STOP FIGHTING TODAY!
If you’re separated or divorced and the communication between you and your ex-partner is swallowing you whole, fear not. There is something you can do to make it different, even when you’re not the one responsible. In fact, ESPECIALLY if you’re not the root of the problem. You can STOP FIGHTING!
If it doesn’t matter what you say or do, your ex is always dredging up the past or accusing you of doing things or being something you’re not, this ONE TIP is for YOU!
Yes, that’s it. STOP.
If you want to stop fighting, it doesn’t matter how wrong their accusation is. If the facts are totally incorrect it won’t make a difference if you point that out to them. You know that what they think is what they think and nothing short of a re-writing of history is going to change their mind – even that probably wouldn’t work!
Put down your phone and walk away.
If you’ve read the email already just shut down the computer.
Do. Not. Engage.
You know very well that there is nothing you can do to influence or change the behaviour of the other person. You can’t make them stop twisting the facts or telling you how terrible \ horrible \ un-child-focussed you are. So don’t try. But you can stop fighting.
Save yourself the anxiety, breath, trouble and time and do nothing. Choose to stop fighting.
Chances are their responses will ramp up for a while. But over time, they will realise that if you don’t reply, you’re not going to. If there is nothing you can do about what they’re saying, don’t bother.
If they’ve asked you a question, or there is a need to provide a response to specific questions, then do that ONLY. There’s a great template (here) you can use if you need to ask an ex-spouse about something. The template is designed to support you to write a succinct email without any personal attachment. You can also use this template to respond to specific questions.
DO NOT fall into the trap of defending yourself. Remember, your goal is to stop fighting.
DO NOT be sucked into explaining how something actually occurred or how they’re mistaken about the facts of the matter.
Choose to stop fighting – Let it go!
My Dad’s favourite saying is “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”. If you know there is no way on this earth you’re going to be able to convince the other person that they’re WRONG, then let it go.
Answer the question and get out of there! If there’s no questions you’ve got two choices:
- Don’t reply at all.
- Don’t reply at all.
See that? Option 2 is the same as option 1 because there is only one option. Do not reply. You could always choose option 3, but hey, if you reply it doesn’t matter what is actually contained in the response, it will always illicit a counter response. Even the following is an invitation for them to write back to you:
- This reply : “I received your email and will not be responding at this time or at any time into the future.”
I recommend you go with option 1 in every instance that you possibly can.
Remember, if you want to stop fighting and reduce the amount of abuse that comes your way, or you want to eliminate the on-going emails back and forth, stop replying!
Just STOP. Cold Turkey. No slow withdrawals. No careful and considerate commencement of reducing your response.
Just STOP. Disengage. Walk away from the email or text and STOP.
** There is ONE exception to this rule (as there always is). If you are dealing with an over-communicator, or someone who needs a response to what they deem very important communication, this tip will exacerbate the conflict. If this is your situation, ignore everything that comes from the over-communicator unless it is urgent or important. In that case, you’ll need to refer to this tip – How to deal with an OVER communicator …