Alberta D. Jordan is a dynamic divorce recovery coach, bestselling author, speaker and CEO of Exhilarated Life, LLC. The specialized programs at Exhilarated Life guide and empower trauma survivors post-divorce so that they can bounce back powerfully, confidently, whole and more purposefully. Having lived through trauma herself, Alberta is now living her best life and wants to help others do the same. Here, she talks about 3 Powerful Words to Change Your Communication with Your Former Spouse

Divorce is hard on you, your children, your family and yes, even your former spouse (although he or she may never admit it).

Divorce requires painful, permanent changes to who we are and how we operate in the world to our finances, our diet, (for some of us) our transportation arrangements, our assumptions about love, our assumptions about ourselves and our former love partner. It affects how we parent (or don't), the ability to get our (unanticipated) needs met, and our social life.

Unfortunately, not many fare well in making the necessary changes to transition to what a healthy version of this looks like. And, unfortunately, good examples are lacking!

Divorce is messy! You have your heart pulling in one direction and your head in another. The anger, hurt, shame, and blame is plenteous, and it can be hard to keep a cool head, especially where children are involved and there is constant disagreement about what is best for your child/ren.

If you have a former spouse who would rather fight than move forward. If you have someone who is constantly looking to upset you, whether it is trying to turn the kids against you, not following the parenting plan correctly or some other encroachment, there is something you can do to help you regain your sense of control.

 No, it is not……. call your attorney (although depending on circumstances you might).

 No, it is not…. go to court.

 The best and most immediate thing that you can do for YOU is….

Change your buttons!

Your former spouse knows you well! He/she knows EXACTLY what to say and what to do to get you to give him/her the response they want.

Consider it as an attempt to exert control over you and recognize the importance of reclaiming your own power. Keep in mind that their actions are driven by a desire for a reaction. Therefore, it's not about becoming indifferent or ceasing to care about the issue they're using to attack you.

Get honest with yourself and realize where you are most vulnerable. Once you do that, consider the ways that your former spouse can use that against you. For each person, this is going to be extremely personalized. It is based on you, your experiences, your trauma (childhood and otherwise), your fears, your vulnerabilities, etc.

Consider journaling to give yourself the best chance of success. Simply doing a mental checklist of the things that irk you won't do! Remember, your spouse lived with you and knows intricate details about you and long forgotten facts. 

Here are some specific examples of how you can change your buttons:

  • If your ex always tries to start fights with you about money, try to have all financial discussions via email or text so that you have a record of what was said. You can also refuse to engage in financial discussions when you are feeling emotional or stressed.
  • If your ex always tries to turn the kids against you, talk to your children about the importance of having a relationship with both parents. You can also set boundaries with your ex about how they communicate with the kids.
  • If your ex is constantly trying to sabotage your social life, make sure to spend time with friends and family who support you. You can also avoid talking about your ex to other people, as this can give them ammunition to use against you.

It's important to remember that changing your buttons takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you slip up from time to time. Just keep practicing, and eventually you will be able to stop your ex from controlling you with your emotions.

Other Things You May Need to Do:

  1. Create boundaries. It's important to set boundaries with your ex, especially if they are trying to control you or make your life difficult. This might mean limiting contact with them, or refusing to engage in certain conversations.
  2. Seek support. If you are struggling to cope with your divorce or with your ex's behavior, it's important to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talking to someone who can offer a listening ear and support can be invaluable.

Additional tips for healing from divorce:

  • Allow yourself to grieve. Divorce is a loss, and it's important to allow yourself to grieve the end of your marriage. This may involve crying, journaling, or talking to a therapist.
  • Focus on yourself and your needs. Take some time to figure out who you are now that you are single. What are your goals and dreams for the future? What do you need to do to take care of yourself?
  • Build a support system. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. This could include friends, family, a therapist, or a support group for people who are going through divorce.
  • Be patient. Healing from divorce takes time. Don't expect to feel better overnight. Just keep taking things one day at a time.

Remember, you are not alone. Millions of people go through divorce every year. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time.

You can find out more about Alberta D. Jordan here: