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Before You Hit Send…

Updated: Aug 5

We’ve all been there: staring at our phone, typing the text, erasing it, retyping…sometimes regretting hitting send. During the divorce process it can be tempting to ignore that little voice that says, don’t do it. After all, that voice may be soft compared to the others you’re hearing, and you are likely angry, tired, and maybe even justified in your frustration. But during divorce especially, the stakes are high and there are good reasons to give that little voice your full attention.

Before you hit send – or better yet, before you even type out a response, take a minute to do the following:

  1. Sit quietly and take some deep breaths. Close your eyes, put your phone elsewhere and just breathe. Envision yourself somewhere peaceful - by the ocean, on a hike or anywhere that calms you – and sit still for even five minutes. Giving yourself the benefit of those five minutes can often impact your entire demeanor and provide you with a new, more generous perspective.

  2. I like to say the serenity prayer when I am overwhelmed. You don’t have to believe in God for this prayer to have meaning. Substitute whatever works for you! “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

  3. Any challenging situation is an opportunity to decide how we want to show up. So really think: Is this communication a demonstration of my best self? What is my true intention? Is this decision based in love?

  4. How would I feel if my child read this?

  5. How would I feel if my ex/spouse/partner showed this to their lawyer or to a judge? Would I show it to my lawyer?

  6. What would I counsel my child to do in this situation?

  7. Do I have to respond to this at all? If so, what is the minimum amount of information I need to include?

One more idea - write whatever you want to say in a journal. Just putting pen to paper can satisfy your need to vent without causing any harm. Remember, it’s not unusual for communications between spouses to make an appearance in court, especially if they are hostile, offensive or threatening.

The bottom line: thinking about the big picture before you respond gives you the best chance for success. And you deserve the very best.


You will learn a lot from yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.

Cheryl Strayed, Brave Enough

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