Dealing with a Toxic Spouse During Family Litigation
How to imbue logic on an irrational individual? Divorce, modification and related family law litigation cause a great deal of stress. Particularly for those accustomed to making life complicated. How to simplify at a time of exacerbated stress?
Managing Your EmotionsRemaining calm under fire enhances your performance -- as a litigant, as a parent, and as a client. You must try to manage your emotions, and further, to balance out any eratic pendulum swings in your opponent's behavior. How?
Set Limits1. Distance yourself and marginalize your spouse if all they are doing is using each encounter as an opportunity to "Kvetch." Avoid getting sucked into an emotional labyrinth. 2. Live to Fight Another Day. Not every battle need be waged to the death. Invoke the 24 hour rule, instead of responding in the heat of the moment -- some communication need not be responded to at all, and some can be responded to civilly and succinctly. 3. Take the High Road. You need only respond to erroneous facts -- not by being as emotional as your spouse. 4. Self-awareness. To objectify the situation means being aware of your own emotions. Take a step away from chaos. 5. Set Limits. Think rationally. Avoid one on one dialogue with someone prone to turmoil. 6. Derive Pleasure from Other Sources. Pushing your spouse's buttons is not the way to win a custody battle. Don't let your spouse beat you up physically or emotionally ever again. 7. Never Complain without Compromise. See a problem? Find a solution. 8. Forgive, but don't Forget. Don't let a person who causes you stress return to cause more stress. 9. Squash Negativity. Don't let your spouse's lack of self esteem in a trying time bring you down. 10. Intake and Exercise. Caffeine heightens adrenaline. Alcohol causes depression. Neither will enhance your survival in litigation over the long term. 11. Sleep. Staying up all night worrying will not dissolve the marriage or modify your orders. That will happen over time, with an organized approach, working with your attorney.