Hint: Consider writing down every penny you actually spend for 1-2 months. This often helps people realize that the numbers they came up with on their budget are fictional. You may wish you could only spend $100 a week at the grocery and realize that you actually spend quite a bit more.
One of the best things you can do in this process is listen. Believe it or not, this is hard during the mediation process and if you can practice it here, it will help in the future with co-parenting decisions. If you want to learn more about listening on your own check out “Ury Listening” YouTube
Thoughts that are not helpful during this process:
“She made me angry.”
“He made me sad.”
Reason: You giving away responsibility for your emotions.
Remember-you are responsible for how you feel. The other person may influence you. If you feel a certain way, it is your responsibility for getting to that feeling. It is also your responsibility for dealing with your feelings. If you are angry, it does not justify bad behavior on your part. It does not justify punishing your partner. If you are angry, chances are that your needs were not met. Your needs, like your feelings, are your responsibility. Meet as many needs as you can and ask others to help you meet the others.
“He won’t meet my needs.”
Reason: You can request that someone else meet your needs; ultimately your needs are yours. If your needs were not met, do something different to meet them, rather than blame someone else for not meeting your needs.
“She did that because …”
Reason: As soon as you start assuming something or guessing someone else’s motivation, you are on shaky ground, unless you are psychic. (You probably knew I was going to say that.) If you have a guess, take full responsibility for your communication, “My guess is that you did that because…” and then ask the person if you are correct in your assumption. That way you are owning it as a guess and calibrating your ability to mind read.