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...

Avoiding the Shattered Windshield of your Family Business

When I started doing research about conflicts in family business, my inbox overflowed with horror stories. The topics ranged from working for the ex-in-laws to wicked stepmothers taking over the company to whether to call your grandfather by his first name at the...

Disputes in the Family Business

“There’s no conflict in MY family’s business.  It runs smoothly, like clockwork, just the way my grandfather envisioned when he started it in 1959,” SAID NO ONE. EVER. The thing about conflict in family business is that it’s way more...

YOU HURT MY FEELINGS …

We’re a sensitive bunch, aren’t we? We take everything very seriously and very personally. What I’m talking about here is not the Mount Everest of abuse and betrayal. Rather, I’m on the first rung of a small ladder, looking at some of the...

Estrangement — It’s Not All That Strange

“They haven’t spoken to each other in years.” I wish I would have kept track of how many times I’ve heard those words since I became a mediator. Most frequently, the parties involved are siblings, and no two stories are ever the same. There is...

YOU’RE AN ADULT AND SO ARE YOUR PARENTS. NOW WHAT?

I hear this often: “I know he’s 23, but I still worry about him.” Or, “Geez! I’m 25 and my dad still wants to control me.” How do parents and their adult offspring figure this out? First, let me pose a couple of questions: (1) Who...