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Don't sabotage communication trying to make it easier

During your divorce, if you go the mediation route and try to reduce conflict, odds are you will need to have some tough conversations. They may just be about your desire to get divorced in the first place. They could be about how to split up parenting time with your children. Divorce requires these types of conversations as you work things out, no matter how hard they may be.

To minimize conflict, there are a number of things you definitely want to avoid saying at the beginning of these conversations. These include:

  • "I hope that this does not upset you."
  • "I don't want to make you angry."
  • "I hope you won't take this the wrong way."
  • "No offense, but..."
  • "I'm only being honest."

Now, you may say these things in an effort to make the conversation go smoothly, thinking that they can help. Unfortunately, the reality is that they often have exactly the opposite impact.

For instance, if you say that you don't want to make your spouse angry, they instantly go on guard, assuming that whatever you have to say should make them mad. If you say "no offense" before making a statement, it sets off red flags because they know that whatever you say next is something that you already think is offensive. Just saying "no offense" does not change that and just makes them latch onto the potentially hurtful statement in a different way.

By avoiding these triggers, you can ensure that your conversations go smoothly, allowing the two of you to really work together as you consider the legal side of your divorce.

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