According to the CDC, in 2021, over 685,000 couples divorced in the United States. If you are going through a divorce, you know it is not always an amicable process. Emotions run high, and conflicts can easily escalate.
However, if you are going through a contentious divorce, it is important to learn and apply some effective conflict resolution techniques. These can help you navigate this challenging time more smoothly.
Understand and manage emotions
Acknowledging and understanding your feelings is the first step to resolving conflict during a divorce. Anger, sadness and frustration are natural emotions to experience. Rather than suppressing these emotions, allow yourself to feel them and then make decisions once you have had a chance to process them.
Communication is key
Clear communication can help reduce misunderstandings. Listen to what your spouse is saying and express your feelings without attacking or blaming. Make sure to use “I” statements to communicate your feelings. For example, instead of saying, “You make me feel ignored,” you can say, “I feel ignored when you do not respond to my messages.”
Focus on the issue, not the person
If you focus on the person rather than the problem, it can lead to personal attacks and increased conflict. Keep your discussions centered on the issue at hand, and try not to let your emotions steer the conversation toward personal criticisms.
Seek third-party assistance
Sometimes, having a neutral third party involved can help manage conflict. This person could be a trusted friend, family member or a professional mediator. Their job is to ensure that both parties communicate effectively and work towards a resolution.
Opt for negotiation over competition
A divorce is not a battle that one person wins, and the other loses. Attempting to “win” will only fuel the conflict. Instead, aim for negotiation and compromise. Try to find solutions that work for both parties rather than focusing on getting everything you want.
Surviving a contentious divorce is not easy, but using these conflict resolution techniques can help you manage the process better. Remember, the goal is to arrive at a fair agreement and make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved. With patience, understanding and effective communication, you can navigate your way through this challenging time.