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Locked Down With Your Ex?

Covid-19 has arrived on our shores at the worst possible time for many divorcing couples. Christmas sees a peak in divorce initiations and many of those people will still be cohabiting. Or, ex-couples may have moved back in with each other so that they can both spend time with the children during lock-down.

If that is you, your mental health is probably facing extra pressures right now. Emotions will be running high, irritation and downright fury will no doubt be on the agenda, especially as you may be trying to advance a legal process or concerned about child contact arrangements; all whilst coping with the emotional turmoil that divorce delivers.

Divorce and quarantine have two things in common; heightened fear and anxiety. You can try to manage these by “shrinking the challenge”. Whatever your particular concern is, ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen?” Then challenge your thinking by asking “Could that really happen?” “If it did what would I do?” “How can I prevent it happening?” Drill down until your problem seems smaller and more manageable.

Top Tips to Try:

1) Communicate.

Keep talking. If something bothers you or a situation is not working, tell the other person in a calm and concise manner. Even if they don’t listen!

2) Avoid confrontation.

Consider putting disputes on hold for now, arguments in the context of today’s surreal world can seem much graver and challenges may appear insurmountable.

3) Find common ground.

Try staying focused on any common ground you have with your ex (maybe your children or keeping healthy).

4) Think about your children.

How is your behaviour impacting your children? They are already under stress due to the divorce and the lock-down. Take the higher ground and be wary that anything you do does not worsen matters.

5) Seek support.

Reach out to your support network, your therapist or your coach. It really does help to talk.

6) Physical distance.

If you can, designate a part of the house for just you / you and the kids, at least for certain parts of the day. Or if you really need some time away, can you volunteer locally (many communities are seeking volunteers to deliver medication etc for vulnerable people)?

Most importantly, boost your mental strength and resilience by focusing on the future. This, like everything else, will pass. Try visualising how life will be then and look forward to it with every fibre of your being.

Reset Divorce Coaching is offering mini coaching sessions at significantly reduced prices to help you through this challenging time. www.resetdivorcecoaching.co.uk


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