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Negotiating With People You Live With

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How to have a peaceful home despite difference

How to have a peaceful home despite difference

Published in: Education, Self Improvement

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  • 1. Negotiating With Your Spouse & Others at Home How to Have a Peaceful Home Life Despite Your Differences Laurie Israel Attorney/Mediator Brookline, MA © 2009
  • 2. Who are Those We Live With?
    • Alone
    • Alone with dogs or cats
    • Temporary roommates you don’t know very well
    • Friends (high school, college, workplace)
    • Siblings
    • Parents
    • Multi-generational family
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 3. Who are Those We Live With?
    • Boyfriend/Girlfriend
    • Committed relationship
    • Engaged couple
    • Cohabiting
    • Married without the License
    • Legally married
    • Divorced and living with former spouse
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 4. The Challenges of Living with Strangers
    • You don’t know what you’re getting
    • May not be commitment to work things out
    • Lifestyles and values may not match
    • Unstable
    • Incompatibility
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 5. The Challenges of Living with Friends
    • Puts strain on a good relationship
    • May prevent you from making friends or getting into a primary relationship
    • Will your friendship ever be the same?
    • Does friendship need distance?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 6. The Challenges of Living with Siblings
    • Sibling relationship is very fraught
    • Sibling rivalries run deep
    • Deep and complex history
    • Can be very loyal and supportive
    • Easy for parents to visit
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 7. The Challenges of Living with Parents
    • Whose problem is it: parents’ or child’s?
    • One would think parents would like to have grown children in house.
    • Often happens due to financial need which puts pressure on the parent/child and child/other siblings relationships
    • Boundary issues
    • Trusting your child to be an adult
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 8. The Challenges of Living with Parents
    • Resisting the urge to “parent” your parent
    • You know each other’s hot buttons
    • Relevance of parent/childhood experience
    • “ Because I said so”
    • Issues around financial contributions
    • Gender expectations
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 9. Living with Spouse, Partner or Significant Other
    • These are all different
    • Different levels of commitment
    • What happens when the going gets rough
    • How you are perceived by society at large
    • Cohabitation pre-marriage may result in higher chance of divorce
    • Getting together for the wrong reasons
    • Arranged marriages – do they work?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 10. Differences
    • Class differences
    • Education differences
    • Family background
    • Family of origin: birth order & number of siblings
    • Mental illness in families
    • Divorce in families
    • Religious differences
    • How much (or how little) money you have
    • How “successful” you are in your career
    • How many hours of week you work
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 11. The Pattern of a Relationship
    • You meet and fall in love
    • What is love?
    • How long is your engagement?
    • Did you work through any problems?
    • How long does the honeymoon last?
    • Did you have your honeymoon before marriage?
    • Did you consider what marriage meant before you got married?
    • What is marriage?
    • Why do some people choose not to marry?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 12. Issues Pertaining to Marriage
    • What does a wedding mean?
    • Significance of big vs. small wedding
    • Significance of elopement
    • What is first year of marriage like?
    • Difficulties in relating to in-laws
    • Does your spouse tie his shoe correctly?
    • Is your spouse still beautiful/handsome?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 13. Having Children
    • Joys of Parenthood
    • Who is more important: the children or your spouse?
    • How busy are you?
    • Who is taking care of the children?
    • Who is doing the housework?
    • Who is working outside of the house?
    • Making decisions about the children
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 14. Money Issues
    • Do you have too much money?
    • Do you have too little money?
    • What can you do about it?
    • Do you have just about the right amount of money?
    • Do you have joint or separate accounts or both?
    • Do you make money decisions together or separately?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 15. Contribution Issues
    • Do you feel your spouse is carrying his/her own weight?
    • Does he/she feel that you are carrying your own weight?
    • What to do if there is an imbalance?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 16. Gender Roles/Expectations
    • Are gender roles/expectations a problem?
    • What if your spouse is at home with or without the children?
    • What if your spouse is un- or under-employed?
    • What if your spouse has other priorities than you in the family?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 17.
    • Distorted thinking
    • We should never have conflict
    • My spouse should meet all of my needs
    • Getting into mental ruts
    • Getting into behavioral ruts
    • “ I can change my spouse”
    Mind Games © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 18. Finding “The One”
    • Is there a perfect person for you (not your spouse)?
    • What is a soul mate?
    • Becoming the perfect one
    • Marriage creates soul mates
    • Marriage is commitment
    • Making managing marriage your career
    • Is the grass greener on the other side?
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 19. It Takes One to Tango
    • Annoying thought but true
    • Changes you make can affect your spouse/partner/roommate
    • It’s like training your dog
    • Living companion may not know he/she is being trained, but that’s okay
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 20. Corrosive Events & Circumstances in Marriages
        • Existence of a Prenuptial Agreement.
        • Lack of a Prenuptial Agreement.
        • Illness of a child.
        • Behavioral issues of a child.
        • Illness of spouse.
        • Death of spouse’s parents
        • Loss of money or job
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 21. We Thought We Were So Compatible…
    • Differences in spending
    • Different interests and hobbies
    • Different concept of vacations
    • Differences in how you wish to spend free time
    • Differences in religion/spirituality
    • Differences in child rearing methods
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 22. Conflict Can Be Good
    • Don’t let it burn out of control
    • Uncontrolled conflict can destroy a marriage or relationship
    • What not to do
    • Criticism vs. Legitimate complaint
    • Don’t attack each other’s character
    • Showing contempt
    • Stonewalling
    • Blaming
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 23. What to Do About It
    • The Laurie Israel Plan™
    • Studies on staying with marriage
    • Problem with sharing bad things with friends/family
    • Some things you can change
    • Some things never change
    • Walking around problem areas
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 24. What to Do About It, Part 2
    • Communicating verbally
    • Hot speech
    • Using “I” words
    • Asking the powerful non-defensive question
    • Communicating in writing
    • The problems with email
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 25. What to Do About It, Part 3
    • Interpreting the meaning behind the action or the words
    • Encouraging good behavior with “predictions”
    • Creating clear boundaries
    • Protecting yourself
    • Disarming your spouse
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 26. What to Do About It, Part 4
    • Demonstrating respect
    • What to do if your living partner does not demonstrate respect to you
    • Bargaining with your living partner
    • Using humor
    • Accepting imperfections
    • Promoting freedom for each of you
    • Promoting self growth
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 27. Counteracting Marital Malaise
    • Interpreting the blue print behind the words or actions
    • Counteracting marital dissatisfaction
    • Encouraging compassion
    • Discouraging resentment
    • Practice simplicity, patience, and compassion
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 28. Marriage is Important
    • Why marriage is important
    • Why marriage deserves your attention
    • Treat your spouse better than you treat anyone else
    • Foster and encourage your spouse’s dreams and goals
    • If possible, try to understand your spouse’s interests or at least respect them
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 29. Financial Security for Married People
    • The third leg of a three-legged stool
    • Work hard to create financial security
    • Make sure money is not scarce
    • Enjoy your life
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 30. Forgiveness
    • Everybody makes mistakes
    • Everybody says things wrong
    • Let things pass
    • Assume your living companion (and you) will learn from your mistakes
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 31. Fidelity in Marriage
    • Be faithful and do not have an affair
    • What to do if your spouse has an emotional affair
    • What to do if your spouse has an actual affair
    • What to do if you are having an emotional affair
    • What to do if you are having an actual affair
    • Infidelity is not necessarily the end of your marriage
    • The different types of infidelity
    • How people can heal their marriages
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 32. Expectations about Marriage
    • Don’t think marriage is perfect
    • Don’t think marriage is easy
    • Be satisfied with the things you have
    • Know that both or you are doing the best that you can
    • Always assume the best of your spouse
    • Don’t think it is greener on the other side
    • Compliment your spouse at least once a day
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 33. Why Divorce Generally Should be Avoided
    • Unnecessary
    • Starting over with same problems
    • Financially devastating
    • Should you stay married because of the children?
    • Learning about life and reconciliation
    • A shared history of memories and experiences
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com
  • 34. Where to Get Help
          • It’s never too late to get your marriage back on track
          • Read books on marriage
          • Go to marriage websites
          • Attend marriage retreat programs
          • Marriage counseling
          • Individual counseling/therapy
          • Marital mediation (Mediation to Stay Married)
          • See a divorce lawyer to get a “read” on what a divorce would look like
    © 2009 Law Offices of Laurie Israel Brookline, MA www.laurieisrael.com

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