Services

How to Communicate with your Ex-Spouse

1/

Ghostwriting Your Responses

 

  • Cooperative communication between divorced parents is what's best for children but when abuse or high conflict is present, it can be a recipe for disaster. 

  • Trish offers ghostwriting services whereby she will read all incoming communication from your ex and will draft a response based on Bill Eddy's BIFF® principles.

  • These responses will communicate your message without emotion and without inciting more conflict. 

  • Not every message from your ex requires a response and is only sent to you to provoke a response. Trish will teach you how to discern which messages require a response and which don't.

  • Once you have mastered that, Trish guide you in drafting your own responses that will be respectful, brief, informative and firm.

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Change Your Response to Conflict

  • Managing your responses to minimize conflict is one of the instrumental tools for surviving your divorce.

  • This involves training your mind and body to distinguish real from perceived threats.

  • It also requires identifying your conflict ‘hooks’ or ‘triggers’ and determining how they influence your responses.

  • Trish can help you learn to react calmly & rationally when faced with false allegations or aggressive communication.

  • Having less emotional responses to your ex-spouse’s behavior will help you regain control of your life.

    Examples of conflict ‘hooks’ or ‘triggers’:
    When you FEEL someone is…

  • trying to control you

  • excluding you, preventing you from obtaining information

  • questioning your ability, your credibility, your skills or your intentions.

  • insinuating you are untrustworthy.

  • dismissing or minimizing your position or status.

3/

Learn to Self-Regulate

Once you are aware of our conflict ‘hooks’ or ‘triggers’ it is essential to learn to emotionally regulate yourself.

 

Being able to self-regulate requires validation of your feelings and experiences. 

 

Only then will you be more willing to move towards using rationality to interpret situations and thus react more rationally.

This is a difficult process to embark on alone. Trish has extensive training on emotional regulation and can guide you through the following:

Self- Validation

  • Your feelings & experiences are valid.

  • How can we expect others to validate our feelings if we don’t valid them ourselves?

Radical Acceptance (“it is what it is”) 

  • Accepting reality & acknowledging that denial only exacerbates suffering by keeping us in the victim mindset of “why me?” “this is so unfair”.

  • Pain is inevitable in life, however radical acceptance prevents that pain from turning into suffering.

 

Benign Interpretation

  • Interpret situations in the most benign way possible. 

  • See things they way they are…without inference… without interpretation…judgement.

 

Wise Mind (combination of emotional & rational mind)

  • Emotional mind:

Driven by emotions & perception.

Facts are distorted or amplified.

  • Rational Mind

Driven by observable facts.

Somewhat detached from situation.

 

  • Wise Mind

Driven by emotions & logic.

Allows us to see the whole picture to make decisions that respect practicality and our feelings.

 

Set & Maintain our Limits

  • Determine what you can tolerate without becoming resentful.

  • Stop playing the blame game; blaming yourself & others is counterproductive.

Distinguish between your primary and your secondary emotions

  • We commonly feel our primary emotion is anger, when in actuality, it is sadness or fear.

  • Treating the primary emotion can occur by changing the situation, changing your reaction to it, or accepting the situation or person that is causing the emotion.

 

Decrease your emotional vulnerability (self-care)

  • If you are healthy, physically and mentally, you will be better able to react to situations in a rational way.

  • This requires proper sleep, healthy eating habits, and treating physical ailments and pains.

 

Determine the roadblocks to skillful conflict de-escalation.

  • Contempt, bitterness, blame, forgetting this is someone you love or once loved, inability to express yourself accurately and lack of acceptance are all major roadblocks to de-escalation and resolution of conflict.

Contact Trish to discuss the tools you can use to communicate with your difficult ex.

You're not alone.

Book your consultation today.