Divorce. Because I’ve been through it and because of its prevalence today and the frequency of conversations I am having with families going through this transition, I felt a need to address something I am seeing a lot. Those going through a divorce with children and sometimes those who have already been through it years ago, are getting easily hijacked by something their ex does or says.
Why hijacked? Because emotions are getting triggered by one person adhering themselves into the actions of someone else. You know that feeling when you know you are right and nothing is going to change your mind? It’s pretty difficult to be open-minded or see the other person’s view when you are so heated up and sure that they are dead wrong. It pretty much yields to non-effective communication and even bad choices. Here’s what’s happening: Intelligence takes a back seat and emotions are trumping everything. The adhesive has not been dissolved and the brain has been hijacked.
I know this drill. I’ve seen it a ton and I’ve experienced it myself. Everything becomes black or white and absolute. There is a laundry list of why one person is bad and one person is good. There is no middle and every opportunity to vent about the ex is taken. And oddly enough, this person that they are so angry with and that they could ‘care less about’ is taking up all kinds of space and energy in their brain.
You could be on either side or some of both. You could be the person who has complete peace of mind and literally every negative comment or statement rolls off of you because you really could care less and you won’t allow the negativity to affect you. For you, it’s more about going on with your life and leaving them to hopefully work out their own pitfalls without their journey affecting yours. If this is you… well done!
You might also be the person who is caught in the pitfall of emotions and find yourself having a really difficult time disengaging with your ex because it’s still new and fresh, there is still internal hurt that hasn’t healed, you have guilt you haven’t dealt with or there are children involved… It could be anything.
I’ve noticed that if the individual person doesn’t heal the real issues and why they are getting triggered, the battle will keep getting fueled and really nothing changes. If the battle continues it gets in the way of happiness. It prevents being in the moment with children and family.
Once healed though, it’s almost hard to believe when you finally do find yourself in a moment when an ex says something or does something to you that you may not agree with and would never handle the way they did, but it doesn’t impact you at all. You literally brush it off, know it’s not your truth and keep going on with the life you have created.
It’s not easy to get to that point, but it exists and if you practice a few things, you will get there much more quickly than if you keep fueling the battle.
Remember these three things:
- Your ex will have an opinion of you. That opinion is really none of your business. You get to make the choice that the actions your ex takes does not have to affect you. It IS your business, however, on what you think of you. Don’t engage in their snide remarks or statements.
- Take responsibility. Yes, I am a broken record and I’ve said this is so many blogs, but I just know this to be true. We are all responsible for our own actions. No one else is. You do what you do based on your own choices. You are the one in control of how you feel, behave and the actions you take. You can blame someone else for your actions and you can say they drove you to certain measures, but in the end, it was you who made your choices. Take responsibility for them.
- It’s all business. When it comes to families going through divorce, remember that you are in the business of raising your kids. That means you need to respect time, schedules and a structure. Whether you like the other person or not, it doesn’t matter. You have children to think about. It’s not about what happened in the past with you or your ex. It’s not about your emotions and who’s doing what with whom or where. It’s about your kids. That is the only business you have together. Ego battles are a waste of time and do absolutely nothing positive for your children.
It’s a painful experience and one that I don’t wish for anyone. It can bring out some parts of you, you didn’t know were there. But if you take responsibility and you maintain boundaries, it can be an experience that makes you a better person and parent for it.