How do I communicate with my ex
As much as we wish and pray that the ex be gone from our life, they don’t. They were a part of our past life, and will be a part of our future life. It may be not to the extent as it was in the past, but at least to some minimal level. Especially when you have kid(s), there is no escape from the ex, unless you leave the country, which I am not suggesting.
So, we have to learn to deal with the ex and need to do it at a certain maturity level in order to survive sanely and not let the past haunt us again. We cannot simply afford to let that scenario control our life anymore.
I do not want to generalize this for everyone. I am extracting this inference from my own personal experiences and a few books I read regarding abuser’s behavior and a few known experiences from others. With that disclaimer, here are my thoughts.
The immediate reaction to the communication from the abuser, which would most likely be combined with classic mix of apologies, threats and perceived higher moral grounds, would be “how dare he/she?”. I am sure most of us have felt this way, and felt the urge to respond back immediately with something along the lines of “you are a ….” and “because of your actions” and “how can you…?” This is exactly a person who once had control over you is expecting, immediate attention. Just the mere fact that you are still responding to his/her communications, as soon as they initiate, is itself a gratification for them in most cases. If you read up on narcissistic personality types, it would say something along the lines of “Content does not matter to the narcissist, only the immediate response”. I am not a professional, but when most of the characteristic traits align with my ex’s behavior, I tend to go on the safer side.
So in cases like these, where the communication channel, which we might have assumed to be long closed, might open up, just because the other person feels like hogging your personal space. During those times, I normally keep quiet, take deep breaths, and not respond immediately. I filter out the emails to a different folder, so that I can look at them when I decide, and not as soon as it reached my inbox. I do not check the SMSes from my ex immediately, and focus on other important tasks. I give it about 24 hour gap before I even open the communicated message. Then take another day or so to respond, if at all it deserves response.
When a relationship ended according to me, several years ago, and when the cases were going in the court, there was absolutely no necessary for me to communicate with my ex directly. My lawyer is a great buffer. Anything important I respond back with “Kindly contact my lawyer”. The responses need to be as professional as possible in my opinion, because now that the intimacy is gone, things have to be dealt with business professionalism, in order to maintain calmness, in my opinion. ‘
I also do not attend the calls at all. All communications are directed to emails so that I can get a grip on my reactions and responses. If the communication is unbearably selfish or hypocrite, then I take out a piece of paper, write down all the things I would like to blast off to him until my anger over the injustice of it all subsides, then flush the paper down the drain. It gives a great sense of relief, and clears up the mind for a more mature answer. Try it. It really works.