Divorce Telepressure: Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Respond

April 10, 2024

Divorce is an emotionally turbulent time, filled with raw feelings, complex decisions, and often contentious interactions with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. In the midst of this turmoil, every text message, email, or phone call can feel like a minefield, triggering a sense of urgency to respond immediately. This urge to react falls under a concept called ‘ divorce telepressure’, which describes the powerful sense of compulsion we feel to respond immediately to notifications and messages, regardless of their importance or the context in which they arrive. However, impulsively reacting in the heat of the moment can unintentionally escalate conflicts and sabotage your long-term goals.


How Divorce Telepressure Affects You


During a divorce, telepressure can lead to disastrous consequences:

  • Emotional Reactivity: Texts and emails can easily be misinterpreted, particularly when emotions are running high. Reacting quickly under the influence of anger, sadness, or hurt can result in saying things you later regret, causing further damage to the relationship.


  • Miscommunication: The urgency of divorce telepressure often leads to rushed and poorly thought-out messages. This can lead to misunderstandings, further complicating the already complex process of divorce.


  • Compromised Decision-Making: When you feel pressured to respond instantly, you might make agreements under duress that aren’t in your best interest. It’s essential to have the space for thoughtful reflection before making important decisions.


  • Endless Cycles of Conflict: Reacting impulsively can create a vicious cycle of back-and-forth negativity, derailing any chances of a more amicable separation.
    Increased Legal Costs: Rash communications that turn hostile could be used as evidence in legal proceedings, escalating conflict and increasing costs.


Resisting the Pull: Strategies to Manage Divorce Telepressure


While completely disconnecting from your ex-spouse might not be practical, minimizing the sense of urgency and creating a more intentional communication style is crucial. Here’s how to break free from the grip of divorce telepressure:


  • Turn off Notifications: Disable sounds and visual notifications for your ex-spouse’s calls, texts, and emails, if possible. This creates a crucial buffer, preventing them from constantly hijacking your attention.


  • Designate Communication Times: Decide on specific times of day when you’ll check and respond to messages from your ex. Stick to this schedule diligently, training yourself (and them) to expect a delayed response.


  • Delay, Delay, Delay: Before hitting send or answering a call, force yourself to take a pause. Take deep breaths, step away from the device, or engage in a mindfulness exercise. This creates space between feeling the urge to respond and actually acting on it.


  • Fact-Focused Communication: If you must respond, focus on neutral and factual communication. Avoid emotional language, accusations, or bringing up past grievances.


  • Seek Support: Inform trusted friends or family about your ex-spouse’s attempts to provoke impulsive responses. They can help you stay accountable and talk you through emotionally charged situations.


  • Legal Counsel: For sensitive issues, it’s best to involve your attorney. They can help you craft appropriate responses or advise when it’s best to ignore communication entirely.


The Power of Choice


Remember, divorce telepressure is not an uncontrollable force. By recognizing this urge for what it is, you can make conscious choices about how and when you engage with your ex-spouse. This puts you in control, allowing for clearer communication, more thoughtful decision-making, and a less stressful experience overall.


Divorces are inherently difficult, but by resisting the pull of impulsive reactions, you can pave the way for a more constructive and less emotionally draining separation.


Tired of responding to your soon-to-be-ex without a guide? Contact me or call my office to see if I can put the power of my 20+ years of experience in your corner.