You thought that your spouse was emotionally manipulative and borderline verbally abusive before your divorce started. Now you have no doubts.
When a divorce is in process, even good people can be badly behaved. People who are already inclined toward abusive behavior tend to escalate this behavior. Sometimes, that’s an attempt to try to control the situation because it seems like everything is suddenly out of their control. Other times, they’re just being punitive because they’re angry.
What can you do to counter things without letting your divorce devolve into an all-out war?
The grey rock method makes you hard to engage
Have you ever heard the phrase that it “takes two to tango?” While you may be doing nothing to provoke your spouse’s actions and outbursts, you’re still dancing to the tune they’re playing by showing your distress. As twisted as it may sound, some people will consider it a “win” if they can reduce you to tears with frustration, get you to yell back at them or generally just upset you – and your spouse may be among them.
The grey rock method basically makes you appear as disinterested as possible and unaffected by their antics. You accomplish this by:
- Not responding to texts or phone calls except through your attorney, whenever possible
- Not showing any particular concern or emotion in reaction to their threats or demands
- Sticking to short, noncommittal responses until everything is in writing
For example, if your spouse is ranting that you’ll never see a dime of the equity in the house, instead of firing back with all the reasons you know you will, just shrug and say, “We’ll see.” Internally, you may want to scream, but showing nothing on your face deprives your spouse of their goal.
Getting through a difficult divorce may not be easy, but this won’t go on forever. Eventually, no matter what shenanigans your spouse may try, this will all be in the past.