The Power of the Apology in Divorce

from Huffington Post

“For divorcing and divorced spouses, a heartfelt apology can work wonders in beginning to heal relationships and in settling disputes. Insincere apologies, however, when used strategically to control or manipulate — to try to win or get something, can wreak havoc on divorce negotiations and damage already fragile relationships.”

“Between divorcing adults, an apology, the genuine article, can promote dialogue, decrease emotional distance and even help to re-establish trust. At its very best, it is a healing gesture and a symbol of willingness to take responsibility for misbehavior and to own up to being human. It can also communicate a desire to truly hear and understand (and empathize with) the emotional consequences of the wrong doing that have been brought upon the injured spouse.”

In my experience as a mediator, it is much harder to have “grown-up” conversations and win-win decisions when there has been damage done to one of the parties and no apology by the other.  The damaged party often wants revenge, or to punish, the other party.  Real apologies can be very powerful in mitigating at least some of the hurt and allowing the parties to have positive dialogue about the future and the decisions that need to be made.

If you want to stay out of litigation, with the cost and hurt that it brings, then following the advice in this article might save your a lot of heartache, as well as dollars.

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