In Mediation cases where two parties are in conflict, whether it is marital transition, homeowner disputes, family and friends, business, or superior court, there are 5 basic questions to ask yourself as a party to the dispute.
1. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECATIONS OF THE OUTCOME?
Everybody thinks about it. From the first supeona served to the time you step into the courtroom. You ask yourself; Should I have started this in the first place? Did I hire the right lawyer, should I have hired a lawyer at all? What will I say on the witness stand? How's the judge going to rule and what happens if the judge rules against me? What's this going to cost me? A hundred question race through your mind. Not one can be answered until you stand before the judge and he/she renders their verdict. You expect it to go one way and are surprised or disappointed when things go contrary to your expectations you had going in. How could this happen you ask your attorney "I thought we were supposed to win?" "they were supposed to lose". Your attorney knows from years of experience that nothing is 100 percent certain. If they did they'd be the only game in town
2. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO YOU?
I didn't! He sued me for divorce not the other way around. "I'm the victim" you might recall yourself saying. "I had to sue for divorce, he cheated on me. I'm the victim". We don't live in a vacuum. Each participant plays a role and you are responsible for the role you play. People in a healthy relationship don't just one day decide to change their whole outlook on the relationship, it builds over time, weeks, months, even years until one day when something happens that breaks the perverbial camels back that it all comes crumbling down. Instead of stopping after work and putting yourself into a situation where you know will be detrimental to your relationship, you did that to you, no one forced you to go or do anything while you were there. Claim responsibility for your actions. Either you want your relationship to work or you don't. If you're going to cheat on your spouse, then cheat, but be able to hold yourself responsible when he or she finds out and don't play the blame game on anyone but yourself because you did it to you.
3. WHAT RESPONSIBILITY DO YOU HAVE IN THIS CONFLICT?
People put stories together in fine detail, each playing the victim or perpetrator in their story to jusify what happened to them so they can bring out their stories to all their friends and family and anyone else that will listen to their sad tale, so this Greek Chorus of family and friends can confirm to you that you were right. Our desire to be right is a powerful force, so why do you have to be right all the time? There are very few professional litigants, and I have known a few but for the most part, people don't take someone to court for the fun of it. What would change in your life if you said "I take responsibility for what happened in this situation", it could free yourself up from a bad story. A wife files for divorce from an overbearing husband, yet the husband plays the victim in his story. A husband files for divorce from a spendthrift wife and the wife's story is of a cheap-skate husband. You are responsible for you and you alone. Ask yourself, what is the payoff you get for being the victim in your story?
4 WHAT INSIGNIFICANT THING COULD I HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY THAT WOULD HAVE CHANGED THE OUTCOME?
What small insignificant thing could the husband have done to avoid putting himself in a compromising situation? How about not putting the turn signal on to turn into the club instead just keep on driving. That small insignificant act might save a marriage. I read of a woman who would always get mad because her husband constantly left his clothes lying around. She would be furious and nagged him constantly until she discovered that if every time he picked up his clothes without her saying anything, she would kiss him passionatly. After a while he was doing the laundry.
Relationship experts Cloe Madanes and Tony Robbins developed the six basic human needs;
Certainty, Variety, Significance, Love/Connection, Growth, Contribution
If you satisfy two of the needs of someone else, you have a connection. If you satisfy four of their needs, you have a strong attachment, If you satisfy all six if their human needs, the person is permanently bonded to you.
It's the insignificant acts that we don't do that causes most of our pain.
5. WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO RESOLVE THIS AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE AFTERWARDS?
In business dealings, Divorce settlements, defendants and complantents, where do we go from here? You've held on to your expectation which most of the time prove to be false. You've discovered why you did this to you. You've claimed responsibilty for your part in the conflict. You've identified the insignificant actions you could have taken to avoid this in the first place. Pretty much all that leaves is the forgivness. Forgivness is not for the other person, it is for you. It allows you to stop editing your story. By holding on to the victim story it will only cause you to lose your emotional, spiritual, and financial life.
Your divorce is final, By the choices you made it was a hard fought battle. Bitterness and resentment towards your now ex-spouse is the order of the day. It's now your first real date after the divorce, after pleasantries and drinks, when asked if you were married before, what is the first thing you bring out but your newly edited bad story of how you were right and he or she was wrong and in your need for approval and rightousness you've now infected another person in your sad tale of whoa. Instead forgive, move on, burn the story of the past so when asked if you were married before you can answer. Yes, I was. I think the lobster is really good here, should we get some wine with that.