“How to deal with a vindictive ex spouse” A divorce can be challenging, but it worsens the whole situation when your ex-spouse becomes vindictive. There are no clear instructions on how to deal with a vindictive ex-spouse, but you can try to reduce the negative influence of such actions on your life.
When a person has a burning desire to punish or harm their ex, they become a vindictive ex. Sometimes, hostile feelings between ex-spouses fade over time, and they move on or even become friends for the sake of their children (if they have any). Other times some people can not just let things go.
How to deal with a vindictive ex spouse
Being vindictive is all about showing an intense or unreasonable desire for revenge. A vengeful ex is bitter, resentful, and angry, to mention a few. The outcomes of vindictive behavior usually split people so far apart that they might never get back to being civil or becoming friends. A vindictive ex-spouse is manipulative and can go to great lengths to hurt their ex-spouse.
They harbor rage and a burning desire for revenge and usually act on it. Most vindictive ex-spouses feel wronged by their former spouses and focus on hurting them.
Vindictiveness can include alienating the kids, removing your name from bank accounts, or making unfounded accusations. Sometimes, it could involve actions as dangerous as loosening the brakes of your vehicle, but whichever way, dealing with a vindictive ex can be an emotional and time-consuming phase for many people.
How To Avoid A Vindictive Ex-spouse
A vindictive ex-spouse is obsessed with causing harm to their former spouse. Some even go to the extent of making unnecessary court requests to make their former spouses’ lives a little bit harder. They pose a potential threat to you, and you should try to protect yourself from them as much as possible.
Open A Separate Bank Account
If you and your ex-spouse have joint bank accounts, one of the first steps to being independent is to open a separate bank account.
Do Not Retaliate
The difference between you and your vindictive ex-spouse is your ability to regulate your emotions, control your impulses and keep to your moral principles. If you try to induce in others the same despair they might have caused you, it simply places you and them on the same ethical standard.
You will save up your emotional energy if you are not clashing or disputing with your ex-spouse over everything. More importantly, if children are involved, they will not have to witness the fighting. However, it may be tempting to respond aggressively to vindictive behavior—the best way to handle it is not to respond.
Unless physical and extreme emotional harm comes from your ex-spouse’s actions, it is best to ignore it. Seek justice instead, through legal ways and not through violent acts.
Change Your Password On Any Internet Site Or Account That Your Ex-spouse Knows About
A vindictive ex-spouse can do anything, and you do not want to find out. If someone has access to your social media accounts, there is no limit to what they might do with it.
If you used to share login credentials, it is advised that you change them. Use more substantial and more secure login methods on your devices. You can go through the location services of the applications on your devices to limit the amount of information on your exact whereabouts.
Many vindictive people are stalkers and do not mind stalking you or invading your privacy to exact revenge. You might have your ex-spouse as a “friend” on one of those applications, allowing them to know exactly where you are at any point.
Changing your password on any internet site or account your ex-spouse knows about can secure your privacy. You should be safe rather than sorry.
Return Any Property That Belongs To Your Ex-spouse
During the divorce, many of your properties must have been shared amongst you. These properties might not include a few household utensils, gifts, etc.
By returning every other property that belongs to your ex-spouse, you are showing them that you are ready to move forward.
Reduce Direct Communication
Try to interact with your ex as little as possible. Only do it when it is necessary. If attorneys are involved, this can be made easier by making sure that most, if not all, communications should be made through attorneys.
If your ex continues to seek out direct interactions and you are uncomfortable with it, you can always talk to your lawyer about getting a restraining order for your safety.
Setting boundaries are measures we take to protect ourselves. A vindictive ex-spouse can do anything to oppose your efforts to set boundaries. They might ignore, threaten, blame, manipulate, or fault your boundaries.
We cannot compel anyone to respect our boundaries, but we can control how we respond.
Vocalize Your Boundaries
It is not enough to just set boundaries and vocalize them. Limitations make your expectations plain when your ex-spouse knows what to expect from you and how you want to be treated.
People tend to respect your boundaries when you express them clearly. You can achieve this with the help of your attorney. Identify your limits, and communicate your boundaries calmly and consistently. If your edges are not respected, estimate your options and take whatever legal action pleases you.
What Causes Someone To Be Vindictive?
A person who wants revenge longs to inflict the same damage on the other person because they feel it will make them feel better, but they do not always feel better.
In some cases where spouses were cheated on or were severely hurt emotionally, their vindictive behavior is a reaction to their pain over the ending of the marriage.
There are a few other reasons some ex-spouses get vindictive, and they include:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
According to research, most vindictive people have a narcissistic personality disorder. Most people with this disorder get hurt by essentially trivial or incomprehensible acts.
Their egos are so sensitive that they might get hurt by the slightest of things, and they do not hesitate to seek retaliation.
Difficulty In Managing Emotions
When some people find it difficult to handle emotions such as anger or jealousy, they choose to exert it on someone else.
Low Self-esteem And Insecurities
Vindictive people usually feel the drive to be vengeful because of low self-esteem and insecurities. Sometimes just catching sight of someone succeeding stirs up frustration and a desire to ill-treat the next person.
How To Deal With A Vindictive Ex-spouse
Keep A Record Of All Your Interactions With Your Ex-spouse
You can record phone calls or money transactions, especially involving kids. This might come in handy if you want to apply for a restraining order. It is not illegal to record a conversation between yourself and your ex-spouse, but it is unlawful to record a conversation between your ex-spouse and someone else, like your children.
Suggest That They Seek Professional Assistance
Narcissistic personality disorders influence some vindictive behaviors. You can try to get your ex-spouse to seek professional help. Family members or friends can intervene with your ex and encourage them to move on with their own life.
Consider Therapy For Yourself If You Feel Depressed
A little self-care will not hurt you. Consider changing your environment or speaking to a counselor if need be. Any remnant of negativity in your mindset can adjust the level of your emotional and physical well-being.
The stress of having a vindictive spouse can cause the quality of your life to decrease. Thinking about or coping with such issues can negatively impact your work, school, or relationship with other people. You can always meet with a therapist to talk about or help resolve complicated behaviors, feelings, or relationship issues.
Apply For A Restraining Order
Children tend to do well when their parents can get along during and after a divorce, but this is rarely the case. The more toxic an ex-spouse is, the more difficult it will be for the former spouse to move forward, especially when minor children are involved.
You can choose to get a temporary restraining order or an extended restraining order. The temporary one can be for a few months, while the extended one can last up to two years. This should be enough to keep your ex-spouse away from your home, school, place of employment, or any other location named explicitly by the court.
It will also require that your ex-spouse, the adverse party, keep from threatening, intruding, or contacting you, members of your family, or any other person named by the court.
Vindictive people act out of irrationality, and you must acknowledge that they might not change. Their lack of empathy will only heighten your discomfort or despair.
It will not be easy having to contend with a vindictive ex-spouse, but you can always try to minimize the influence of their actions on your life with the help of your attorney, family, and friends.