Communicating with your ex after a divorce can be a difficult road to navigate. Each of you has just gone through a tough process and emotions are sensitive on both sides. The ability to have open conversations with your ex is vital to achieving a successful post-divorce relationship. Speaking gently, setting a conversation objective, listening, and speaking kindly about your ex are all ways to navigate post-divorce communication.

Speak Gently

It can be very easy to misinterpret words in emotionally stressful situations. A raised or sarcastic tone can send a conversation in the wrong direction. Try to keep a gentle tone while using cordial words. Body language is very important in trying to speak gently. When you speak to your ex are you pacing around and not facing them? This type of body language could close them off. Try sitting and facing each other while maintaining eye contact. This shows that you are receptive to what they are saying and will clear the path to an open discussion.

Know Your Objective

Divorce is an extremely difficult process. Emotions run exceptionally high, even after a divorce. If conversations are still difficult to have with your spouse without turning it into an argument, have a conversation objective in mind. Before the interaction, set a goal of what you want the conversation to achieve. If the conversation begins to take a turn, create a plan beforehand of how you are going to steer the conversation back on track. When it is conversation time, stick to the plan and try your best to keep it civil. Think of keywords you can reiterate throughout the conversation that will help you achieve your ultimate conversation objective.

Listen

A conversation, like a divorce, involves two parties. It may be difficult sometimes, but it is vital that you allow your ex-spouse to speak. It is important to pay attention to what they say without interruption. When there is a pause in your ex’s speech, ask if there is more they would like to say. Do this until your ex has fully expressed themselves about the topic at hand. This opens the channel for a civil discussion. If your ex-spouse feels like they are being heard, they are more apt to listen and respond to you when you speak.

Don’t Speak Ill of your Ex

Putting down an ex-spouse is a very common occurrence and creates an environment of ill feelings between children, family members, and friends. With this kind of tense environment, it is almost impossible to communicate with your ex in a civil way. This can be difficult to do, especially in the beginning when emotions are high. If you work toward speaking kind words about your ex to others, this will set the foundation of healthy conversations in the future.

Communicating with your ex can be very difficult, even in a mild divorce. Creating an environment of open dialogue is vital to having a civil post-divorce relationship. Speaking gently, having a conversation objective, listening intently, and speaking kindly about your ex will help create successful communication between the two of you.