Before You Ride Off Into the Sunset . . .

An old friend once told me that he came home from work to find his house completely emptied, including the carpeting, light bulbs, switchplate covers and toilet paper!  Was his house broken into?  Nope.  His wife decided to move out and end the relationship....

Would You Like Some Pie a la Blame?

We all know them. The blamers. The ones who are the quickest to deny responsibility. Instead, they say things like, “the bank bounced my check,” or  “I missed the deadline because my assistant’s kid was sick.” When I’m working with...

Sibling Rivalry Isn’t Just for Kids

I imagine that each one of us knows of someone who isn’t speaking to a brother or sister. My dad and one of his brothers didn’t speak to each other for decades, and they never chose to reconcile.  As a family Mediator, I hear stories about long-standing...

Kids, Put Away Your Phones — We Need to Talk

Telling your kids that you’re getting a divorce is one of the most significant conversations you’ll ever have, so it makes sense to do the best you can.  Even if you haven’t been on the same page with your spouse for ages, it’s a necessity in...

Adoption and Your Marriage

Couples who adopt are very special. It’s a massive decision with lifetime implications. I think it starts with a “what if …?” and ends with a “let’s do it!” What gets discussed in between is unique and personal, and I would...

Adjusting to Power Shifts in Relationships

Power shifts in relationships can be perceived in many ways. Take the newlyweds who meet in college. The wife gets a teaching job with a decent entry level salary — enough to support the couple while the husband goes to law school.  She works full-time, pays all...

There’s No Crying in Divorce!

It will come as no surprise if I tell you that I’ve seen a couple of tears shed in divorce mediation.   A couple of thousand is more like it. I find it interesting to observe the varying ways people deal with their emotions in front of me, the neutral third...

This Year, You Can Change-Up Mother’s Day

Whose mom comes first on Mother’s Day? Your own mom, your grandmother, your stepmother, your mother-in-law, your kids’ mom, your surrogate mother? I think I’ll stop here, but you get the idea. There’s a great deal of pressure put on this...

Positive Rethinking

Most of us tend to avoid conflict. We repress emotions because they may be negative, and result in feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.  Often, we are afraid of confrontation because we don’t want our feelings to be hurt, or we don’t want to cause...

My Home is Multi-Generational

When my mom and dad first got married, they lived with my grandmother.  When the recession hit in 2009, my nephew had no choice but to move his wife and kids to the in-laws’ house.  When my friend April’s father had a stroke, she brought him to her own...

Can Ending a Relationship be Fair?

I’d say that virtually 100% of the time, the parties I meet with tell me they want things to be fair.  It’s a lofty goal, because the decision to end the relationship almost always starts out one-sided.  Someone is clearly driving the divorce bus, at least...

THINK YOU NEED A LAWYER TO GET DIVORCED? THINK AGAIN!

Your best friend’s husband cheated on her. You tell her, “Get yourself a lawyer. Right away. And be sure to find a real bulldog.” I’m pretty sure someone you know has been involved in this type of conversation once or twice. Many people think...