Talking to your ex can be a potential landmine. After all, the two of you split up for a reason. On the other hand, there was enough in common for you to get married in the first place. For tips on how to communicate with your ex civilly, here are some tips from Heidi Woodard.
After my Perfect (ex-) Husband and I separated, it was a migraine level pain in my head to even think about talking to him, let alone having a civil conversation. It only took the smallest hint of him saying something I didn't like for me to get an attitude of mega-proportions, disagree with whatever crap spouted from his mouth and ignore the phone the next couple of times my caller-id reported his intrusion into my life.
But my Perfect (ex-) Husband was persistent in his belief that we could have some sort of civil communication - after all we had a child to think of - and I thank God for his wisdom.
My Perfect (ex-) Husband began bridging our communication gap using the tools we've all heard of, but neglect when it's hardest. Proverbs says "pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Or we might say, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar." Anyway, you get the point.
So my Perfect (ex-) Husband began complimenting me, but not in the way you might suspect. He recognized specific occurrences as it pertained to our common interest, and made a point to let me know he appreciated the good job I was doing in that area. He has even called me to only say a generic statement like "I really appreciate the good job you're doing with our son. I just wanted you to know that." I remember them clearly, as they were so very sweet and healing. But it wasn't said in some syrupy sweet, false tone, it was simply a thoughtful statement of recognition and appreciation - a compliment without compromise.
As you might expect, it only took a short time for me to respond positively to his calls. I mean, what mom doesn't like hearing she's doing something right amidst a divorce, work, kids and all the other pressures of life?
Granted, I was skeptical at first. What else did he want? What was he going to ask of me? But that never came, and I began to accept his compliments for exactly what they were, simple appreciation.
Equally important, my respect for him grew. My previous long-held assessment of him as a scheming, lying manipulator began to erode, all because he never followed the compliments with requests. The result - our communication improved on all other levels because we both felt valued and respected, a component we somehow missed in our marriage.
Do you have the desire to improve your not-so-Perfect (ex-) Marriage? Take the first step now. Make a phone call and give a compliment without compromise.
Hey listen, if you sometimes feel like you're going through divorce hell, for God's sake don't stop! Remember, you are not alone in this. Everything I have and will learn I gladly share with you. We will get through to the other side together. This little life lesson will help you get there!
Other articles in the My Perfect (ex-) Marriage series:
Working Together to Make Birthdays Special
Dealing with the Ex's New Girlfriend
For more tips on talking to your ex and other co-parenting ideas, keep reading: