How to live with your spouse when you can’t stand each other

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

Your marriage is definitely over — but you and your spouse are currently stuck living together. Economic and physical concerns, along with worries about leaving the children, can keep couples living together uncomfortably long after a marriage sours. You may hope to one day have a much more balanced or friendly relationship with your spouse — but that’s not where you’re at today.

How do you cope when you and your spouse clearly don’t get along but are stuck living together for the foreseeable future?

Here are some tips you can try:

1. Get your spouse to support the plan

Right now, you’re in this situation together, so communication is key. You’ll be more successful if you’re both trying hard to make this work.

2. Model appropriate behavior

Pretend your spouse is a co-worker. You may not love or even like them, but the odds are high that you’d still treat a co-worker cordially and respectfully (even if you didn’t feel like it).

3. Make financial agreements

Your bills are still shared — even if your bank accounts aren’t. Have a few clear conversations about what each of you will be contributing toward the household expenses and who will handle the bills.

4. Work out a calendar

It might be best to alternate your time with the kids. You can take turns being “in charge” of homework, dinner, bed times and more. That way, each of you can spend quality times with the kids without the weight of the other’s presence around.

5. Find a separate space

If possible, each of you should have a private space that the other doesn’t enter. If not, you may have to take turns retreating to the bedroom when it’s the other spouse’s time with the kids.

6. Communicate as if you’re already apart

It’s easier to keep your temper in check and gain some distance from a conversation when you do it electronically. Communicate via email or text messages as much as possible.

This situation won’t last forever. What you do now, however, can have a big impact on the tenor of your eventual divorce.

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