Have compassion and accept that you can’t change your ex-partner, who they are, what they have done, who their new partner is, or what they choose to do. You can, however, choose how you behave, which will greatly influence your process. Acting with compassion, understanding and giving a little can go a long way. (Yes, it can be hard to do!) Pick your battles, let go of issues that don’t really matter or can’t be changed (unless, of course they involve violence or child endangerment) and accept with grace and maturity the potential unpleasantness of ongoing co-parenting and dividing of assets — know that this is just the reality of divorce, but it too will pass.
It’s normal to want to have a say in how your ex-spouse behaves, particularly around the children, and how he or she communicates with you. But save yourself the pain and anxiety
by accepting that you simply cannot control their reactions, ways of thinking and behaviours.
When you accept that you cannot change your ex, your life becomes more peaceful. You can only control your behaviour, how you respond and what you are prepared to take on. Not everything they do or say requires a reaction or response from you. You often feel the urge to defend yourself, speak up or correct their thinking, but often there is little point. Most of the time, that kind of reaction just adds fuel to the fire.
We see it time and time again with my clients and their former partners: arguments blowing up and texts flying backwards and forwards. It gets them nowhere except further away from peace and from living their best life. There are constructive ways to negotiate and communicate
; this is when you need to keep your business hat on and confront issues in a manner that will get you your desired outcomes, which I focus on in the communication section of this book.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess.
‘Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.’ – Unknown