Improve your communication with your Ex

Communication with your ex is likely to be a tough task. Remember that it isn't always necessary to meet your ex in person-speaking over the phone or exchanging texts or emails is fine for the majority of conversations. The goal is to establish conflict-free communication, so see which type of contact works best for you. Whether talking via email, phone, or in person, the following methods can help you initiate and maintain effective communication:
Set a business-like tone. Approach the relationship with your ex as a business partnership where your "business" is your children's well-being. Speak or write to your ex as you would a colleague-with cordiality, respect, and neutrality. Relax and talk slowly.
Make requests. Instead of making statements, which can be misinterpreted as demands, try framing as much as you can as requests. Requests can begin "Would you be willing to...?" or "Can we try...?"
Listen. Communicating with maturity starts with listening. Even if you end up disagreeing with the other parent, you should at least be able to convey to your ex that you've understood his or her point of view. And listening does not signify approval, so you won't lose anything by allowing your ex to voice his or her opinions.
Show restraint. Keep in mind that communicating with one another is going to be necessary for the length of your children's entire childhood-if not longer. You can train yourself to not overreact to your ex, and over time you can become numb to the buttons he or she tries to push.
Commit to meeting/talking consistently. Frequent communication with your ex will convey the message to your children that you and their other parent are a united front. This may be extremely difficult in the early stages of your divorce or separation.
Keep conversations kid-focused. You can control the content of your communication. Never let a discussion with your ex-partner digress into a conversation about your needs or his/her needs; it should always be about your child's needs only.
Improving the relationship with your ex
If you are truly ready to rebuild trust after a separation or divorce, be sincere about your efforts. Remember your children's best interests as you move forward to improve your relationship.
Ask his or her opinion. This fairly simple technique can effectively jump-start positive communications between you and your ex. Take an issue that you don't feel strongly about, and ask for your ex's input, showing that you value his or her input.
Apologize. When you're sorry about something, take the time to apologize sincerely-even if the incident happened a long time ago. Apologizing can be very powerful in moving your relationship away from being adversaries.
Chill out. If a special outing with your ex is going to cut into your time with your child by an hour, graciously let it be. Remember that it's all about what is best for your child; plus, when you show flexibility, your ex is more likely to be flexible with you.
Information taken from helpguide.org



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