Though I know that there’s a lot of wisdom out there – including from social workers and judges – that when there’s high conflict post-divorce, the responsibility rests equally on the shoulders of both parties. From my experience, while that’s sometimes true, in lots of cases there is one party driving the conflict and failure to recognize this simply exacerbates and prolongs the conflict.
So, I was happy to see a post by Kate Scharff that gives some hints as to how to communicate with those problematic ex-spouses. I particularly liked this hint:
New Rule #6: Ignore petty communications
A text such as: “Sally arrived home with filthy hair. There’s this new product called ‘shampoo,’ ever heard of it?” requires no response.
It’s amazing how often clients will get communications which are some kind of a variation on the theme of the one above and ask me what they should respond. Funny how no matter how often I’ll tell people they don’t have to, they still feel compelled to say something in response, generally in their own defense.
Hope that people reading the article will remember the rabbinic saying in the Ethics of the Fathers (3:13) : A fence to wisdom: silence.