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How to Talk to Your Ex

Posted by Stephen McDonough | Apr 08, 2014 | 0 Comments

In my role as a Norfolk family lawyer and mediator, communicating effectively is key. During my previous career as a police officer, communications were oftentimes more direct, such as:  “Get our of your car” or “I would like another coffee.”   Seriously though, no matter if we are at work or in our personal lives, communication skills are obviously important and oftentimes not as smooth as we might like. Of course, most of us would also be well- served by trying to improve our listening skills, but that is the topic of another day.

Learning how to talk to your ex during your divorce (and post-divorce) can be challenging even under the best of circumstances.  This should not be a surprise because your marriage was likely prone to communications issues.   I would rank poor communications as a leading cause of  marital problems, based upon my completely non-scientific observations.  During and after divorce, some people may just give up trying to communicate effectively, but this is a big mistake – especially if you are a parent because you will still need to communicate with the other parent.

Can You Improve Communications with your Ex-Spouse?

One of the reasons I am such a supporter of using the divorce mediation process is because a couple can learn to improve their communication and problem solving skills as part of the process.  Over the years, some clients have realized this and actually stopped the mediation and decided to work on improving their marriage with the goal of staying together.  Although not good for law firm revenues, I am always happy for those couples that have a breakthrough moment during divorce mediation, and decide to work on their marriage.

Here are 15 simple techniques from your Norfolk family lawyer that can help you, in theory at least,  communicate more openly and effectively.   It might be a good idea to even go over these slides with your spouse or former-spouse.   Changing communication patterns won't happen overnight or be easy, but putting effort into improving your communications can play big dividends, not to mention really benefit your children.   It may even be worthwhile to consider having some communications guidelines with your former-spouse that each person will use as a guide.

For more information, call Next Phase Legal LLC in Medfield, at (508) 359-4043.  Besides serving Norfolk, our Norfolk family lawyers and mediators serve clients throughout Massachusetts, including Walpole, Westwood, Millis, Canton, Dover, and Dedham.

About the Author

Stephen McDonough

Stephen works closely with clients facing divorce or other family conflict. He is a certified mediator through the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, a designation that only about 11% of mediators have obtained. In addition to providing mediation services, Stephen regularly appears in...

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