For more than 20 years, I have been helping families and individuals get through all kinds of Texas family law cases. Makes no difference whether it is a divorce, child custody, order modification or child support case, things can get real ugly real quickly. I counsel all of my clients at the start of any family case that they are going to hear lots of ugly noise from the other side. All this ugly noise creates anger, frustration and anxiety about the process about to start and what will happen to them. I want to help them learn to successfully ignore the noise.
It doesn’t always take two to tango – unless you count one to set the pace and one to get dragged along in a savage tailwind. Of course, when there are two people acting to maim, the ugliness will be all the uglier. At the same time, it only takes one person being nasty, unreasonable and manipulative to turn any situation into a bad situation.
This is the first part of a two part post on this issue. In both parts of this post, based on my years of experience, here are some tips on how to successfully ignore the noise you are hearing from the other side in some type of Texas family law case. If have not read the second part, click here.
BE HONEST. DON’T LET THEM CHANGE YOU.
This is important. It’s also really hard. Ask yourself, with an open heart, if you’re doing everything you can to be reasonable. None of us are perfect and these kinds of cases can make the best of us act in ways that we might not be proud of.
High emotion, shame and heartache can steal you but don’t hand over your dignity by acting in ways that are beneath you. Sometimes it’s the only thing they can’t touch. Be honest, brave and always self-respectful. If you’re acting like someone you wouldn’t want to go camping with, stop.
FAMILY LAW CASES ARE MANY THINGS. FAILURE IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
The end of or a change in a relationship in a doesn’t mean your original decision to be in the relationship in the first place was flawed. The success of a relationship isn’t determined by how long it lasts. The investment of love and energy in a relationship will always be worth it, but it won’t necessarily guarantee forever. The past is the past and sometimes love, time, commitment and desire don’t stretch as far ahead in years as we’d like them to – and that’s okay.
People change. Circumstances change. Relationships change. We change a lot. Sometimes it’s in the same direction as the person we love and sometimes we veer sharply in a different one. Sometimes we wake up next to each other and realize we couldn’t be further apart. It happens. It’s part of being human.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL. YOU JUST HAVE TO DO ENOUGH.
Life changes sharply when a relationship breaks down. You don’t have to do everything the way you used to. You just have to do enough. Figure out what that looks like and go with it. You deserve the freedom that comes from that.
SEE THE RESPONSE FROM THE OTHER SIDE FOR WHAT IT IS.
When a relationship breaks down it will likely bring shame and amplify every fear of not being good enough, normal enough, successful enough or loveable enough. People have all sorts of responses to shame, some of which are completely unfathomable to those of us looking in from the outside. When shame is involved, people will do anything to protect themselves. Here are a few. You might also recognize some in yourself from time to time. The more awareness you have around what you’re doing, the more capacity you’ll have to stop it:
They might be cruel.
If you change the relationship, there’s probably been a shift in power from one party to another. This person may now feel like they are disempowered, ineffective and small. Cruelty is an attempt to reverse this by shrinking you. You can’t stop them trying. But you can stop it working.
They might criticize your choices and claim you are out of control.
You’re not out of control – just out of their control. Any choice you make which reflects independence sends a message that you are no longer under their influence. As with anything, when what people have always done (control, disrespect, manipulate) stops working, they will do it even more before they stop. Hold tight and keep going.
They might manipulate.
Manipulation is a way for people to get what they want without being rejected, by taking away the option to say, ‘no’. For people who manipulate, ‘no’ feels like rejection. They will do anything to get their needs met without being rejected.
They might get angry.
Anger always exists to protect more vulnerable feelings such grief, fear or inadequacy from pushing to the surface. There will be feelings of deep loss, sadness and disconnection that can feel frighteningly bottomless. It’s much easier to attach these intense feelings to a target (you) than to acknowledge them.
They might try to control you.
All control is an attempt to relieve anxiety about uncertainty. There are plenty of people who deal with their anxiety without needing to control people. Unfortunately some people do not know how to do it any other way.
If you are faced with any kind of Texas family law case, makes no difference if it is a divorce, child custody, order modification or child support case, things can get real ugly real quickly. I hope these hints will help you how to successfully ignore the noise from the other side. We are hear to help you work your way through it. Call today! No charge for the initial consultation!