As many divorcing couples know, your ex has the unique ability to get under your skin in just the right way. It makes you want to scream, and maybe sometimes you do. While it is understandable that sometimes you want to pull your hair out, the toll this stress can take on your body isn’t healthy. You need to arm yourself with the proper coping skills necessary to move forward peacefully, especially when you are in a co-parenting relationship.
It Isn’t About You
When you have an ex that can’t seem to communicate without wanting to hurt your feelings, try not to take it personally. After all, it isn’t about you at all. It is about them and their inability to deal with their emotions. They are likely projecting the hurt and anger they are feeling onto you. It is like a negativity black hole that is threatening to pull you in. Don’t let it. Instead, keep repeating, “It isn’t me; it is them.”
Use the “I” and “Me” Language
While it seems a bit cheesy, the infamous “I” language works wonders with an ex who craves conflict. By taking out the accusatory “you,” it doesn’t put them on the defensive. For example, instead of saying, “You are always late dropping off our son.” replace it with, “It is really important to me that our son is home on time.” While this doesn’t always help reduce conflict, it is a good start.
There is a saying in the Buddhist culture, “Be a trashcan with a hole in the bottom.” Essentially, people can throw trash at you, but it passes through and out. Don’t hold on to the negativity that others attempt to fill you with. Let it go and move on. Focus on the positive things in your life and surround yourself with positive people that help you feel better.
Do you need assistance in communicating more effectively with your ex? Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center today to schedule a FREE consultation.