spouse (and his or her lawyer) will be more willing to work with you and negotiate.
If you have children, remember that they are learning their own coping skills from you. Kids are resilient, but the less confrontation they have intruding into their young lives, the better off they’ll be. If you are able to defuse a tense situation with an aggressive ex, that can be a real teaching moment for your children.
Of course, you already know it’s best to remain calm when your ex is being confrontational. But how do you actually do that? To avoid having yet another heated argument, experiment with the coping skills that psychologists most often recommend and find what works best for you.
- Take a deep breath. Cliché, yes—but for a reason. A deep, slow inhale and exhale gives you a momentary time-out so you can regroup and calm down… and avoid adding fuel to the fire.
- Keep your eye on the prize. Remember the end goal is simply to be apart from one another. Once your settlement is final, none of the petty things your ex is fuming about will matter anymore. Fill your mind with the big picture and you may be able to crowd out your aggressive ex’s complaints and insults.
- Meditate. It’s simpler than it sounds. A few moments of calm self-awareness can bring your focus away from your ex and back to your own well-being.
- Indulge in a treat. You’re bound to have an easier time staying calm in the face of aggression if you feel great going in. Before you know you’ll be meeting or speaking with your ex, get happy. Read or watch something that makes you laugh, enjoy a favorite food, or energize with some light exercise.
During divorce, it’s best for everyone if both parties remain calm and rational. You can’t control your ex, but you do have control over your reaction to his or her aggression. Staying calm will help you ensure the best outcome—and it will save your sanity in the long run.