Ex-Files – Part Two

Play nice – it may surprise you!

Last week I commented on why it’s a much better idea to focus on positive and constructive communication with your ex.

Today, another tip on what I mean, and why it can help.

An example from my own family law practice will help illustrate what I mean. I advised my client to try and maintain respectful communication with his ex, despite the intense tension and frustration surrounding various hotly contested parenting issues.

The client indicated that he fully understood, and would continue to do his very best to observe my suggestion.

Then I received a copy of an e-mail communication that my client had sent his ex. Suffice to say if my client had received a similar e-mail regarding the children, (and how he could not force them to call her during a holiday) he would have been incensed.

My client hadn’t intended to send his ex the message that the children were just as happy not to have any contact with their mother, but I’m certain that’s exactly what the mom read from the e-mail.

So before you send any communication to your ex take a moment and put yourself in their place.

If you wouldn’t appreciate receiving a similar message then don’t send it, or at the very least make some changes before you do. Keep in mind how you say something can be just as powerful as what you say.

And for anyone who would like to know what message could have been sent to the ex above, try something like “I’ll keep trying my best to encourage the kids to call you.”

Remember, good communication is not about scoring points with your ex, it’s all about sending the same message that you would like to receive.

Who knows, perhaps changing the tenor and dynamic of your communication will improve the chance that your ex will do likewise. And once that happens, only good things will follow, (eventually)!

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