“I’d rather live in a gutter” is what an elderly mother once said in response to her seven adult children fighting over her rather expensive care. Money wasn’t the issue, but the conflict lived on. Mediation was ultimately the answer. However, the mother, who previously had a happy family, had to endure years of turmoil, guilt, and a fractured family that she loved so much. Dementia doesn’t protect our elders from emotional upheaval. While it is sad to watch family members decline, it is also an opportunity for the next generation to make the last years of their parents’ lives as peaceful as possible. How do we do that? • If arguments start happening, bring in a mediator sooner rather than later. Many families wait until there is litigation and that’s too late. • A family counselor can also be helpful to provide a sounding board so that all voices can be heard. In that way, it is similar to … Read More
How Do We All Get Along?
One thing that we can all agree on is that the level of our private and public discourse has reached a low point and is unacceptable to most of us. In addition to being unpleasant, we are also not solving the critical and urgent problems facing us as a world, a nation, and often our families. One of the aspects of dealing with difficult issues is that they do need complex and diverse thinking to solve them; If they were easily solved, they wouldn’t still be with us. Many of our problems need people from different viewpoints to come together and offer their ideas with wisdom and open-mindedness to find an outcome within that synergy. How do we do this? 1. Let’s approach each person we encounter with an open mind and heart. We truly are all in this together and there probably really is more we have in common than what divides us. We want to look for what … Read More
Gray Divorce: Why are 20+ Year Marriages Ending?
Research over the past five years has indicated that the highest divorce rate in the U.S. is in this demographic. The divorce rate in this category has doubled since the 1990s and is predicted to triple by 2030. Why? 1. Adult children leave home. Too often when couples have children, their relationship takes a second seat to being parents. When the children, which were the glue that held the marriage together, leave home, the child-centered parents may start wondering, “Why are we together?” There may be simply too much distance between them to rebuild their marriage. 2. Personal growth differences. If couples don’t take the time to communicate and discuss their personal growth in-depth, they often go in different directions, or, one partner grows, and the other doesn’t. Sometimes desires have been sublimated to avoid conflict and that is no longer tolerable. People have awakenings in their lives that don’t include their partner. There often seems to be too big … Read More
Is It Legal??
Many people do not consider Mediation seriously because they do not think that the outcome will be legal, this is a misconception. Mediation is voluntary and people are free to terminate the process if they choose to do so. People that decide to mediate, complete the process more than 90% of the time. The Parties’ willingness to resolve conflict with each other and complete the mediation process results in a final agreement that is considered a binding legal contract and is recognized by the Courts. Why is this important? Divorce and other conflict related cases are legal processes and determined by the courts. Mediation is powerful because it allows people to step outside of the conflict for a time, to resolve it creatively, and then step back into the legal system to formalize things as a legal binding agreement. Because of that, Mediation can provide the peace and security which allows people to know that a future violation by the other Party would have legal repercussions. Business agreements, parenting … Read More