I happened to watch two TED talks this morning, (Julia Galef – Why you think you’re right – even when you are wrong and Kathryn Schultz – On being wrong) that examined the fact that we all believe that we are right in our judgments and how we see the world. In other words we all believe that what we think is right.
It struck me that when folks are involved in divorce this mindset is what causes much of the troubles.
I have seen complaints for divorce that claim that the other spouse committed adultery or was emotionally abusive; certifications claiming that the other spouse has stolen money, gambles or looks at porn on the family computer. As you can imagine these types of claims cause the divorce to go into a tail spin and results in the family spending every penny they have on legal fees to prove that they are right. It goes further; many of the professionals involved in divorce jump on the bandwagon and believe what is told to them by their clients. Every single court motion done is all about how the client is right in asking for relief, all the documents attempt to prove their position to “win”.
What if we just stopped and asked the question – What if I am wrong? If you were wrong how would you change your actions?
Without question, while you are in the thick of a divorce this will be difficult to do. Perhaps you can ask the folks around you to ask the question of you on a regular basis. By folks I mean your friends, family and your lawyer.
When you are angry about what your soon-to-be-X has done “to” you; ask the question what if I am wrong about their motivations or intentions or about how I perceive this? Looking at this from a fresh perspective will allow you to pause, even if it is just for a second, and let a different view enter into your thoughts. This can be transformative.
If you discover that you are wrong it may be possible to shift the course of your divorce and end the litigation or head to a mediator and negotiate a settlement.