Changing what can often be angry arguments with your ex-spouse means changing patterns of behavior. During the course of a relationship, using angry words can literally become a bad habit. By the time a marriage ends, there have been many hurts that have accumulated over time. The small and large hurts build up and when a couple stops communicating in a productive manner, the hurts are expressed as angry words. Until you get to the root of the problems once and for all, they are not going to be resolved and the arguing will continue.
Of course, there are always going to be disagreements between you and your ex-spouse. Even under the best of circumstances, the both of you are not going to see eye-to-eye on everything. Otherwise, you might still be married! However, it is how you express your disagreements that determine whether your conversations necessarily will escalate into an argument.
Let’s face it, every ex grates on the other’s nerves, and it is so easy to resort to inflammatory statements such as, “You never agree with anything I say!” or “We just can’t get along at all!” One poorly worded statement leads to another and next thing you know words are being exchanged that just add to the hurt.
Then there are the arguments about things such as how to raise the children and the role your current partner plays in the life of your children. These can be very serious issues that require honest discussion and not accusations and arguments. Once again, it is how you approach the discussions that makes the difference.
Here are two key components to turning potential arguments into effective communication:
End the Constant Arguing By Listening
When you are arguing all the time, it is miserable. There’s really no other way to say it. Constant arguing makes people defensive and causes them to put a lot of distance between themselves and their exes. Every conversation is approached with a cynical weariness which blocks communication right from the start. Effective communication requires one person talking while the other is listening and visa versa. When you are assuming a discussion will become an argument, chances are you are just not listening to what is being said.
Too much arguing only increases the toxicity that already exists in the relationship. No one wants to live their life arguing all the time or feeling miserable. But if you don’t break the habit and find a new way to communicate, the dynamics of the relationship between you and your ex-spouse is unlikely to improve. You have to take responsibility for your own communication patterns – it starts with you!
Of course, knowing this fact and actually making the changes can be difficult. Many people choose to see a relationship coach for assistance with the change process. A relationship coach can help in two ways – first, he or she can help you identify what the real issues are that need to be addressed. Second, the coach can help you develop ways to communicate more effectively.
But even if you don’t work with a coach, you can learn to change how you express your feelings and opinions to your ex-spouse. Avoid accusatory words and instead of assuming the worst interpretation of what is being said, calmly get clarification to make sure you understand.
Avoid Ultimatums And Allow Your Ex To Express Opinions
There are plenty of words of advice you can follow in order to manage conflict. Don’t get defensive and be willing to apologize when you are wrong. Do not just tell your ex-spouse how you are going to handle a situation that he or she should have a say about. You should explain what you plan on doing and then also give the reasons why, and allow your ex to express his opinion. And avoid ultimatums, which mean you are not allowing any options and cuts off conversation right then and there.
When your relationship with your ex-spouse seems to always constitute one argument after another, it’s time to step back and evaluate the communication patterns. By doing so, you can stop a course that only leads to misery.
- The Other Family
- Communication 101: The Art Of The Family Meeting
- 5 Things I Learned About Communicating With Others
- 5 Communication Tips For Dealing With A Narcissistic Ex