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How to deal with a difficult ex-spouse

Dealing with the end of a marriage is challenging enough without having to cope with a difficult spouse. Many people in Peoria who are in the process of divorcing find that the situation tends to bring out the worst in themselves and their spouses. Separating couples should learn how to keep their emotions and behaviors in check so they can focus on getting through their ordeals and moving on with their lives. This may be much more easily said than done, but the following tips may be helpful.

Establish boundaries

Initially, it may seem hard to keep all conversations from gravitating back to issues that encourage negative memories, feelings and behaviors. Ex-spouses can address this by setting boundaries and expectations for how they want to be treated. They should use positive language and actions, avoid negative behaviors and show their former partners the respect they deserve. Leading by example may prompt their former partners to do the same.

Put the kids first

With all the bickering and tension between separating spouses, it can become easy for them to lose sight of what is more important than their own disputes: their kids. Children already have a hard enough time trying to cope with their situations. When parents are fighting and arguing, their kids cannot help but to absorb some of those emotions, too, and they may begin to feel as if they must choose one parent over the other. Parents should do what is necessary to avoid disagreements in front of their kids and always keep their children's best interests as top priorities.

Do not shift responsibility

Some people may become so embattled by the guilt and stress that their former partners are giving them, they feel they cannot be held responsible for their own feelings. Divorcing couples should remember that no one is in control of the way they feel except themselves. They must make a conscious choice to accept their new circumstances and deal with them in order to become emotionally healthy again. Those who feel they cannot may benefit from speaking to a therapist.

Because difficult spouses typically make divorce situations much harder than necessary, the other spouse may have a much more difficult time moving on, as a result. While it is normal for some spouses to still have strong feelings about their soon-to-be exes, the sooner they learn how to manage those emotions and forgive themselves and their partners, the better the outcome for everyone. Those who find themselves dealing with a difficult spouse should contact an attorney for guidance about their situation.

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