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Dealing with a difficult ex

While it can often seem like the majority of divorced or divorcing couples are able to stay friends and co-parent peacefully, this just isn't always the case. Many times, there are very good reasons that the two parties are going separate ways. Often, they don't get along or aren't able to communicate effectively. If this sounds like your situation, here are some steps to take to mitigate some of the conflict and stress.

1. Don't engage in negative behavior. This includes treating your ex like a business partner and making sure all communications are as civil and neutral as possible. It also means not playing into your ex's instigating behavior. Divorce often brings out the worst in people. If your ex starts name calling or accusing you of things you didn't do, the best course of action is to walk away, document it and let your attorney know if necessary.

2. Only communicate in writing. This can be one of the best ways to stop a bad situation before it gets worse. Having to put your thoughts in writing can help you think more about what you're saying and how it may be perceived, and only communicating via email or text ensures that you have an exact record of what was said and when.

3. Stay prepared. An ex who is being difficult will likely try to play to your emotional side and try to make you either upset or anxious about the divorce process. While you can't stop your ex from saying these things to you -- although a restraining order may be necessary in domestic violence situations -- you can talk to your attorney to find out what you need to do to be as prepared as possible and rest in the knowledge that you've done everything you can.

Source: Huffington Post, "8 Tips for Dealing With A Narcissist In Family Court," Tina Swithin, accessed July 28, 2016

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