It is no secret that emotions can get the better of almost anyone going through a rough divorce. In fact, it may sometimes seem impossible to keep from blowing up, particularly when there are children involved or when one partner has committed a very heinous wrong such as infidelity. However, keeping your cool and minimizing conflict should be an overarching goal in any divorce situation.
It Only Takes One . . .
While one partner may be given to drama or arguing, there is some truth in the old adage “it takes two to argue.” There is also truth in the idea that it only takes one to stop a fight. Those who are facing a divorce are especially likely to benefit from conflict avoidance, particularly due to the fact that angry outbursts can be used against the spouse in a court hearing or settlement negotiation.
The next time your partner tries to draw you into conflict, try remembering a few tips that may help you avoid an argument, such as:
- Take a deep breath and count to ten. Yes, that advice your mother gave you years ago is still sound. Resetting your mental dials by taking a deep breath and slowly bringing your mind back into focus before acting or speaking is actually a physical trick; it gives your body time to deal with a surge of adrenaline that could prompt you to impetuous or even dangerous speech or actions.
- Remind yourself of your goals. Your ultimate goal is to stop fighting with your spouse, so why not start now? Do not be afraid to walk away or hang up the phone. Remind yourself of all you want to accomplish and do not allow a random comment or jab to derail you. If necessary, write your goals on sticky notes and post them in obvious spots to remind you of your ultimate aim: a happy life free of conflict.
- Avoid alcohol. There are few things in life more regrettable than the “drunk dial” or “drunk text.” During your divorce, keep a lid on your drinking so that you do not accidentally lower your inhibitions and derail your divorce.
- Seek legal help. A good attorney can help you avoid contact with your spouse by acting as a go-between for many communications. Sometimes this can remove the motivation for your spouse to misbehave.
You may not think you can make it through this difficult time, but you can. The Men’s Legal Center is here to help you avoid the common pitfalls facing divorcing men and protect your rights.