Sometimes good people, in the face of “the end” act irrational and all sense of logic goes out the window. And there’s a good reason for this. Facing “the end” of anything is a stress provoking event that brings on feelings of fear and uncertainty, while at that the same time, inhibiting ones ability to think clearly. Because when we are stressed the sympathetic branch of our autonomic nervous system is on overdrive, and when this happens, we can’t think.
Take the emotional storm and fear and pair it with a “fighter” type personality or a strong “victim” mentality, and it’s a recipe for a battle that never ends. This is what happens sometimes when people are fighting the divorce battle for years and find themselves on the eve of a trial or court date and don’t even know what they are fighting about anymore. The ‘fight’ and the ‘need to win’, or the ‘need to punish’ takes over all sense of logic and reason, forcing people into positions they feel strongly about, but yet can’t quite articulate or understand why.
Here's some suggested ways out:
1. Assess the course.
Really contemplate and visualize in as much detail as you can, what life for you would look like it, for now (not a year from now), if you were able to agree Vs the details of what life looks like if the battle continues. It sounds simple, but it is so often overlooked.
It’s the idea of figuring out what the value in settlement means to you. Maybe it means not having to start your day off with a pit in your stomach, or not having to tiptoe around the house all day avoiding your partner, going to bed angry and resentful, and then waking up the next morning fully exhausted because you couldn’t sleep. Maybe it means not letting the person that angers you take up all of your head and heart space, or having a little extra money in your pocket, or space and freedom.
The key is to think about the present and what it means now. Not the speculative fearful thoughts of what it could mean later.
2. Have a reason to settle
Sometimes to silence the ego, an answer is needed. Try on some of these:
I was ready to move on. • I got what I wanted in the settlement. • We both got what we wanted in the settlement. • Considering everything, I thought it was best for me to put this behind me. • I thought I wasn’t being fair to my friends and family. • The conflict took too much of “me” away from “you.” • I figured you were tired of hearing about this. • Putting it behind me gave me a great sense of peace. • I’m sure I have some better stories to tell you than this. • When I really looked at all the pluses and minuses, settling this conflict and putting it behind me was by far the best thing for me. • I got tired of throwing good money and time at a bad situation. • Why do you think I settled? [Let them answer and then say,] “Mainly you are right.” • My lawyer’s kid graduated from college. He didn’t need any more of my money. Let me buy you lunch. • I’m tired of thinking and talking about this. Let’s just get on with real life.
It can be hard to finally sign and end things for good. But remember, an ending is a beginning and if you want to experience the other side of life, you have to draw a line and cross over. Don’t’ just fight because your ego is hungry.
If you or someone you know can benefit from conflict resolution outside of court using mediation services, contact us today to get started.