If you are like most people, having someone tell you “no” can be frustrating. It may feel like a denial of your wishes or a quick way to shut down a conversation. However, saying “no” is extremely important. And hearing your spouse say it may be even more so.
Contrary to what you might believe, “no” can be a vital means to the end of your marriage, especially during mediation. Since a lack of standing up for yourself can affect your mental health, it is just as important to say what you do want as what you want. And while the underlying belief may be that uttering that seemingly simple two-letter word is negative, the reality is that “no” can hold health and healing.
“No” is important in communication
Rather than accepting things you are unhappy with to try to speed up your divorce process, mediation can help you and your spouse focus on how you can resolve your differences in a way that is mutually beneficial. It gives you the opportunity to reach a compromise. But how does hearing “no” benefit you?
When you spouse tells you “no,” they are providing necessary information. If you open your mind and listen intently, you may come to understand what they are telling you is:
- What guidelines they are establishing
- How serious they are
- Where they stand on an issue
Rather than trying to make demands or using your mediation process to resolve past hurts, remaining open to dialogue about what your spouse desires from your divorce can help you work toward mutually agreeable terms. And just maybe, you can learn about why your marriage ended through truly listening to your partner. From there, you could allow their “no’s” could shed some light on yourself and how you might want to handle any potential future relationships.