I have an answer to a question quite a few of you may be asking yourself. I know I get plenty of reader emails asking me, "why is my ex so unwilling to negotiate and compromise?" It is a question I've asked myself about my ex.
According to a study by Anne Wietzker, of Ghent University in Belgium you can expect different behaviors during divorce proceedings based on whether or not your ex feels guilt or shame.
Evidently guilt "appears to be more pro-social, in that it leads to better problem-solving and more reasonable negotiation." In other words, if your ex feels guilt over leaving he/she will go out of their way to redeem themselves by relieving the pain the divorce has caused you.
On the other hand, "the stronger a person's feelings of shame, the more conflict-avoiding and/or forcing or intimidating behavior the person will show." The divorcing spouse who feels shame is more likely to engage in pro-longed divorce litigation and use threats and scare tactics to get what they want.
Basically, the spouse who feels shame has no shame. Not when it comes to the way they behave during a divorce anyway. Or, the more worthless and incompetent your ex feels about their behavior the worse the divorce process will be for you.
So, next time friends tell you your ex is being a jerk because of "guilt" you can correct them and tell them you wish that was the problem.