So many relationship issues appear to be related to “controlling behaviour” or the perception of “being controlled” inside such partnerships. Possibly, its presence or absence is an indicator of the durability of relationships, highlighting the distinction between those relationships that will endure and those that are doomed to fail or lead to a situation in which at least one person is trapped in a destructive relationship by the inability to leave.
A mediator’s background
Solent Family Mediation Hove mediator is afforded the opportunity to hear and comprehend the perspectives of both parties in a conflict.
I commonly hear one member of the marriage declare, “I feel dominated by the other person,” while yet denying influence over the other.
How could this be? Can both parties honestly feel dominated while being unconscious that their own behaviour is regarded as dominating by the other?
I believe the answer is yes, but some explanation is necessary.
The effect of dread
In times of conflict, it is common for dread to dominate one’s thoughts. When we feel threatened, the flight, freeze, or fight reaction is activated because fear is a tremendously potent feeling that taps into our most fundamental survival instinct. As a natural response to fear, we want to regulate our surroundings to make it seem more secure. In situations when we feel out of control, we then exert whatever authority we possess to offer a sense of safety and control. This is typically instinctual, motivated by a need for self-preservation rather than a deliberate desire to belittle others.
How do people use power in their relationships?
So, what authority does each possess in the context of a divorce?
- Solent Family Mediation Hove attempt to alleviate any apprehensions by utilizing all of our available authority, in the expectation that the leverage it provides would provide security. However, being on the receiving end of such power creates a spiral of dread and a feeling of being dominated in the recipient.
- attempt to alleviate any apprehensions by utilizing all of our available authority, in the expectation that the leverage it provides would provide security. However, being on the receiving end of such power creates a spiral of dread and a feeling of being dominated in the recipient.
- Some practical instances
- Providing a few instances from my personal experience can assist to clarify. I have employed gender stereotypes, yet these apply equally to both sexes.
What anxieties motivate the instinctual exercise of power?
- Consider a mother who has never had to budget since her spouse has always covered the household expenses. Her greatest concern may be that she won’t be able to pay the mortgage, that the power will be shut off, that she won’t be able to feed the children, or that she will lose her house. mortgage paid, lack of power, unable to actually feed herself and her children, homelessness. These are anxieties that fundamental needs will not be addressed. The husband has the option to:
- a.Feed and exacerbate these anxieties by failing to pay bills; b.leave her in a state of uncertainty; and c.permit these fears to fester by acting and saying nothing
- b. Make a deliberate decision to recognise her worry and take actions to calm her nerves.
- The first scenario would necessitate an instinctual response in which the mother complains, maybe through attorneys, or wields whatever authority is available to her, and the circle of conflict will expand or contract based on the decision made.
The second example is a father whose greatest concern is losing his bond with his children after leaving home. Among Mom’s options are the following:
- a) To exacerbate this concern by discouraging or preventing contact and by disparaging the father or his new partner.
- b) She can choose against her instincts and set it aside her own sadness or anger to foster a strong relationship between the children and their father by encouraging contact, overcoming adversity, and allowing the children to love both parents, regardless of how she feels about their father as a partner.
The superior way
The superior option in each circumstance is counterintuitive; by doing something beneficial for the other parent while we are in pain, we defy our natural want to retaliate against someone we believe has wronged us. However, one tiny good gesture, one recognition, one thank you, and one nice word or deed can stop this pattern.
At the moment of separation, every separate couple must make such decisions.
The function / options of family attorneys
Family attorneys are ideally positioned to assist clients who are naturally distressed and scared about the future while addressing such matters. They should first take the time to comprehend and accept their clients’ worries (rather than dismissing or denying their existence). The goal should therefore be to assist the client view the problem not as “the other person,” but as a need to address the worries and needs of all parties involved, using the paramount needs of their children as a baseline.
Every family lawyer must decide whether to fuel the dread that causes conflict and expense, or to assist cool the situation by adhering to the Resolution code and striving – wherever practicable and safe – to:
- Concentrate on finding not just the client’s but also the separated couple’s / family’s shared interests
- Strive to find mutually beneficial solutions to all concerns, minimize friction and expenses, and treat the opposing party and their representatives with courtesy.
- Maintain the enhancement of the lives of all affected children as their driving concept.
- You may ask, “What if one parent or attorney understands, but the other does not?” Does this not put my customer at a disadvantage?” “Transforming discussions” will be the subject of my future blog.