Dealing with a difficult ex-spouse

Figuring out the ex, recognizing the issue, acknowledging a personal role and staying on safe topics may make dealing with a difficult ex-spouse easier.

Many Fort Worth divorces are challenging, but sometimes a difficult soon-to-be ex-spouse can make the entire situation even harder. A difficult ex-spouse can make the divorce proceedings, custody agreement and day-to-day life after a divorce hard to handle.

Figuring out the ex-spouse

According to Psychology Today, your ex may be different than the person you were married to thanks to a phenomenon known as regression. This mental state is often brought on by the stressors of divorce, but it may lead to either party acting in unhealthy ways. Before an ex can be dealt with, the other party must take the time to figure him or her out.

Sometimes it is important for the healthier party to recognize the change in behavior. Without this understanding, he or she may try to deal with the ex as if nothing were wrong. However, mental regression is a problem.

Recognizing the issue

To better deal with the ex-spouse, it may be important to recognize the change in personality. Sometimes referred to as a 'character trap,' this potentially temporary disorder may have a few different faces, including the following:

  • A spouse may narcissistically forget the good parts of the marriage in order to turn friends, family and community members against the other partner.
  • A spouse may control the entire situation by setting up the other party, hiding money and appearing better prepared.
  • A spouse may distort the truth to play a victim and keep the other party from gaining custody or visitation rights to the children.
  • A spouse may do everything in his or her power to make sure his or her ex loses child custody, property and money as a way to avenge a perceived wrong.

These are a few examples of the regression that may lead to a difficult ex-spouse. Some people take on more than one kind of character trap. Often in these situations both legal and emotional help are necessary.

Acknowledging personal role

Even though a difficult ex-spouse may be showing signs of regression, that does not automatically remove guilt from the other party. In fact, Smart Stepfamilies points to realizing a personal role in the conflict as an important step to dealing with a challenging character. Sometimes taking some of the blame may help the other person realize he or she is also at fault.

Staying on safe topics

For couples who have children, some form of communication may be necessary even after the divorce has been finalized. As the years pass, both parties will have to work together to ensure they can cooperate for the sake of the children. Whether there is a difficult ex or not, staying on safe topics is a good way to avoid fighting. Sometimes the safest option may be to keep the topic of conversation focused on the children. Ex-couples can talk about a child's education, behavior, sleep schedule, health and social schedule, but should avoid talking about issues from the past.

When a Texas divorce is fraught with difficulties, one party may end up being cut out of his or her child's life. Working with a knowledgeable attorney may make the proceedings during and after the divorce go a little smoother.