Why do we stay in high-conflict situations?
I’m going to fight you to the last penny!
I don’t care what it takes; I will destroy you.
You will never see your children again.
You are crazy and unstable; you shouldn’t be given unsupervised time with the children.
You aren’t competent as a parent; you were never around, so I should be the primary parent.
You lie about everything; I don’t trust you.
The children are afraid of you and don’t want to see you.
The children don’t need you.
You don’t want the children; it’s all about the money for you.
You don’t know how to co-parent,;it’s all about what you want and never the right thing for the children.
It’s because of all my hard work that we have money: you go to work to get your own.”
I gave up my future to take care of the family: you owe me.
If so – you could be a candidate for the high conflict diversion program.
We do what we know
Getting drawn into conflict is a common human tendency, one we most likely learned as we were growing up. We also fear what we don’t know: people in conflict are afraid of what life might look like if they weren’t putting all of their energy into the fight.
But conflict isn’t inevitable
It’s easy to assume that conflict is a reality of life that you just have to live with. But the surprising truth is that conflict is not inevitable. Going back to the dance metaphor – it indeed takes two to tango. If one person in a conﬂict begins to set boundaries and change the dynamics of interaction, the conﬂict ceases to exist. You simply can’t have the dance of conflict without a dancing partner.
Me vs. Him or Her, or “If only they would change.”
You become complicit in the conflict when you believe that “your side” is where truth (or justice or correctness) lies, and that the other person is wrong and “just needs to do what we want them to do.” You’re also complicit when you mistakenly place your happiness on the other person in the belief that “if only they would change, you would be happy.”
Take control of what you CAN control
The only way to end your complicity in the conflict is to take control of what you can control. You have to be willing to change your own ways of thinking and realize that it’s not up to you to change someone else. In a high conflict situation, the simple human truth is that the other person will or won’t change based entirely on what they perceive their own needs to be and how they choose to address them.
If you can start letting go of conflict, discovering what makes you happy and taking responsibility for getting yourself there, you can begin to end our addiction to conflict.
The core of conflict
Conflict consists of five basic aspects: fear, money, control, revenge and substance abuse—or some other form of psychopathology.
Disengagement is the first step. How?
Avoid face-to-face exchanges
Avoid verbal contact
Parallel parenting – set your own rules and traditions