The key to resolving issues without conflict is to stop being a threat to the other person. Be committed to finding solutions that are fair and that work for everyone. When someone is committed to everyone’s well-being, the adversarial process stops. How can you fight someone that’s on your side.
As a matter of physics, adversariness requires two opposing forces. When one force is removed, the adverseness disappears. It takes two people to maintain the adversarial process. It only takes one person to end it. As soon as you draw sides against someone, the adversarial process begins. So don’t draw sides. Keep your focus on finding solutions that work for everyone. When you are looking out for the other person, you become far more effective. You can discover the other person’s fears and concerns. You can look beyond what the person is asking and see what the person needs. You can discover solutions.
The real issue behind most child custody cases is the fear of losing the children. When you can insure easy access and broad visitation, the need to fight for custody usually disappears. If the issue is child support or alimony, you can usually find out what the court would award and agree to that. Sometimes a good mediator can be helpful. Whatever the issue, there is a way to resolve it. Sometimes you find the solution fast. Sometimes it takes a little longer. Just don’t quit. Sooner or later the solutions will come.
Now, having it work for everyone also includes you. You don’t have to give up everything in the name of cooperation. You don’t have to roll over and play dead. You don’t have to allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Sometimes you have to be careful. Some people are dishonest. Sometimes you need to take a strong stand. Sometimes you need to say, "No". Just don’t lose sight of your commitment. Even if the other person demands everything and refuses to cooperate, don’t draw sides. As difficult as your situation may seem now, it can get a lot worse. Keep looking for ways to resolve the issues. Handle every situation and every interaction out of a commitment to having it work for everyone. In the long run, this will make your life a lot easier.
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