Illinois couples frequently get divorced because they struggle to communicate productively. Unfortunately, communication between high-conflict couples does not always get better once a divorce is finalized. But when a couple shares children, effective communication continues to be essential for many years to come as parents navigate the daily hurdles of school, extracurricular activities, healthcare, and more. If you are going through a divorce and hoping to maintain healthy communication habits throughout your co-parenting experience, here are some tips from divorce experts that may help.
Communicate in Writing Whenever Possible
Avoiding in-person discussions, including phone calls, helps many high-conflict couples avoid situations that can quickly escalate. Divorced spouses tend to be quite good at pushing each other’s buttons and in-person communication allows couples to easily fall into old communication patterns that involve contempt, sarcasm, or dismissiveness. Instead, experts suggest communicating only in writing. Email is the best option for this because it is less urgent than text messaging and allows both parties time to cool off between responses. It also allows both parties to keep each other’s messages, which can make everybody think more carefully about what they say.
Set Firm Boundaries
If you say that you will only communicate via email, stick to that at the beginning of your divorce and never waver unless absolutely necessary. Perhaps many months or years down the road, when some time has passed and the feelings of anger or hurt are no longer as strong, you can relax these boundaries. However, setting firm boundaries early on will make them easier to abide by later. And, of course, when your ex sets boundaries, do your best to respect them....