A high-conflict divorce can dole out exhaustion and an emotional fallout that can make even the simplest tasks feel overwhelming.
Divorce is daunting, but divorcing a spouse with a high conflict personality can make it even more difficult. A high conflict personality often misunderstands another’s behaviors and believe they are being attacked, put down or controlled. Divorcing a high conflict personality requires strategic thinking and emotional control.
Make your split as smooth as possible
While you can’t change your spouse’s behavior, you can take steps to make your life easier. Here are a few things that might help minimize stress:
- Don’t take it personally. It’s hard not to take a spouse’s anger, blaming or demands personally. Whatever issues they are carrying on about has nothing to do with you – it’s all about them.
- Take care of yourself. Self-care is critically important – don’t put yourself on the back burner. Seek out support from trusted friends and family, get a dose of nature, take a bath, hit the gym or take up a creative endeavor.
- Limit communication. You might be receiving a barrage of nasty emails or texts from your ex. Replying to every message can add adrenaline and fuel to the fire. Hit the pause button and only respond if something needs immediate attention.
- Consider mediation. Some people think litigation is the only way to resolve a high-conflict divorce. Divorce mediation can keep couples out of court, which not only saves time but is less stressful than the adversarial nature of litigation.
- Keep the kids out of it. Limiting face-to-face interactions can minimize opportunities for conflict and shelter your kids from needless drama. Do not use your kids as messengers and do not allow your spouse to use them as bargaining chips.
A divorce involving a high conflict personality can be more challenging than most divorces, but it can be made easier through a calm and strategic approach. These strategies may help you gain perspective and detach emotionally from your high conflict spouse, so that you can move forward with your life.