In a perfect world, the number of online divorces far exceeds the number of cases resolved in court traditionally. Nevertheless, nothing in this world is perfect, and sometimes when two people decide to get divorced, one of them makes their breakup impossible for another person by being a bully. If your soon-to-be-ex threatens to give you the key of the street, take you to the cleaners, or take full custody of your kids, then he or she is bullying you. Another way of bullying may be all about slandering you so that you look bad in the eyes of others, denying you access to money, threatening to increase your divorce-related expenses, and so forth. The main idea behind such behavior is to intimidate you and make you nervous. If you think that your former love bullies you, then you should take the following steps to go through a divorce as smoothly as possible and reach the settlement that will be satisfactory for you:
Make Sure You are Safe
Truth be told, your bullying soon-to-be ex-spouse shouldn’t necessarily be abusive or dangerous. However, if you feel like there is a danger to your health or life or your kids’ well-being, then take the needed steps to ensure that you all are safe.
You can ask your friends to let you sleepover at their house when the situation is heating up at your home. Or you can move into a hotel unless the divorce process is finalized. And every time your abusive spouse goes mad in front of you and your kids, call the police without any thought. As long as you and your children are in danger, you cannot sit and do nothing!
Take Care of Your Health
When someone bullies you, it may have serious consequences for both your mental and physical well-being. When it comes to divorce-related bullying, things are even worse. Divorce stress added to toxic stress caused by bullying can make your life unbearable. Even preparing another online divorce form may be challenging for you.
At such a rough time, it is perfectly normal if you don’t sleep well, suffer from panic attacks, and are afraid of being around people. Moreover, you are also very likely to have frequent headaches, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue, and even muscle rigidity.
Worst of all, most bully-victims tend to neglect their well-being: even if they have some of the above-mentioned health problems, they continue eating unhealthy food, lead a sedentary life, and avoid being around people. For you to stay healthy during these dark days, it is important to take care of yourself. Make sure you stick to a healthy diet, have enough sleep, exercise, and do other things that bring you joy.
Set Strong Personal Boundaries
People become bullies for various reasons, but most commonly they behave aggressively towards others simply because they don’t respect their victims’ boundaries. Oftentimes, bullies are cowards; therefore, they bully only those who seem to be weaker than they. This is how they try to build their self-confidence at the expense of others.
Even though setting personal boundaries doesn’t always protect from bullies, it helps people to stand up for themselves. Therefore, make sure you set strong personal boundaries in a relationship with your former love to make it clear that you will not let him or her walk all over you and that you are not going to tolerate such disgusting behavior. For example, if your spouse keeps calling you at any time of day or night, setting personal boundaries means telling him or her either in person or in writing that if he or she doesn’t stop annoying you, you will reject early-morning and late-night calls or even block his or her telephone number for good.
Don’t Let Your Spouse Rush You
Oftentimes, divorce bullies tend to rush their divorce process only to force their soon-to-be ex-spouses to make hasty decisions that happen to be unfavorable for them in the long run. Let us say, your former love may insist on using a divorce website and having an online divorce only to finish the process as quickly as possible as if he or she badly needs their share of your marital money or simply wants to make the process easier for your kids.
If you feel like your partner tries to rush you all the time, don’t put a blind eye to it and claim that you need more time to make another decision. Of course, you probably want to get divorced as fast as possible, too. Even so, make sure that your forms for divorce are done correctly, you make balanced decisions, and you don’t agree to anything that you are not comfortable with. Remember that your marital assets should be divided fairly not just for the sake of your kids but also for your sake, too.
Keep Records of All Bullying Incidents
Every time you are being bullied, you are very likely to feel humiliated. Combat this feeling by keeping records of all incidents. Make sure you write down the exact date and time when each incident takes place. Also, mention how it occurs (e.g. via a phone call, text message, or face to face).
It is great if there is someone who has once witnessed at least some of those acts of bullying; however, if there is nobody, don’t worry. Real bullies commonly don’t harm their victims in front of others and that is why your spouse may feel more power when he or she knows that nobody is watching you. Even if you cannot prevent bullying, you can keep records of all incidents so that you can discuss your spouse’s behavior with a lawyer if your case goes to court.