The pain that divorcing spouses experience is impossible to suppress for very long. We wear it on our sleeves and express it through our language. It hinders our ability to think and interact constructively. How we communicate with our spouse has a direct effect on the outcome of our divorce. The language we use–wording, tone of voice and body language–is extremely important.
One of the worst offenders in the lexicon of divorcing couples is “you’re.” This nasty contraction too often shows up in such sentences as:
“You’re being stubborn.”
“You’re impossible to talk to”
“You’re always belittling me.”
“You’re a neat freak.”
A less antagonistic way to express your disapproval is by using I statements, e.g., “When I hear you say things like this, I feel as though you have already made up your mind,” or, “I really feel hurt when you talk about my not being as neat as you.”
I statements allow you to get your point across safely because you are merely reporting how you feel about something you don’t like. You statements simply criticize your spouse and serve no useful purpose whatsoever.
Sometimes it only takes a few well-chosen words to change the tone and direction of your spousal divorce settlement conversations.