Divorce Survival Training: Dealing With “Urgent” Matters

By DadsDivorce.com reader Big D

Surviving divorce can be tricky. We offer real-life examples and divorce advice for men and fathers on how to handle your situation.

Note: Part 2 addressed reacting to requests of urgency and taking action on the urgent situation. Click here to read.

Patience is a Virtue

I know this is an old cliché, but if there is anytime in your life that you will live it out, it is during a divorce. There are so many aspects of a divorce that you want done NOW, yet rarely is that the case. You will find that many conversations, communications, and confrontations include words like “as soon as possible,” “immediately,” “today,” “before you do anything else,” etc.

To be fair, it will not only come from the man’s side, but also the women in the divorce. OK, to be very fair, in my experience, it comes from the women much more than from the men. Men, don’t let this language get to you, get you upset, press your buttons, or any other negative. Be patient!


Decryption of Actions and Emotions

There is one thing that I learned from my divorce that has proven to serve me well in many situations. That one thing is reading people. I feel that I can read people much better now, in nearly every situation. (Granted, I still have no clue what women are thinking!)

When it comes to the urgency that people put on events, tasks, documents, information, etc., it typically can be boiled down to a few issues.

First, urgency in a divorce situation is often due to power and control. The person expressing urgency wants to control the other person. Here are perfect and real examples of e-mails that I have received recently:

  • “The children need lunch money for today. If you don’t put money on their card, they will not be able to eat lunch today.”
  • “I need the social security numbers for the children immediately.”

Second, I have found that urgency can also be used as a delay mechanism. For example, let’s say that one of your children has an event on Friday. Your ex might have known about the event for weeks, but you have not been made aware of it. So, early Friday morning you receive an e-mail: “Your son has his school event 5 p.m.. He is very excited for you to attend. I hope you can take time away from your busy plans and new girlfriend to attend!” Notice that not only is there urgency, but you get dinged for having someone new in your life!

Third, urgency can be used as a way to get things done or even disprove you as a good parent. When it comes to health, well-being, and safety, your ex might want to make it seem as if you are not taking care of things properly, so you need to address them ASAP. Recently, I had an issue with a “bully” and my youngest child. (Note: The issue came up around spring break, so keep that in mind when you read the following information.)

I received an e-mail indicating that my child has been bullied “all year long” (not a semester, but a year!). Due to the bullying and the extent of the bullying, it has been decided to move the child to a different school to “remove her from the bully.”

Now, reading that you might be feeling a bunch of stuff due to your own situation. I hope not, but let’s focus on the information we have.

First, as an engaged parent, I had not heard about ANY bully at ANY time! So, this is new information to me. Second, the urgency is that my child is going to be changing schools!? This is where my ex made the mistake, and you should be looking for oddities in communication from your ex, too! If there is really a bully situation, my ex would want my input and help to fix it. The fact that the entire school year has gone by, but I am just hearing about this is proof that there is really no bully. Come to find out, there was NO BULLY, but my ex wanted our child to ride a different bus to her house! Not really in the best interest of the child, but a reality that we must all live with when it comes to our ex’s wanting something and their ability to step on anyone (even their own child) to get their way!

I am sure there are other reasons for creating urgency, but these are the ones that come to mind. The point is that you must be able to read through the urgency and find the real reason for it. Now, if the urgency is a text message saying that you need to come to the hospital because your son just got in an auto accident, that is not what I am referring to here. In that situation, you need to drop everything and get to the hospital!

Note: Part 2 addressed reacting to requests of urgency and taking action on the urgent situation. Click here to read.

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