Friday, April 1, 2016

Starting with Forgiveness

We all have many conflicts in our lives.  Some marriages are destroyed by serious conflicts that aren't resolved. Friendships end and family relationships are damaged because of resentments and hurt feelings.  Relationships in business, school and politics, as well as between neighbors are damaged or ended because of anger and resentments that aren't resolved.

When people get divorced, there are often continuing resentments, hurt feelings and anger even after the divorce is final.  We all know the result of that:  arguments, fighting over issues big and small, stress and continuing bad feelings. 

Keep in Mind:  Fighting--Bad,   Peace--Good.

That's pretty simplistic, but it's true.  I have seen many people continue pointless fighting because one or both of the parties can't let go.  It's costly and it's stressful.  Most people continue their fights by filing motions and going to court  or by acting in ways that will obviously trigger the other side to file something and go to court.

Forgiving and living peacefully will make life less stressful.  That means, among other things, lower blood pressure and a healthier life. It will also save money from being spent on attorneys and court.

Happier parents = happier kids!  It's so obvious, it shouldn't need to be said. For parents who are concerned about their children's best interests, fighting is the last thing they would consider.

So, how do you move from anger to forgiveness?  I'd like to say, "Simple" and then give you a simple, effective way to do that, but I can't. Here are some things I can suggest.

1.  Let a little time pass.  Wounds heal and anger often subsides.  Also, as the parties get used to changes, the problems sometimes will diminish.

2.  Go to a counselor.  There are many different kinds of counselors and they charge different rates.  As a cheaper alternative to a professional counselor, you can talk with a minister, rabbi, priest, or other religious-oriented counselor, and they should be able to talk with you about the importance of forgiveness.

3.  Use Collaborative Law to work out remaining issues.  If the issues are significant, you may want to use attorneys and an MHP to work out solutions for the problems.

4.  Use social workers who work with the Court.  Many larger counties, such as Tarrant County, have a Domestic Relations Office with social workers who are trained to help resolve issues, even post-divorce, regarding children.

5.  Take a co-parenting class with your ex.  Your attorney or counselor can help you find appropriate classes, and some are online now.  If both parties take the classes, they can be very helpful.

Hopefully, if you are caught up in conflict, you can break free and help yourself by showing forgiveness.  It will help you and your whole family.

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