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Divorce Coach’s Guide to Handling Difficult Spouse

Pav Lertjitbanjong

In life, some marriages/relationships are easy and simple and some are not. For a variety of reasons, a relationship, whether it is professional, familial, or romantic, can be difficult and challenging.

Most difficult relationships can be improved with the right approach and communication tactics.

Here are five tips for dealing with a difficult spouse pre-, during and post-divorce.

Be clear

Misunderstandings are often the true source of problems in fraught, complicated divorce. If each person resolves to strive for clarity when communicating with each other, things will improve. If two people are able to understand each other's differing opinion, they are more likely to get along even if they still do not exactly agree on everything.

Don't be mean

When dealing with someone who is difficult or causes frustration, it can be easy to lose control and say something hurtful. However, insults will only ever make things even worse. That's why it's so important to avoid making things too personal, no matter how good it might feel in the moment to give in to the urge to be cruel.

Get a mediator

Getting help from a go-between is a great idea. A mediator, if trusted by both parties, can do a lot to defuse tension and help each individual better understand the other's position. Since so many marriage troubles stem from communication problems, having a third person facilitate communication is often the secret to improvement.

Focus on the present

In many difficult marriages/divorces, the source of the trouble lies in some incident from the past. Of course, the past can never be changed, so dwelling on it is pointless. It's so much more sensible to concentrate on what can be accomplished in the here and now. That way the old problems that made the relationship so fraught can be moved past.

Search for common ground

It's quite possible (in fact likely) that two people in a difficult relationship will never get along perfectly well. However, that doesn't mean genuine improvement isn't possible. The key is to find some areas where there is already agreement and commonality. Discovering such common ground will increase trust and enhance the relationship as a whole, even if you may decide divorce is the right choice.


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