Divorce Mediation: #3 of 10 Reasons to Avoid Adversarial Divorce Litigation | Fridley, MN
#3. The other parent is defined as the problem – the adversary.
“We have met the enemy… and he is us.” This famous like from Pogo (the comic strip character created by Walt Kelly) reveals much about the human dilemma. Let’s face it, we live in a broken world and each of us has been damaged in various ways along life’s path. We are all broken… we have all failed… there is plenty of blame to go around… it takes two to Tango.
But it is so much easier to define the other in the relationship as THE PROBLEM, instead of facing the fact that we also played a part in creating or perpetuating the dysfunctional relational system. And as soon as we blame them and label them the problem, it is just a small step to making them the scapegoat or the adversary… and ultimately the enemy.
When parents become enemies, children are damaged.
Children have the right to have a loving relationship with BOTH parents. And when the parents are each other’s enemies, the children end up damaged along the way. So is this just necessary collateral damage in every divorce? ABSOLUTELY NOT! How much better for parents to negotiate an understanding that they will be happier and healthier apart AND that their children will be happier and healthier if the parents put away the temptations to retaliate or punish, and walk a road to a polite businesslike demeanor toward one another. Really fortunate children of divorce have parents who in time are able to be not only civil, but friendly in their co-parenting roles.
Adversarial litigation teaches people the opposite of the skills they will need to create a healthier and more peaceful future – according to Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D. Thia is number three of ten points adapted from Sullivan’s July 2010 presentation to the Minnesota chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).