Saturday, January 19, 2008

Opponents During Your Divorce

What are the most common types of spouses who divorce?

The various most common types of spouses in the divorce process are the intimidator, the passive aggressor, the victim, the cooperator, the manipulator and the emotional terrorist.

What is an "intimidator" in a divorce and how do I best cope with one?

An intimidator is a bully. Just like a person in a play yard at school. And really they're just scared of their own selves. Or they're jealous. There are several ways to cope with an intimidator. One is to fight back at a bigger level and wipe them out. Another way to cope with a bully--an intimidator-- is to not engage in the process. Another way to deal with an intimidator is to show the community or show the court, depending on your venue, how crazy they are.

What is a "passive aggressor" and how do I best cope with one?

A passive aggressor is the more covert bully. They do things from a less obvious vantage point. They may send an email as opposed to saying something in your face; they may whisper things to your friends, or share their inappropriate thoughts with your children. I frankly would rather deal with a bully than somebody who is passive aggressive. At least you know where you stand, right between the eyes.

What is an "emotional terrorist" in a divorce and how do I best cope with one?

An emotional terrorist is somebody who threatens, and it can be at different levels. It can a more subtle level, the unconsequential level, or a real level. Somebody who threatens you with consequences. If you don't do this I will do the following. The story of my client whose former spouse infiltrated his company email illegally and then threatened to push the button and expose him. Her actions with the computer was as a terrorist. It was passive agressive. It wasn't between his eyes, but when she said, " I am goig to push the button", she was acting as a bully and a terrorist.

What is a "manipulator" in a divorce?

When you're dealing with a manipulator, you're dealing with somebody who plots to get his or her way and tries to influence the process; sometimes in a good way, sometimes not in a good way. If you know what you're dealing with, you can respond or manipulate in response or not engage. Sometimes a manipulator just is a fool. They try to manipulate everything and you end up in court and they look like a complete jerk. And sometimes they are very clever and you get caught with your pants down.

What is a "victim" in a divorce and how do I best cope with one?

The victim is the one (generally a false victim) who seeks to win by having themselves pitied. We've all heard the real or apocryphal story of a person murdering her parents, and then asking for pity by the judge because she's an orphan. That's an example of a "victim" in this case.

What is a "cooperator" in a divorce and how can I turn my spouse into one?

A cooperator is ideal: the person who will work with you, try and solve a problem, come up with a constructive solution, not engage in the emotional, psychological, or legal wars, and just work it out. And that doesn't mean the issues are easy, but if people roll up their sleeves and cooperate with each other, problems can be solved. You can turn your spouse into a cooperator if you cooperate, if you wear the right hat, and if your spouse has the potential for being a cooperator. Not everybody does. And if you try too hard to get your spouse to be a cooperator, and he or she cannot be, you can be trounced.

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