Not Listening, Not Hearing

Recently, I saw a cartoon that pictured a middle aged couple sitting in a living room. The caption was” I’m sorry dear, I wasn’t paying attention. Could you please repeat everything that you said since we got married.”

That cartoon hit a responsive chord because many of the divorcing couples that come to me have not heard or listened to each other — usually for a very long time. None of us like to feel like we are “talking to a wall”. Lack of communication leads to resentment, anger, and frustration.

Mediation requires that the husband and wife listen to each other. When I work with a couple to help them resolve divorce issues, I take the time to help each party learn to listen to the other, and I make sure that each is heard and understood by the other. Once the couple can hear the other, and possibly understand, where the other is ” coming from”, they can look at the issues as problems that need to be solved by working together, rather than a series of battles in a war – that cannot be won.

There are methods of teaching how to listen, how to hear, how to be heard, how to understand and how to be understood. They are part of my mediation services.

Be Well,

Mike Stokamer,

Separation & Divorce Mediator & Collaborative Attorney

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