In most cases, divorce is what happens in a relationship after a series of fights of one degree or another, usually escalating from minor bickering to full-blown shouting matches. After all that stress, the last thing you want is yet more fighting – you just want to be done with it all. If you have come the decision that it is time to move on, how do you avoid more fighting during the separation and divorce process?
The first thing to understand is that Fighting is not the same as Conflict. The definition of Conflict is simply a difference of opinions, viewpoints, needs, or wants. You want one thing. Your almost-ex wants another. They don't match. That's Conflict.
Reassure yourself that it is perfectly ok, normal, expected – and even desirable – for you to have Conflict during the divorce process. It means you are embracing that you have your own viewpoints, while at the same time acknowledging that the other person's are not the same as yours.
Embracing Conflict does not mean, however, that you have to have Fights. Fights usually (but not always) are based on conflict, but conflict can be handled in many ways, without becoming a fight. Indeed, top researchers have established that the likelihood of success in a marriage is determined not by how much conflict there is, but how conflict is handled in the marriage.
Fights, tend to arise when emotions … usually negative emotions like fear, anger, and pride … get involved in the conflict, and are not discussed as separate from the conflict. This can lead to outbursts of anger, rage, physical violence, manipulation, irrationality, passive aggression, raised voices, intimidation and other undesirable behaviors. These will then often lead to pain, on one or both sides, more often than not cause way more harm than good, and at the end of the day don't accomplish anything productive. Fighting results in pain, for no good reason, essentially. Eventually this may lead to your decision to be done with the marriage.
One of the best ways to avoid Fights, in your marriage, during separation and/or divorce is to embrace Conflict. It sounds counter-intuitive, sure. But trying to hide your head in the sand and pretend the Conflict is not there will only come back to hurt you (potentially more). It is inevitable that there are and will be differences between any two persons. You are individuals, and that is to be celebrated.