Separate and Divorce Amicably
Here are some important steps in ending the cycle of conflict when you divorce.
Unresolved conflict brings clients to the Divorce Process. You need to defuse the conflict first to have a divorce be supportive rather than destructive. Accepting that there are two people with very different, yet valid, perspectives is just the start. To learn how to do this, let’s look at what creates and destroys love in relationships.
By being non-accepting, you destroy the experience of love
You destroy the experience of love by being non-accepting. Notice how you feel when someone is critical or controlling towards you. Instantly, you feel hurt and upset. You shut down inside, putting up walls of protection and automatically resenting the person who is non-accepting towards you. The same thing happens when you are non-accepting towards someone else. That person gets upset, puts up his or her walls of protection, and automatically becomes critical and resentful towards you. By being non-accepting, you destroy the experience of love. You then receive non-acceptance in return.
Most divorces are handled negatively
Unfortunately, most divorces are handled negatively. Sides get drawn, and issues become something to fight over rather than something to resolve. Some angry clients bring in adversarial attorneys instead of collaborative mediation and escalate the conflict dramatically. We hurt each other over and over, feeling fully justified in everything we do. Serious damage is created in the process of divorce when none is necessary. We think that love is enough to have a relationship work. The divorce courts are full of people who love each other. To have a relationship work, people need to feel loved. You create the experience of love by giving the gift of acceptance and appreciation.
End the cycle of conflict with collaborative mediation
It's this cycle of conflict that creates the suffering in divorce. To heal your relationship and to have your divorce be supportive, this cycle must end. To end the cycle of conflict and to have your divorce be supportive, take the following steps with collaborative mediation:
- See your role in the conflict. If you blame the other person, you give that person all your power. You make yourself a victim. To get your power back, find your role in the problem. If there is a cycle of conflict, there are two people participating. Once you see your role in the cycle, you can do something about it. Notice how critical you have been and how much you have hurt the other person. Notice how the other person has put up his or her walls of protection and given it back to you. Work with this until you can see your full, 100% responsibility for the cycle of conflict.
- Let your spouse go. There is nothing you can do to make someone stay with you. In fact, everything you do to make a person stay pushes the person further away. To be most effective in handling your situation, let the person go. Then put your focus on healing your relationship and restoring the love, one human being to another. This is the key to saving your marriage. To let go, be willing to feel your hurt. It's the avoidance of this hurt that forces you to hang on. Once you are willing to feel this hurt, the need to hang on loses its power.
- Let go of resentment. Forgive. Forgiveness is not for the benefit of the other person. It's for you. When you resent, you shut down inside. You become bitter and lose your aliveness. Resentment is a subconscious tool we use to avoid feeling our hurt. Once you are willing to feel your hurt, the need for resentment disappears. To forgive, go to the hurt that's under your resentment and feel it willingly like a child. Then notice that the other person is doing the best he or she can with his or her very limited ability.
- Accept the person for who they are. You fuel the conflict by being judgmental and critical. To end the conflict, accept the other person just the way he or she is. This may seem difficult, but it becomes much easier when you notice that the other person is the way he or she is whether you like it or not. Accepting is nothing more than telling the truth. When you are at peace with the truth, you stop being upset. You can then put water on the fire instead of more fuel.
- Listen attentively, do not interrupt. Any time there are two people arguing, there are two people who are trying to push their point of view on the other, and no one is listening. To end an argument, stop and listen. Let the other person express whatever he or she has to say. This ends the argument and makes the other person more open to hearing what you have to say. After both of you have said everything, you can put your focus on finding solutions.
- Brain-Storm solutions that work for both of you. In any divorce, you can expect differences of opinion. The key to resolving these differences is to keep your focus on finding solutions that work for everyone. Normally, we resolve issues by drawing sides against the other person. Then we then fight to have our side prevail. Unfortunately, this puts the other person on the defensive and forces him or her to fight against us. When you are committed to finding solutions that work for both of you, you dissolve the other person's resistance against you. It's hard to fight someone who's on your side.
- Try the collaborative law or divorce mediation approach. If you can't find solutions on your own, use the collaborative law approach or divorce mediation. This is a great way to resolve disputes. In this process, all the parties and their attorneys work together to find solutions that work for everyone. The process is non-adversarial and very effective. Disputes get resolved with a minimum about of conflict and suffering and far less expensive.
- Take every opportunity to heal your relationship. Every time you interact with the other person, you will either put water on the fire or more fuel. Make sure you always add water. Do everything you can to empower the person. Make sure the other person feels accepted and appreciated. Be a friend and be interested in that person's wellbeing. If you have done something wrong or “pushed buttons” apologize and mean it.
If you are ready to move forward with collaborative mediation in divorce and you reside in Connecticut, please reach out to us at 860-986-1141. We are here to help make this as stress-free as possible.