Download PDF Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life

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Learn how to make decisions cooperatively.

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Win-win decision-making aims for a plan of action that pleases you both. Practice this skill-set on all the issues you listed in step 1. You may be amazed to discover that, even on issues that seemed intractable, you will be able to co-create solutions that will work for both of you. A ffairs, A ddictions, and excessive A nger are deal-breakers. They are out-of-bounds in a healthy marriage.

Fix the habit or game over. If you or your spouse has these problems, saving this kind of marriage could be a mistaken goal.

Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life

Better to end a marriage than to continue a marriage with these hurtful habits. Better yet is for each of you to figure out what you can do differently in the future. The one with the A-habit needs to figure out how to end it. The partner needs to heal, and also to learn alternatives to tolerating the habit.

8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life

Most importantly, especially if you have children who need you to learn how to be more emotionally healthy as individuals and as a couple, is for the two of you both to commit to building a new kind of marriage. That is, end the old marriage. Build a new one with the same partner. Build a marriage where there are zero affairs, addictions or excessive anger and instead, abounding love and trust. Radically increase the positive energies you give your partner.

More shared time and shared projects. More dwelling on what you like about your partner. Listening is loving, especially when you are listening to take in information, not to show what's wrong with what your partner says or to show that you know more. Give more praise and more gratitude. Do more fun activities together. Laugh and joke more, do new things and go new places together.

I wrote above about Gottman's 5: Increasing the positives is every bit as important as decreasing negatives to hit a ,, Look back at your parents' marriage strengths and weaknesses. Decide what you want to do differently. When people marry they bring along a recording in their head of how their parents treated each other, and also how they were treated by their parents. These relationships are where folks learn patterns of interacting for intimate relationships. Decide consciously what to keep from your folks and what to do differently.

Ready to get started? Take this free marriage skills assessment. Then focus in and learn the skills you need to make you a stronger candidate for marriage success. Search out books and marriage ed courses to learn the communication and conflict resolution skills for marriage partnership. Heitler's website that teaches the skills for marriage success. Heitler's website that teaches strategies for overcoming depression , anger, anxiety and addictive habits.

In addition, see Dr. Heitler's latest book, Prescriptions Without Pills , to learn more about how to overcome the 3-A's that destroy marriages. Often, conflicts cannot be resolved, because people use interpretations instead of feelings to describe what is happening to them. The difference is that feelings describe an emotion while an interpretation describes how you see your relationship at a point in time.

I feel sad, angry, afraid, disgusted, pissed, insecure, guilty, shame, etc. I feel betrayed, used, controlled, mistrusted, deceived, etc. The problem with the latter is, that these actually not describe what is going on within the person.

8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life

You can always pose the question: Your point about "interpretations", i. I think in general that you are right. At the same time, some people do seem to find those words useful, probably if they are self-confident folks who are open to hearing all kinds of feedback. In these cases the potentially accusatory-sounding word becomes a jumping off point for mutual exploration from both parties For folks who have trouble finding a feeling word, the old TA Transactional Analysis options are useful.

I know I can't change him, but his way of being leaves me feeling defeated before I even start to address any of the problems. I taught him the tools to communicate where he's coming from, and he uses them. He even mostly remembers to ask how I'm doing, and stay quiet during the answer, which is more than some of my friends have. On the one hand, some folks are natural communicators like some folks are natural athletes. At the same time, almost every kid eventually does learn to ride a bike. They just take longer to learn the skills.

It sounds like your husband wants to learn to communicate more effectively. Your being his teacher as well as his wife is a dual role though and can lead to his feeling depressed and your feeling frustrated. I'd recommend instead you do shared self-study.

There's several articles from my blog that might be a good next step. They could be helpful for both of you to read. I'm impressed that both of you really do want this marriage to become a good one. Here's what, from your self-description, I think might be most helpful:. Solve tough dilemmas with the Win-Win-WAltz: Men tend to find this chapter especially eye-opening. This chapter explains a constructive role for them that enables them to give their wife genuine support.

Lastly, I'd recommend also the website-based program that's based on my book The Power of Two. For a monthly cost that's less than the cost of a dinner out, the program gives the two of you a coach along with web-based exercises: Most importantly, "once-and-future-commuter" thank you so much for writing in about your situation. I'm certain that many folks face a similar dilemma, so your Comment is likely to help lots of people. I found the listening skills blog a good reminder for me, although I was conscious that, like any self-report questionnaire, its accuracy depends on the person's self-awareness.

A person can score quite well simply because they really believe they do all those good-listening things.

Making Divorce Work by Diana Mercer, Katie Jane Wennechuk |

Ask their spouse or children to evaluate them and you might get quite a different picture. My spouse fits the pattern of the non-responder quite well, but I doubt he's interested enough to read that blog, or self-aware enough to recognize himself in that section. He thinks everything is 'okay'.

Making Divorce Work 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life

I don't want to nuke him with all the things at the same time that are not working for me. But what I see ahead, even if he woke up tomorrow and started being able to really HEAR ME, is a really long road of me teaching and him following the same as what's behind us and I'm not sure I have the stomach for that any more. I have multiple health issues and a likely quite limited number of productive years left to live my life the best I can another thing he refuses to acknowledge beyond lip service.

Basically, I need him to take responsibility for his own growth and development as a person. I hoped that would happen while we spent the winter apart but it hasn't. In significant ways he continues to over-rely on me to 'teach' instead of developing his own judgment.

Another futile conversation tonight, that ended with me calming him and giving him positive messages while my own issues were again not able to be heard, has only increased my doubts that it's worth investing my energy in the relationship instead of in an exit strategy. But thanks for the reply. I will look at your book and see if there's any point trying to share a new learning journey with him.

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The hardest part of launching a different kind of relationship is letting go of monitoring the other person's mistakes. Remember that your children are your children for the rest of your life, not just until they are There's a lifetime of family activities that you'll want to attend, and the other parent will want to attend, too. Cultivate a relationship with your child's other parent such that you can be comfortable sitting in the same room for events like class plays, graduations or weddings.

It's hard at first, but it will get easier over time. Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. There will be a time when you need a favor, too. Diana Mercer Peace Talks Mediation divorce Your Divorce Advisor grounds for divorce uncontested divorce divorce mediation custody mediation peace talks family law mediation Making Divorce Work family law divorce video mediation divorce court meditation children of divorce mediator.

Chiefs In Leaked Video. For example, "Whether or not to sell our house is a tough decision and I would like to work together to figure this out" works much better than "If you'd only earned more money while we were married, we wouldn't have to think about selling our house. Understand that acknowledging and listening are not the same as obeying. Give the benefit of the doubt.

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Your spouse is late for a meeting with the bank. Your first inclination is to take it personally. But there are also thousands of other plausible explanations which have nothing to do with you: Not everything's about you.