Common Questions Divorce Clients Ask – Can I Talk to My Spouse?
Can I talk to my spouse? That’s one of the first questions that clients ask, because they see so much drama and they hear so much drama about “Am I allowed to talk to my spouse? Who can I talk to?” The answer is of course you can talk to your spouse. We would encourage you to talk to your spouse as long as you’re comfortable doing that, because the conversation between you and your spouse is going to be the foundation of what you’re creating for the future, for the family.
Are there things not to discuss with their spouse?
The past. The best path forward in order to start this process is to start looking at the future and not the past. If there’s anything that they can do that relieves the stress of the situation that the divorce causes, it’s this idea that your divorce is going to resolve past problems. It’s a new way forward, so your thinking needs to be forward thinking.
How should you engage in those conversations?
That’s a great question, because everybody hears the answer to that differently. With some people I can use the mediator’s toolkit and talk about using “I” statements instead of “you” statements. If you say something that begins a sentence with, “You,” then you’re directing something at the other person, and you’re not really informing them of anything. You’re simply falling back into the pattern that leads to the breakdown of communicating in the past. Whereas, if you start your sentences with “I,” or “we,” the first thing you’re doing is you’re conveying what you think about it, and you’re trying to show that person I’m trying to communicate something directly to you. It’s coming from me to you. You can accept it or not, but it doesn’t lead typically to the past communication breakdown.
Other people don’t like that approach. They think that might be a little too much psychology gobbledygook, and for those people that are a little skeptical about that kind of wordplay, I recommend focusing the conversation again thinking forward versus past. Where are you going to be in five years? If that is what your focus is and that’s what you’re trying to convey to your spouse, even though there’s been communication breakdown, that’s a safe topic for you to talk about, especially if there are children. Where is everybody going to be in five years? That’s a conversation you can have, not where were you last week?
Want to Read More?