Anyone going through a divorce probably understands what it is like to want the last word. Feelings of unresolved anger and heartache may linger throughout the divorce and beyond. Modern technology has made it easier (and more tempting) than ever to send a pointed message to your ex. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
Last year, one Instagram user started “The Unsent Project.” The young woman behind the project asked others to submit text messages they wish they could send to a former significant other. The messages were printed on a piece of paper meant to resemble a phone screen, and the notes were then photographed against varied backgrounds. While this alone wouldn’t be newsworthy, it is worth noting that the woman has received about 26,000 submissions in less than a year.
Although short, the messages convey the range of emotions that people are likely to feel in the aftermath of a divorce or breakup. Some are snarky, like the one that says: “You used to be my cup of tea. I drink coffee now.”
Others express anger while attempting to convey that the person has moved on. One reads: “Don’t try to talk to me . . . I’m too busy being successful on my own.”
Still others convey genuine sadness or resignation. One submission says: “Try and look me in the eyes and tell me what we had wasn’t real.” Another submission: “All I want is for you to be happy, even if it’s without me.”
While this project isn’t strictly related to family law, it does raise an important point to keep in mind during your divorce or other family law dispute. You probably have a lot that you want to say to your spouse or ex spouse. But in the midst of divorce or child custody proceedings, it is usually better to avoid any non-essential communication with your spouse – especially messages that could be viewed as threatening or insulting.
Text messages, emails, social media posts and all other manner of electronic communication can become evidence during divorce, and that evidence could be used against you. As a general rule, anything that you don’t want to be read in court should not be sent to your spouse.
Instead, you may want to find other ways to express how you feel. If you need ideas, there’s at least one project on Instagram looking for submissions.