Twitter Facebook Myspace

Formula for Infidelity

Dr. Goulston gives us 4 R’s to heal a marriage that’s been hurt by infidelity:  Remorse, Restitution, Rehabilitation, Request for Forgiveness.

Remorse is not the same as regret.  When you feel regret you look back at something you’ve done and think, “Wow, that was a stupid thing to do.  Wish I could go back and do it over, but I can’t, so let’s move on.”  Regret makes people who’ve been hurt feel as if they have no right to be hurt.  When you feel remorse, you think of your past actions and feel sick, ashamed, you’d give your eye teeth to have a do-over.  But mostly?  Mostly you just can’t stand that you hurt your spouse.  Showing remorse for infidelity will help your hurt spouse feel cared for, listened to, and understood.  You can show feelings of remorse by looking into your partners eyes, listening to them talk about their feelings of pain, and by expressing the pain you feel when you witness how much your actions have hurt them.  Remorse requires courage to admit that you’ve made a terrible mistake, that your actions hurt someone you love, and that you’ll do whatever you need to do to be forgiven.

Spouses who’ve been cheated on feel as if they’ve had something stolen from them, they feel violated and taken advantage of.  They need Restitution, which literally means, the restoration of something lost or stolen.  You can help your spouse find restitution by showing remorse, and then asking them what they need from you so that they can begin to heal.  Ask your spouse what you can do to give them back what they lost.  They may say there is nothing you can do.  Be patient, give them time.

Many times when a spouse cheats, they’ve cheated because they are angry or upset or disappointed with some aspect of their marriage. Rehabilitation is an excellent way to help your partner find Restitution.  Get Rehabilitated.  Show your partner that you’ve learned how to deal with your unhappiness in a healthy way, rather than in a way that is a betrayal to them (through infidelity).  Show your partner that you are happy to have learned a new coping mechanism, and that you have confidence that you will be a trustworthy spouse from now on.

The last of the 4 R’s is Requesting Forgiveness.  Dr. Goulston says it can take between six and eighteen months for a couple to heal from infidelity.  If you’ve shown remorse, if you’ve given your partner restitution and rehabilitated yourself, you have the right to Request Forgiveness.  You deserve a second chance.  If your partner refuses to forgive you even after all 4 R’s, the problem shifts from you’re being unforgivable, to their being unforgiving.  It’s up to them to stop Holding Onto A Grudge.

For more of Dr. Goulston’s Usable Insight, click here.

How To Recognize A Jerk

HuffingtonPost.com just published a great article by Mark Goulston, PhD. about how to recognize a jerk.

All too often we find ourselves in situations where we’ve been trampled on, taken advantage of, or pushed into doing something we don’t want to do.  It’s easy to let the blame fall on ourselves, and while it is important to recognize the role we play in our own lives and the consequences of our actions, sometimes other people are just jerks.  Dr. Goulston’s article is short, to the point, and too, too true.

Click here to check it out.

February Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Law Collaborative,

We wish you the best in all of your relationships. In order to facilitate our wish for you, this month we have included a “tool” to help with communication in your relationships, professional and personal.

As February is often referred to as the month of love, we would like to share an article written by Dr. Mark S. Goulston, Author of “Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.”

The single best predictor of how children do post-divorce is the amount of conflict between the parents. This is true whether you’re in an intact (living together) family, a separated family, or a divorced family.

You have a unique opportunity to influence the outcome, because it takes two people to fight. You can’t fight alone. And while choosing not to engage in an argument or bad behavior is difficult, it is possible. It may take both practice and commitment on your part to make it happen.

Parents in frequent contact who are supportive of each other have well adjusted children. That’s pretty compelling, isn’t it?

10 Strategies for Preventing and Dealing With Conflict:

1. It takes two to argue. Simply refuse to participate.

2. A certain amount of tension is to be expected when you’re getting divorced. Expect difficult discussions. They don’t have to result in a fight.

3. Try to understand your spouse’s viewpoint. Once you understand what he or she wants, you can begin to see how you might be able to help resolve the situation.

4. Evaluate your own goals. Are you entrenched in a position that may have another solution? If you want your children on Wednesday night for dinner, will Thursday do? If your goal is financial security, is one particular asset the key, or could another be substituted?

5. Use “I” statements. Begin every sentence with “I”, rather than “you”. Example: “I feel upset when I hear you say that I’m a bad father because I have to work so many hours,” instead of “You are always accusing me of being a bad father.”

6. After you explain how you feel, listen to your spouse’s side of the story. Repeat what you heard, to make sure for yourself (and to convey to your spouse) that you understand how he or she views the situation.

7. Plan a time to have a discussion with your spouse about a specific issue that bothers you. Limit the discussion.

8. Choose your timing. The same comment may evoke a different response if, 1) neither of you is tired, 2) neither of you is already angry, and, 3) the children or others are not in earshot.

9. Be prepared to say “I’m sorry” sometimes. “I was wrong” can go a long way.

10. Above all, let annoyances go and choose your battles wisely. They are too important to squander. Research points to the benefits of shared parenting, defined as shared decision making, as well as shared time between two homes. Children need emotional sustenance and comfort from both parents to get their needs met. Your co-parenting responsibilities get easier over time as your children grow and their day-to-day caretaking needs lessen. One way to ensure your adult children have a good relationship with you and your former spouse is to set you own needs aside from time to time and take the high road whenever possible. Remember forgiveness is the permission you give yourself to get over an offense & move into health, healing & a happy life. It is not approval. It is not acceptance. It is a gift to you from you. Forgive.

Visit Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes for additional information. Please call us if you have any questions. We are here to serve you.

Follow us on www.Twitter.com/TLC_Law

Add us on www.Facebook.com/TheLawCollaborative

Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky

* A free phone consultation will provide you with general legal information. Legal information is not the same as legal advice – the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, for specific advice on your situation, I will be pleased to provide legal advice after you accept and sign my retainer agreement.

For more information, please visit our website at: www.ronslaw.com or click here: www.divorcemagazine.com/CA/pro/supancic.shtml

Please forward a link for this newsletter to anyone you know who might benefit from this information.

Happy Valentines Day!

Mark Goulston, PhD says:

What does it take to be happy in a relationship? If you’re working to improve your marriage, here are the 10 habits of happy couples.

1. Go to bed at the same time Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

2. Cultivate common interests After the passion settles down, it’s common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.

3. Walk hand in hand or side by side Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it’s more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.

4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.

6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work Our skin has a memory of “good touch” (loved), “bad touch” (abused) and “no touch” (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the “good touch,” which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.

7. Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.

8. Say “Good night” every night, regardless of how you feel This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.

9. Do a “weather” check during the day Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you’re more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.

10. Be proud to be seen with your partner Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact — hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.

Happy couples have different habits than unhappy couples. A habit is a discrete behavior that you do automatically and that takes little effort to maintain. It takes 21 days of daily repetition of a new a behavior to become a habit. So select one of the behaviors in the list above to do for 21 days and voila, it will become a habit…and make you happier as a couple. And if you fall off the wagon, don’t despair, just apologize to your partner, ask their forgiveness and recommit yourself to getting back in the habit.

From Mr. Goulston’s website, Usable Insight.

Rules to live by?

Ron found this on Mark Goulston‘s website, Usable Insight.   It’s interesting to think about what our lives would be like if we lived by these rules.

What would be the effect on relationships if the mutually agreed upon* ground rules were:

1. Before you say something negative or critical to a person, you must say something positive and praising.

2. And before you speak those negative or critical words to a person, you must ask the other person if it would be okay to do so.

I can understand why it would be natural to be more adamantly negative or critical than enthusiastically positive and praising towards another, because negativity comes from a sense of something missing or being wrong within you that compels you to do something about it. Alternatively positivity comes from a sense of fullness and completeness. And just like you’re not too motivated to do anything after a filling, satisfying meal you may not feel compelled to do anything positive towards people. That may explain it, but it doesn’t excuse it.

You might say to me, “That’s hopelessly naive and impossible.” Maybe so, but then what would make it possible?

What would happen if you proposed this to your partner and to your children and agreed to practice it one day at a time, before you slip into the “addiction” that most of us have of being much too quick to be negative than positive? And if they immediately responded, “No way” or “That’s just stupid” what would happen if you said that you were going to commit yourself to doing it anyway?

* BEWARE! If someone won’t agree with these ground rules, you may be dealing with a high-maintenance (easy to upset, difficult to please) person.

TLC, Bringing peace to the legal process