As you wind down your marriage, it will become increasingly clear that communication is key to your success. That will continue to be the case once your divorce is over if you share children with your ex.
You may wonder if you and your ex will be able to communicate any more effectively now than you did when you were together. Once the legal proceedings are over, it will be up to you and your ex to co-parent your children effectively. How will you manage if communication wasn’t your strong point during the marriage?
Luckily, good communication is a skill you can cultivate, according to Psychology Today. And, the kind of communication skills you need now are somewhat different from those you struggled with during your marriage.
First, we need to envision what good communication will look like during and after the divorce. It’s important to have a clear view of what you’re aiming for.
Essentially, good communication during and after divorce is communication that is clear, informative and solution-focused.
3 tips toward better communication
The first tip is to stop seeking to resolve old grievances or process your relationship problems. That’s in the past. You no longer need to communicate about that old business and continuing to do so will only slow your healing.
Tip No. 2 is to imagine your new relationship as a business partnership. At first, you’ll be in the business of dividing your property and debts, setting up a parenting plan and resolving support. The more you can cooperate in this endeavor, the easier and faster your divorce will go.
Later, you will be in the business of raising your children together. That means communicating and cooperating on major decisions. It means communicating clearly and appropriately and trying to remain professional.
The third tip is to be BIFF. That is to say, remember the acronym “BIFF,” because it’s the kind of communicator you will strive to be: brief, informative, friendly and firm.
Good communication with your ex is now all about staying on point and being solution-focused.
Most importantly, remember to keep your kids out of your marital or post-marital business. Avoid undue argument with your ex. Don’t fight in front of the kids. Don’t ever use your kids to communicate with your ex. Don’t put them in the middle of your disputes.
If you had trouble communicating during your marriage, don’t worry. It may take time, but you can learn how to communicate effectively now.