Reducing the conflict in your high-conflict divorce

Even at the best of times, divorce is stressful for all involved to one degree or another. Of course, every divorce is different, and some are more upsetting than others. One of the most agonizing types of these is the high-conflict divorce, when the legal processes may drag on for months or even years, sometimes with no end in sight, because your divorcing spouse refuses to cooperate.

Whether your ex won’t even try to see eye-to-eye or make any concessions, or if he or she just seems to enjoy watching you suffer, you may feel like you can’t win. According to advisors, though, changing that very mindset on your own terms might prove key to improving your mental health throughout the divorce process. If you can stop viewing your divorce as a battle with a winner and a loser and instead concentrate on your own emotional well-being, you may come out better in the long run.

Divorce mantras to live by

Of course, there are certain issues on which you will undoubtedly need to stand your ground, like fighting for your fair share of assets and making sure custody and visitation agreements address your children’s needs. But in general, when it comes to your mindset, advisors recommend examining your way of thinking and making changes that may benefit you emotionally and mentally to help you stop engaging indefinitely in a losing battle.

Once you realize that your ex isn’t going to change, you may want to be the one to do so. Changing the way you relate to him or her will of course take work, as you’ve developed habits in how you interact with each other, and breaking habits takes discipline. However, in the end, the benefits to your own emotional well-being may well make it worth the effort. Consider trying to implement the following:

  • Detach yourself from the outcome.
  • Stop attempting to reason with someone who is unreasonable.
  • Act, as opposed to react.
  • Come to terms with the fact that, like life, your high-conflict divorce isn’t always going to be fair.

Once you can stop giving your ex space in your head, you may find you have more time and emotional energy to put toward working for a better outcome.

Issues that matter

Sometimes, it’s hard to distance yourself emotionally to determine which important matters actually require your attention. A Pennsylvania family law attorney will be able to provide useful insight and guidance into how you can direct your attentions toward the issues most impactful on your future, such as the health and well-being of your children when it comes to deciding on child custody and support.


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