Do you ever feel frustrated when you try to communicate with your ex? Are you intimidated or frazzled every time you have to talk to his or her new spouse? How about your attorney, your landlord or your kids’ teachers?

Living a happy and sane life after divorce means learning the art of good communication. Especially if you share custody of your children, there will be many times you need to speak to your ex – or his new spouse. Avoid the slippery slope of arguing with your ex by strengthening your communication skills. Even if your ex doesn’t change his style, having strong communication skills of your own will make a huge difference in your life. Here are some quick tips for Powerful Communication for Divorced Moms:

-Be assertive, not aggressive: These two qualities often get mixed up, causing a lot of post-divorce pain and problems. Assertiveness is being honest, direct and respectful to yourself and others. When you are direct you’re not asking for favors or being demanding, you’re simply stating your needs and desires – and that’s a strong communication skill that will help you move on with your life! Aggressive communication is a ‘I win – You lose’ attitude which will only lead to trouble. Aggressive communication is intimidating, raising your voice, cruel and thoughtless.

-Have conversations only when you are physically and emotionally strong. It’s almost guaranteed that you will end up fighting with your ex if you call him while angry, tired, resentful, sick, etc. Take the time before speaking to your ex to get in a great frame of mind.

-Set an agenda. Only call your ex when you have something important to discuss – and stick to it no matter how many buttons get pushed! Think through in advance what you want to say and what you want your conversation to accomplish. You’ll save a lot of time and frustration.

-Create winning situations, even if you dislike your ex. Be open to new ideas and compromises without being a doormat (remember assertiveness?). Many people think that to be divorced means to continue fighting with your ex till the end of time. That’s one approach that guarantees you’ll never get over your divorce – and probably end up in an early grave due to the stress it creates. No one wants that, so invest in creating winning situations for your own sake. Sure your ex will benefit, but you and your kids will benefit too.

-Don’t take things too personally… and refrain from making it personal. Conversations between ex’s can get pretty heated and dicey – even years after a divorce. It’s hard not to take it personally when your ex calls you a nasty name or says you’re a bad parent – just as it can be hard to refrain from saying something nasty when your buttons are pushed. Remember, you can’t control what your ex may blurt out, but you can learn to let it roll off your back so you can get on with life.
Be specific, direct and clear about what you want or need. You increase your odds of getting what you want – and avoiding many fights – by being very, very clear. Being indirect is a surefire way to cause friction with your ex, and create a boatload of resentment for you. Don’t be afraid to say what you mean, and say it with integrity.

-Take full responsibility for your communication style. You, and you alone, are responsible for your side of the conversation. Embracing this and actively learning how to have great conversations with your ex will make your life happier and much less stressful.

Author's Bio: 

Jeanie Rule is the lead coach and founder of As a speaker, professional coach, workshop facilitator and published author, Jeanie specializes in helping women embrace their true power to live a life that is joyful, meaningful and with purpose. She has been successfully coaching divorced moms & women in transition since 2001.

Jeanie is a graduate of Coach U, the world’s foremost coach training program, and holds memberships with the International Coaching Federation, The International Association of Coaches & Coachville. She is a contributing author to Inspiration to Realization: Real Women Reveal Proven Strategies for Personal, Business, Financial & Spiritual Fulfillment. Jeanie also serves as the Regional Director of Southern California for Working with Power, LLC – a professional development company which helps corporations grow and retain great women.

Currently, Jeanie is happily divorced and lives in Southern California with her two teenagers, her sweet back lab, a sassy cat and a very nervous turtle. For more information and resources, visit, or contact Jeanie at 626-447-7412 or