It is very easy to misunderstand text messages. This is because only 7% of meaning is communicated through the written words. 38% is through tone of voice and 55% is through body language which is completely missing in a text message. So this can lead to your ex taking away a meaning you had no intention of passing on.

Also it is key not to react in the heat of the moment to a text and take some time to think or even sleep on your response. This helps you to dial down the negative emotions and ensure you limit any unwanted consequences. 

There will almost always be some level of conflict with a breakup when we separate lifetyles, finances and child arrangements – its going to bring out the worst in the most amicable of partners – so in order to manage that in a healthy way its good to understand how your ex may interpret your messages. Keep them to a minimum and be respectful of the time you send them too. 

What are 10 phrases that people should avoid using during a divorce in text messages with their soon-to-be-ex? 

  1. You should not – telling your ex what they should or should not do can be a red rag to a bull. Ultimately if you are not together anymore they don’t need to tolerate your demands. Also its not going to help you get what you want either.  
  2. This is your fault – allocating blame is never going to go down well with your ex. 
  3. You always – stating that this is something that do without fail every time is usually an exaggeration and this will pour fuel on the fire. It also reduces the impact of what you are saying when it is not true. 
  4. You never – works in the same way as always – it states there is not one time they have done this in the way you would like – again it increases the intensity of the disagreement and reduces the validity of your argument
  5. Others say – bringing in what your friends, their friends, family members, lawyers etc think about what they have done is also never good as it makes them feel you are undermining them and shows you are talking about them behind their back
  6. My legal position is.. – Don’t bring up legal issues on text and try to resolve them. This is better done over email so there is a trail of communication. 
  7. Insults – even if you are not getting on well with your ex keep these off written communication as you may live to regret them
  8. Threats – bullying and threats are not acceptable in any circumstance and also can be used against you if your case goes to court.

How do you recommend approaching texting when divorcing someone? 

  1. Feedback sandwich – start with something positive ie this was good, then mention in a non blame way that this wasn’t so good so please can we work on it and then lastly suggest this would maybe be a better way to handle it in future for the best outcome.
  2. Think carefully before you send the message. You know your ex best so consider how they may interpret your message before you send it to avoid any unnecessary upset.
  3. Be kind and respectful, even when they may not be. Ideally you want to remain amicable if possible and so you can maintain that friendship long after the divorce.