Divorcing well: Choosing to rise above your spouse’s badmouthing
One of the worst aspects of divorce for most people is the emotional turmoil, much of which is due to the nasty things said by their soon-to-be ex. When facing the hurt and vulnerability that comes at the end of a relationship, both spouses may act uncharacteristically cruel toward one another.
In such cases, the hurt is three-fold. First, you may be deeply hurt by the things said to you and about you. Second, you might feel embarrassed about personal and intimate details your spouse shares with others. Third, you may respond in ways that you come to regret later on. Is there a way to break this cycle and rise above the “airing of dirty laundry” that too often comes with divorce?
The answer is yes, but it’s not always an easy choice to make. You can’t necessarily stop your spouse from badmouthing you and sharing private details with friends or family. But you can resist the urge to respond in kind. One-sided negativity usually reflects poorly on the person spreading it.
Remember what it’s like to be on the receiving end of gossip and ex-bashing. When both spouses badmouth one another and do it frequently, listeners may feel that “these two deserve each other.” If one spouse alone is spreading negativity, listeners are likely to feel sympathy for the other spouse. They may not even want to hear the things being said.
At the very least, choosing to rise above your spouse’s badmouthing will allow you to feel proud of the way you handled yourself during a difficult divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Getting Divorced? Prepare: Your Dirty Laundry Might Be Aired,” Jackie Pilossoph, April 22, 2015