As a San Diego Divorce Mediator for over ten years, I have worked with hundreds of couples and families. In each case I’ve been involved with, I’ve taken a lesson from it. While it’s important to note that every situation is different, these lessons have stuck with me. Read on for three lessons I’ve learned as a San Diego Divorce Mediator.
Be Understanding & Show Compassion
You never really know what people are going through. Working as a San Diego divorce mediator means that I’m working with people at some of the worst times in their lives and the stress/overwhelm is often at an all-time high. When someone is cold to you, you might want to blame them for their behavior and be rude back to them. They may be acting that way because they just came from a meeting with their soon-to-be ex-spouse and they are upset, which results in taking it out on you. I’ve learned the importance of treating people with kindness and giving them grace for what they might be going through. So, the next time someone upsets you, especially a stranger, I invite you to take a moment to breathe and think about that.
Nobody Plans on Getting Divorced
I was unmarried for most of my career as a San Diego divorce mediator up until marrying my husband nearly nine years ago. During this single stage, the most common question people asked me (after asking if I was married) was whether I would ever get married. My response to that was always that yes, I still planned to get married (and I did!) because no one plans to get divorced.
Of course, nobody plans to get divorced and end their marriage when they’re getting married but what I really mean by that is that most people aren’t even thinking about what could happen if they were to get divorced. So when I got married, my husband and I also put together a premarital agreement before doing so. I recognized the unprecedented issues that could come up and I wanted us to be realistic about the situation. With nearly 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s still possible that we could get divorced. So, while I’ve learned that none of my clients planned to get divorced, I’ve also learned the importance of solid communication and planning for what could happen.
Communication is key
While we’ve written blogs before on communication, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a San Diego divorce mediator is that communication is key. A question people like to ask when they find out you work as a divorce mediator is what the main reason is why people get divorced. Most people assume it’s infidelity or finances, but I believe from my experience as a San Diego divorce mediator that the main reason people get divorced is because of a lack of communication. Now this lack of communication could be about anything, such as you’re not communicating about your financial situation so your spouse spends too much, and you don’t work together on a budget. It could be not communicating about your desires and needs so you end up looking outside of your relationship for those to be me.
The best way to establish good communication is a solid foundation. Premarital mediation and premarital counseling are both great options for establishing that foundation, but ultimately, it’s not too late to establish good communication even if you’ve been married for many years. San Diego divorce mediation has taught me the importance of couples counseling, even if things are good because there is always room for improvement. We recommend connecting with one of our talented professional therapist referrals and getting on the same page as your partner.
by: Amanda Singer