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Having a Successful Relationship With Your Ex-Husband

by Shannon Philpott, studioD

While coping with a divorce, it’s common to experience a variety of emotions that range from anger and sadness to relief and happiness. Although you and your ex-husband separated for a specific reason, maintaining a healthy relationship with him can offer many benefits to you, your family and your children. Learning how to communicate openly and support each other can also help improve your emotional health.

Communicate Cordially

If your marriage revolved around arguments and bitter disputes, it’s time to change your communication patterns with your ex. When discussing details about assets, custody arrangements or family obligations, avoid raising your voice or using a sarcastic tone with each other. Pay particularly close attention to your tone and body language to ensure you are communicating in a polite manner, suggest law professionals at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo Law Firm in Naples, Florida. If you make the effort to display positive body language and a polite tone, it’s likely your ex-husband will follow suit.

Support Emotions

Divorce can take its toll on both parties' emotions. Recognize that your ex-husband is likely experiencing many of the same emotions you are on a daily basis. Offer each other emotional support by validating each other’s feelings. If your ex-husband seems down, offer words of encouragement, such as “We can make it through this” or “I know this is hard at times.” Even though you may not always agree with or support your ex-husband’s actions, letting him know that you understand his feelings can pave the way for a successful relationship with him.

Set Expectations

If you and your ex have difficulty communicating respectfully or disagree each time you communicate, it may be helpful to set expectations for the post-divorce relationship. Be realistic and acknowledge that there may be times you disagree but that in the end, you are both mature adults who can communicate cordially, says therapist Elly Prior, founder of Professional-Counselling.com. Set up boundaries by outlining hurtful words and actions that are unacceptable. Discuss an action plan for ending the conversation when it gets too tense or disrespectful. If possible, you might seek advice from a family therapist or third-party mediator to set expectations for communication between the two of you.

Keep Interactions Brief

At first, it may be difficult to get along with your ex-husband. During instances when the two of you cannot be cordial, avoid lashing out or prolonging an argument by keeping the conversations brief, suggest law professionals at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo. Keep your conversations light and limited. Gradually, the two of you can learn to communicate pleasantly, work together to co-parent and build a successful post-divorce relationship.

About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

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