex a bomb waiting to go off?

Emotions run high with divorce which can make it really hard to keep civil conversation going with your ex or soon to be ex. Your anger or other emotions, or your former spouse’s emotions, can end up diverting the conversation and leading to an encounter that is more destructive than helpful.

Taking charge of communications with your former spouse is easier if you are clear on why you are communicating in the first place. What is the business-at-hand for this conversation? The answer allows you to keep focused on that or those purpose(s) and not get side tracked into debates or unrelated arguments.

Truth is, it takes practice to keep emotions from sidetracking needed conversations. Keeping your focus is so important that I’ve used that word to identify five strategies for keeping your end of conversations with your spouse under control.

F–Focus—Keep your comments focused on the topics at hand even if your spouse veers off into attacks.
O—Own Your Own Problems. Don’t blame or accuse. It just causes the other person to become defensive.
C—Concentrate—Concentration is essential to keep your responses from getting sucked into arguments. An attack does not have to be followed by a counterattack.
U—Unwind before you interact with your former spouse. If you are loaded with intense emotions you are more likely to let the conversation go downhill.
S—Sense God’s presence with you. Tell God your concerns about interacting with your former spouse. Listen. Ask for strength, wisdom, and a calm spirit.

You cannot control how your former spouse acts. You can control your end of the conversation.

You can because if you ask the Holy Spirit will be with you to help you stay calm. “I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me.   I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me,” says Psalm 16:7-8 NIV.  

Make the decision to F.O.C.U.S.!  

Christian Thought for Today
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
Proverbs 17:27 NIV

Resources for You…

  • Request your copy of my FREE eBook, Five Keys to Healing from Divorce and also get our monthly newsletter for FREE!   Use the green circle at the top right of this page.  (You can unsubscribe at any time.)
  • Renee’s award-winning book Peace after Divorce has help on dealing with your ex, coping with divorce yourself, and helping your children cope as well.  Click to learn more.
  • You can also learn about Peace after Divorce groups here.
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