“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
What Bill and Melinda Did Right…
By Tricia Morris, TransformConflicts.com What did Bill and Melinda get right? Not allowing their emotions to rule their decisions, Bill and Melinda Gates seem to have finalized a competent, fast, and effective divorce. They announced their impending divorce on May 4; they had already negotiated a separation agreement. Their divorce was filed and finalized on August 2, less than three months after it was announced. Although they didn’t provide details to the public of the divorce settlement nor how it was accomplished, typically there would have been a mediated agreement. The parties most likely utilized the skills of a professional mediator, their attorneys, or a combination of both. The advantages to having a mediated agreement are many. Of utmost importance, it keeps decision-making between the couple and away from a judge. As we have seen, it allows the details of the settlement to remain private and confidential. It speeds up the process and significantly lowers costs, both emotional and financial. … Read More
6 Ways to Derail a Mediation…
Mediation can be an extraordinary process of resolving conflicts that have been there for years. By its nature, mediation tends to be successful. Over 90% of mediation cases are successful nationwide.
Children and Divorce
By Tricia Morris, TransformConflicts.com The common thinking is that divorce is harmful to children. Many parents stay married “for the children”, not resolving their issues and not learning to deal with the conflict between them. What has come out of numerous and extensive studies is that conflict is destructive to children, whether the parents are married or divorced. By staying together and not dealing with the issues that are creating their conflict, they are harming their children much more than if they could find a way to amicably divorce and co-parent. Children are often victims of their parents’ relationship instability because mother and father are the foundation of their safety, security, and even survival. Periods of upheaval create serious anxiety and fear in the children which they aren’t equipped to handle. Periods of conflict, therefore, cause scars that can last throughout a child’s life. Professionals that work with divorcing couples are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the … Read More