01 Oct Put Down Your Dukes
One of the biggest challenges that I faced when trying to settle all the details of my divorce was learning to back down from the fight.
To be perfectly honest, I’m still working on it. It’s not easy to try and get along with the one person you’ve finally decided that you are simply not compatible with.
But what does it really mean to back down? It does not mean that we are either giving in or giving up. And you have to accept that notion before you can get past that block. This is not a boxing match and there are no winners or losers.
Personally, I had to learn to let go of the instinct to fight. A divorce is very hard on both partners, as well as their children, their extended family and even their friends. The fighting easily escalates, serves nobody and can hurt everyone involved. It’s difficult to take ego out of the equation, but it needs to be done.
Spend the time to really think about what’s important and what won’t make a bit of difference in three to five years. Everything seems monumental in the moment, but take a moment to breathe. There will be compromises on both sides, like every negotiation. Communicate your needs calmly and clearly. Take a step away when things get too heated, and try not to sweat the small stuff.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your family, is to find a good mediator. If you don’t gel with the first person you see, find someone else. Having an unbiased third party to help you navigate all the terms and conditions of your agreement is the key to getting things resolved. Take the time to work through each of the issues – I can guarantee this will save you thousands of dollars if you can minimize the need for legal intervention.
Try and look at your divorce settlement as a business deal. You need to put your emotions aside, and work together to find the best possible solution for everyone involved. It’s hard as hell, but if you can do this successfully, then everyone wins. Unfortunately, if you can’t do this, then the only winners will be the lawyers!
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. - Socrates