“Breathe before you speak.” ~ Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
During the divorce process we are usually so distraught, that when we try to converse with our ex-spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse, our conversations are either strained and cold, or raging with fury.
Every time my wasband would say something that upset me, I would spit out a response that was neither helpful nor constructive. It was simply a reaction to what I was feeling. And I didn’t care what he had to say. His actions were showing me that he did not love me, did not care about me, and was only concerned about salvaging his image.
Listen, Then Breathe
Looking back, I realize that those conversations were not like “normal” conversations between two rational human beings. To “breathe before you speak” is good advice, no matter to whom you are talking, but it’s especially good advice when the conversation is tense.
What if every conversation we entered into we really listened? If we looked the person in the eye, taking in every detail, and then pausing and taking a deep breath before we replied.
Conversation in the middle of divorce is never easy. My heart would often start pounding before a single word was said. I’m sure it would have helped if I could have taken a breath before I responded… or before I slammed a door or threw something!
“My dear ones, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” ~ James 1:19 & 20 (NIV)