March 24, 2016

Why Principled Negotiations are Preferred

591403935-hands-holding-bride-and-groom-cake-toppers-gettyimagesI recently saw an article about Choosing Your Battles and Fight for What Actually Matters. Wow, I thought, what a stagnant place to live! Fighting comes out of two related concepts: participating in games and competitions, or engaging in war. Each of these involve intentionally choosing to participate in a win-lose activity. Engaging in war is actually a lose-lose situation.

There are at least two important times in which that model should be stringently avoided: when you are seeking to resolve conflicts in your marriage, or when you are trying to resolve issues in your divorce.

Unfortunately, not many of us are trained to recognize the similarities in these two important times to learn how to negotiate. Nor are we prepared to understand the importance of negotiation in resolving conflicts in general. Listen to our politicians engaging in national debates with one another, posturing to present themselves as the best choices to lead our nation into the future.

Actually, it is a sad indictment upon civilization that we still live in a world that operates belligerently in a war model devoid of even considering peace as an option. This is happening in a time where we know more than we ever have before about peace building – except this is esoteric knowledge known primarily in academia and not so much in public discourse.

War and sports competitions are win- lose, or lose-lose paradigms. Peace and conflict resolution are win-win paradigms. They are no fun for those whose winning must be at someone else’s expense.

Most who consciously choose a win-lose paradigm for resolving conflicts within a marriage, or, even more importantly, resolving conflicts in ending marriages do so out or ignorance. There is no shame in ignorance when we come by it honestly. The shame comes in being unable to recognize the horrendous costs of not knowing the difference between the two. Ignorance is touching one’s tongue to a frozen metal post in winter. Stupidity is doing it again.

There are profound reasons why it unquestionably preferable to seeking win-win solutions both within your marriage, and again when you are looking to put the marriage aside. It is a small mind that holds onto a need to punish a partner, because it simply cannot be done without visiting harm upon oneself.

Therefore, if you are in a good marriage that you cherish and value, and you have not yet learned how to negotiate within a win-win model, do NOT wait until you have a damaging conflict that is threatening the core of your relationship. Find out immediately what you need to know to learn how to resolve conflicts as they arise.

If you do a Google Chrome search entitled How can I learn win-win negotiation techniques in my marriage? You will find, as I have, there are one million four hundred and ninety thousand hits to this simple search.

We live in a time where we have near unlimited access to information and knowledge. For some, simply finding well written articles can provide all we need to create a process with a committed spouse to move into the higher consciousness world that is emerging. Others may prefer to find a coach or therapist who can work with them to create their own structure. Still others may prefer to find some existing classes or training to acquire these skills.

If you have not acquired these skills during your marriage, and now find that you and/or your spouse are interested in ending your marriage, contact any trained professional in the Collaborative Law Institute as soon as possible to find out how these skills can be invaluable to you at this critical time. You do not need to go to war.

Bruce Peck

Bruce is one of the founding members of the Collaborative Law Institute.
Back in the Wonder Years, this small group was trying to figure out what a new way of practicing family law might look like. Today the collaborative law concept has exploded, not just throughout the United States, but also internationally. For over thirty years Bruce has continued to hone his skills to provide the highest quality of services to family law clients. He helps good people make tough choices during difficult times.

Bruce is a laid back and easy going person who listens well to others. He is a shameless optimist who can always see possibility and opportunity. Being very curious by nature, he is a voracious reader. His love for words has drawn him into being an avid poet.

Bruce’s skills supports clients interests without alienating their spouse. When the parties reach agreement, it is not under duress. They have the time to discuss all decisions with their attorneys before signing the agreement. Once completed, the stipulated divorce is filed with the court for a default hearing in which neither party, nor their attorneys, ever have to set foot inside a courthouse. Learn more at

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