Navigating a High Conflict Divorce
Going through a high conflict divorce? Karen McMahon is a Certified Relationship and Divorce Coach and Founder of Journey Beyond Divorce. She leads a team of divorce coaches in supporting men and women around the world to become calm, clear and confident as they navigate divorce. Karen has since spent the last decade helping thousands of men and women navigate the emotional and practical difficulties of relationships, breakups and divorce.
In this episode of Last First Date Radio:
- What can divorcees do to cope with feeling powerless?
- How can a parent divorcing a high conflict spouse find peace when they must coparent post divorce?
- What are some helpful boundaries that will keep people sane post divorce?
- What unique challenges do men face in divorce? How do these challenges differ from women?
- How can you recognize codependent behavior and have healthier engagement in all relationships?
Watch the video. Read the interview highlights below.
We’re often focused on what the soon-to-be ex is doing, how slow things might be moving with the attorney, etc. Those things are out of our control. The quickest way to feel empowered is to focus on what we CAN do. Our behavior, words, and actions help us feel more empowered.
How can a parent divorcing a high conflict spouse find peace when they must coparent post divorce?
The client still tries to change their ex. “You should be doing this or that.” If you’re in high-conflict and your communication hasn’t been received well, parents are much better off guiding their children than guiding their ex. Start talking to your children about values. Also, ask yourself how important is this? Do I really need to fight over it? Take off your armor and look at the relationship through your child’s perspective.
What are some helpful boundaries that will keep people sane during and after a high conflict divorce?
There is the internal boundary of ‘he made me feel or do something’, and switching it to, ‘I’m owning my behavior and feelings.’ The safety boundary can be from serial texting all day, to putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’ or emails that are a character attack, ask yourself what other options do you have? Send them to a folder instead of reading them. Look at them when you’re calm and ready.
Boundaries in conversation: If you have a verbally abusive ex, say ‘you’re speaking to me in a way that’s disrespectful, and I’m going to hang up.’
Understand the value of boundaries and how to set them. Instead of telling the person what to do, the key is changing your behavior, not his.
What unique challenges do men face in divorce? How do these challenges differ from women?
One of the things men face if they were the primary earner and want to be an active parent, there’s a prejudice that if they didn’t before, they can’t now. Communication can feel aggressive because of fear. We help them understand the dynamic of their communication, and how it can be different from the way they communicate at work.
We don’t look at the other person as afraid, but we see them as controlling. Ask yourself what’s a different perspective you can take.
What are your final words of advice for anyone who wants to go on their last first date post-divorce?
When you do the work, find a relationship that doesn’t have a ton of baggage, heal your wounds, refine the traits that haven’t served you, and you’ll meet someone who’s safe for you. Keep the focus on yourself to grow stronger together. We lower the second and third divorce rates, because people do this inner work and approach relationships in a much healthier way.
Sandy Weiner, Dating Coach and Chief Love Officer of Last First Date, is devoted to helping women achieve healthy, off-the-charts love in the 2nd half of life. She’s an internationally known dating coach, blogger, radio host, communications expert, and TEDx speaker. Discover why men disappear...and how to finally attract the love you deserve. http://lastfirstdate.com