June 8, 2024 Colab – Divorce and Mediation on Don’t Pick the Scab Podcast with David M. Webb

Got a chance to go on the Don’t Pick the Scab Podcast by David M. Webb, a show discussing divorce recovery for men over 40.

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0:16 Welcome to the Don’t Pick the Scab Podcast with the premise of connecting Man Over 40 with the tools and community to thrive in their divorce recovery either before, during, or after a divorce.

0:29 Check it out.

0:30 Welcome our body out there to Don’t Pick the Scab Podcast, a podcast that has some of the best media to start or continue divorce recovery for Man Over 40.

0:39 Welcome Mac Arthur Pierre-Louis to the show.

0:42 He’s an attorney who specializes in mediation He has a podcast about resolving conflicts, the Lawyers Mediators International podcasts.

0:53 We were just talking about how you ended up in mediation and law, so go ahead and finish that.

0:58 Yes, yes.

0:59 So basically I’ve been a lawyer since 2009 and during that time I guess it’s been three big phases.

1:07 Phase one was the Attorney General Child Support Division working for the state, representing the state’s interests and helping protect the state.

1:15 children’s interest in receiving child support.

1:17 But in that role, I was neutral.

1:20 And I was representing a neutral entity, the government, trying to help the two parents go through the process.

1:26 Then after that, I left the AG. ‘s office, and I started my own law practice in 2014.

1:31 And since I’ve been doing that, I’ve been a partisan, working for a mom or a dad, and usually in a divorce or a custody setting.

1:40 And with that hat, I’m trying to fight for somebody But like I said before, over time I discovered, I realized that it wasn’t bringing me much joy trying to fight for somebody in order to tear

1:53 somebody else down just to win.

1:56 I found more joy in what I discovered in mediation.

2:00 I had to take my clients to mediation because it was required before you go see the judge for a contested hearing.

2:07 But by 2017, I decided to just jump in in myself, and I started doing it because I saw a lot of good things coming out of helping two people.

2:16 why to resolve their differences and hopefully transform their life so that they know you know they have the skills to be able to in the future not keep fighting but learn to make peace so that they

2:25 can move on especially when there’s kids involved so yeah that’s what I do now is still mainly law because that’s kind of where the business is however my personal goal is to be a full-time mediator

2:39 to help people resolve the differences.

2:42 What are some of the most common challenges men over 40 have during divorce issues with co-parenting let’s go dive in the co-parenting that’s a that’s a big one in mediation how do men handle that

2:56 sometimes or some of the changes they have.

2:58 Yeah so typically you have a typical situation is you know where a father if he’s not a father then it’s gonna be something that can be wrapped up pretty quickly because the separation, there’s

3:11 property involved, and it will move on.

3:13 But when there’s a kid involved, now you two are stuck together at the hip until the child emancipates and realistically until you die because your child is always going to be connecting you.

3:26 And so I think helping people one, make peace with the fact that the relationship is over, two, helping you now go into this new world of learning how to co-parent.

3:36 Because like I always say, there’s no book out there that actually helps people just learn automatically how to co-parent and this new world.

3:47 It’s people imagine that you will split up and then you have your household and the other person at your household.

3:52 However, how do you deal with conflict when it comes up over a child?

3:56 Like nobody ever teaches you this.

3:58 When you get married, there’s no preparation for when it might end.

4:02 And so most people are kind of thrown into it.

4:04 And so as a man, you know, he will feel like his world’s falling apart.

4:10 He might feel overwhelmed by all the challenges just

4:12 want to do his lap and he may have some societal pressures because, again, there is a lot of expectations on men.

4:24 You will be called a dead-beat-dad real quick because you missed one child’s board payment.

4:28 So there’s all these challenges that people are not trained or prepared to face and then all of a sudden they face all of them one time and they have to quickly learn and I’ve seen some people learn

4:42 very quickly and they adapt and they talk to their right support system and they kind of move forward.

4:47 But I’ve also seen people kind of crumble.

4:50 They start making bad life choices and they may start taking drugs or alcohol to cope.

4:55 And so it all depends on who the individual is but the more information that’s out there and like in this conversation for example hopefully someone’s going to find it and see what they get some tips

5:05 from it

5:08 You know, we were talking in the pre-interview quickly.

5:11 We were talking about how you’re not a therapist but sometimes you walk in that fine line with your clients because you’re trying to help them through a difficult time.

5:21 How does that work?

5:23 So hopefully one day I might become a LPC, a licensed professional counselor.

5:29 I think when you do this kind of work and you see the patterns that go on and on every single day between two parents or two ex spouses, you start seeing patterns in the business and you start

5:42 learning about a lot about human nature and you start hearing the same kind of things from that men’s say and the same kind of things that women say and

5:54 with experience over time because you get to have a front row seat at the same kind of conflicts that keep recurring I do start feeling to a degree kind of like a counselor because I’m telling people

6:08 look here’s what I’ve seen obviously it’s not counseling advice it’s not therapeutic advice but

6:14 people trust your experience, you know, when you’ve gone through it, you’ve seen it all.

6:19 And I think it makes me a good mediator because I’m able to help the mom in front of me kind of identify, you know, the her trigger points and why this guy is saying this.

6:29 And the father, you know, who’s listening, might, you know, in the mediation when he’s talking to me one on one, I want to help educate him to kind of see, hey, you know, look, you might

6:39 have blinders on, you might be seeing this from your own perspective.

6:44 But here’s another way to look at it.

6:46 So I think that’s the good thing is helping people, you know, see where they might be at fault, where they have some responsibility and where the other side’s coming from.

6:57 So I think therapists and counselors do that.

6:60 So it’s very similar.

7:02 This is a perfect segue because you were talking about having helping other people look at the situation you take the emotional component because that’s that’s that’s that’s probably the big blinders

7:12 everybody has with remediation, you know, the high volatile emotions.

7:18 How do you speak to that?

7:20 How do you try to handle that?

7:22 Correct.

7:22 So I’m actually going through a book right now called

7:27 dealing with high conflict personalities.

7:30 And it’s given me lots of good pointers.

7:32 I like reading these kinds of things because it helps my job when I go in to work with people.

7:37 We’re all emotional creatures, right?

7:38 But it’s in a spectrum.

7:39 And so what we have to do as mediators is to learn, okay, here’s how the human mind works, how the brain works, how the brain operates.

7:48 Here’s what happens when your prefrontal cortex, which is supposed to be dealing with your rational thoughts, gets

7:57 basically just shoved over because you’re a amygdala, you know, your reptilian brain takes over, which controls your emotions, takes over and it starts making you react and sometimes it’s very

8:09 strong.

8:10 especially when there’s strong emotions connected to it, like there’s been a betrayal

8:17 or there’s been an injury to a child or anything involving fight or flight, anything involving fear of the future and not knowing how you’re going to mid-end meet or the stage challenge, take half

8:27 your money and how are you going to survive.

8:30 So these things are going to, of course, bring out strong reactions and so I think the first thing is we immediately start off by understanding why do human beings react this way and so the person’s

8:39 doing is something completely normal.

8:42 It’s just that when the person is listening, think of it, they don’t see that, right?

8:46 They are literally controlled by their emotions and so a lot of mediation is us kind of sitting here, helping people, validating their experiences because one of the things, this is a book called

8:58 How to Calm an Angry Person Down in 90 Seconds or Less, it’s called DeEscalate, that says is what a person wants when they.

9:09 feel angry or they have a strong reaction is validation.

9:13 What a person’s ultimately looking for is to be heard.

9:16 And so if a person comes at you

9:19 and they are angry and they are angry at you because they feel that you’ve done them wrong, they come to mediation and they are out of control, what we start off with is not by telling them, hey,

9:34 calm down.

9:34 All that’s gonna do is make it worse, right?

9:37 What we start off with is listen very carefully, not to their words because that doesn’t really matter, but to their emotions.

9:45 And we point it out and we bring to their attention, oh, that’s how you feel.

9:50 You feel this way, so the person is really angry.

9:52 I’ll give you some examples.

9:54 Let’s say you and I are fighting over, I don’t know, my cat who’s sitting over there and you kicked my cat by accident.

10:02 You didn’t see the cat, but it was an accident.

10:03 I take it personal because I love my cat And I’m like, Hey, you kick my cat.

10:09 you turn to me, you could handle it in different ways, right?

10:12 You could turn to me and be like, no, I didn’t.

10:14 Okay, that’s going to cause an escalation because yeah, I’m going to feel it, you’re calling me a liar.

10:20 But if you turn around to me and you say, oh, you’re angry, all of a sudden that validation causes me to feel like, wow, he’s listening.

10:30 He’s validating what I’ve said.

10:32 He’s not calling me a liar to my face.

10:34 He’s not challenging me.

10:36 And so that’s kind of how we do it when we start validating people’s emotions, not necessarily not that they’re right, not to say that you’re correct and truthful, but their emotions are valid.

10:47 When we start doing that, it starts creating a reciprocity.

10:50 And human beings then want to acknowledge, yeah, I am angry.

10:54 And you feel that I hurt your cat.

10:57 Yeah, how did you know?

10:58 That’s how I feel.

10:60 All of a sudden, all you’ve done, all you’ve done is validate their feelings and now you’ve brought them down to a place where they’re free, where their.

11:08 prefrontal cortex can start taking over

11:11 and be rational in helping resolve the conflict that we might have between the two of us.

11:16 But if you challenge them, forget it, especially with men.

11:19 And men are big on respect.

11:21 When a man feels disrespected, he’s going to want to prove to you how he’s been wrong.

11:28 And so that’s a whole other thing.

11:29 But basically that’s kind of how we handle the emotional aspect of it. Let me take it one step further.

11:37 We’re going to discuss the inward narcissism.

11:41 Okay.

11:45 Yeah, yeah, yeah.

11:46 I was like, wow, this is a difficult show.

11:50 No, yeah, but I

11:53 think that word is a loaded term.

11:55 And

11:57 I actually did a recording years back with former partner of mine on this exact topic, and we were talking about it because It’s one of the more popular terms we hear in every kind of consultation.

12:12 Somebody comes to our office, they sit down and we say, How can I help you?

12:18 And when you hear the list of grievances, how the person has been wronged, you inevitably will hear a few buzzwords.

12:28 One of them is narcissism.

12:30 The other one I think I’ve noticed more recently is the word karma, actually, that, oh, they’re gonna, yeah, they’re gonna get karma.

12:38 You know, I believe in karma.

12:39 Karma’s gonna get to them.

12:40 But the thing, but real quick, on that one, the thing about karma is it seems that the person who’s saying it is always starting with karma from the present going forward.

12:49 The person never goes back in time and maybe admit that maybe the reason they’re going through difficulties because the karma is from the past unto the present.

12:57 So I’ve just noticed that there’s an inconsistency there, but people love to use karma now to be on the other side But anyway, back to narcissism, the other word.

13:07 that it’s no surprise that people would be tempted to raise the one buzzword of our time that seems to be able to put everything at the feet of their opponent.

13:24 There’s a temptation there naturally, especially if you feel hurt.

13:28 And so I’m not a betting man, but I just cannot imagine that any relationship breaking up could be the fault of just one individual, all of it.

13:41 It doesn’t make any sense to me.

13:43 It’s gonna take two to tango.

13:44 Of course it’s going to take two.

13:46 But whenever you hear the word narcissism, it’s being said, usually by somebody who is pointing

13:53 it out as the indication of the root of all the problems of the relationship from that one individual.

14:00 To me, I just don’t think that’s a reasonable approach.

14:03 I think that narcissism is gonna be a spectrum, again I’m not a doctor on this, but.

14:07 As far as on a spectrum, I think to a degree, we’re all going to care really strongly about ourselves.

14:12 But I think what the person’s really saying is not that the person only cares about themselves.

14:17 I think what the person, why the person who raises that is that this individual doesn’t seem to care about who they hurt.

14:27 They will be so self-concerned that to them, it doesn’t seem it doesn’t matter who they hurt And so if a mom or wife comes to me and says, I’m a husband or narcissist, then I think what she’s

14:41 really saying is that he doesn’t give any kind of validation to my feelings.

14:47 How I feel and how it ends up infecting me or the children, he only cares about himself.

14:53 And so to a degree, sure, that is probably happening, that might happen, that can happen. However, does the person take any kind of responsibility for the possibility that.

15:07 we all know the triggers and the other person.

15:12 Sometimes the only person who could hurt you deeply is the person who knows you really well.

15:16 Okay, it’s like the Judas effect.

15:18 And so I just think that we have to take a step back, not use just a loaded term as if it’s absolutely true.

15:25 If the person is clinically narcissist, well, let a doctor assess them, but when you’re the one doing it, it seems to me that it might just have

15:35 pitfalls of non-truths because you’re staying out of anger.

15:39 But anyway, I just think it’s, to summarize, in a nutshell, I think the word is overused, but it does exist.

15:47 I just wish that we would have the professionals diagnose it, not the person who you’re triggered by.

15:53 It’s almost like you’re pointing one finger out and then three fingers are pointing back to you.

15:58 That’s a thing, it takes two.

16:00 And so I just think that it’s not necessarily fair, for the diagnoser to also be the person who has an incentive to diagnose.

16:14 It doesn’t make sense.

16:15 You have to get a neutral objective person to do it.

16:18 And I think if the person is willing to go to therapy or they’re willing to get diagnosed and they’re willing to go talk to a psychologist and there’s an assessment that’s made, okay fine.

16:27 Then I think we can use the word more openly, but I’ve never seen a word more used

16:36 in a family law than that word.

16:39 So it is – Especially lately.

16:42 Yes, especially.

16:43 So it becomes a trend.

16:44 You could literally put narcissism and the word trend into Google and you’re going to see people talk about this this way.

16:50 So it’s not a surprise.

16:51 I noticed it, I noticed it, but then I’m like, a lot of people are noticing it as well.

16:56 It’s not a surprise.

16:58 So it’s just a, there’s a self-serving in it and when you go around finger pointing.

17:05 especially if you’re a relative or loved one or family member.

17:08 Well, of course, you would think that you know them best.

17:11 But at the same time, you’re the one who probably stood to be hurt the most, and so there’s no surprise than why you’d be a one to label them.

17:20 Are there any unique legal or financial challenges that men over 40 face during a divorce in mediation compared to younger men or even women of the same age?

17:32 You know, they’re kind of like I said before, they’re kind of like a

17:36 super niche.

17:37 And so, are some of the things that they go through that others don’t?

17:42 Yes, I think what other them is retirement and the thought of it because when you’re over 40 you start thinking about, you know, taking care of yourself when you get older.

17:52 And in many ways divorce is going to gut your finances, right?

17:58 Because you’re usually going from a two percent household, two percent income household into one.

18:03 And you may now have the added responsibility of having to support, you know, whether that’s child support or alimony, potentially for years.

18:13 And many people, no one planned to do that when they get into the relationship.

18:19 And so just imagine, in a way, you’re feeling like you’re starting all over.

18:22 And how that, and how you might feel that you’ve lost 10, 15, 20 years, that if you had known this was gonna happen, you would have probably be, you know, saving things a little differently,

18:36 doing different decisions.

18:38 But when you have one set of plans with your life partner, and you discover sooner or later that all of a sudden, you have to start over.

18:47 I think that’s something that men over 40, are going to face that younger people won’t, because they have more time, right?

18:55 With interests and – To recover.

18:57 Yeah, exactly, it’s a,

19:01 So that’s the thing.

19:01 So with that phrase, cheaper to keep her, I mean, it starts having a whole lot more meaning when you are older, because you have to wonder to yourself, I mean, do I really want to completely

19:11 start over?

19:12 Or am I going to just do what I gotta do to make my marriage work, you know?

19:15 So, but that’s a financial thing.

19:18 And so I’m sure there are other

19:22 unique things.

19:24 As far as relationships go, I think, you know, by the time you’ve crossed the 40 line, you started kind of being set in your ways And so you’re, you may be less likely, in my opinion, to get

19:33 remarried.

19:34 You may be less likely to want to go take that risk again.

19:38 You may have already had children, more likely than not.

19:42 But if you’re younger, well, skies kind of the limit.

19:46 And you might imagine you may not have a child already.

19:50 And so, yeah, yeah, but emotional, financial, there are some differences.

19:56 So what kind of advice would you give to men that are getting ready to head into a mediation.

20:01 Or even have a mediation coming up in the near future.

20:05 What kind of advice could you give them as they go into it because I wanted the mediation.

20:11 I was scared as hell because I had no clue what to expect,

20:17 and it didn’t go well because we couldn’t agree on anything, but my divorce was very contentious.

20:24 But what kind of advice can you give to my men who were 40?

20:27 So one thing I always tell people, when you come to mediation,

20:33 understand that

20:36 human beings will only accept something when they think it’s to their best interests.

20:44 And actually, this is a type of mediation, we call it interest-based mediation, instead of positional mediations where the traditional route people might have a position and you’re defending your

20:55 position.

20:56 But now we’re starting to discuss, well, how does the mediator help people see things from the perspective of their own interests?

21:05 And the classical example is the

21:08 orange that 2 people are fighting over.

21:11 One person might want the juice of the orange.

21:14 The other person might want the orange skin in order to make a cake.

21:17 And so they will have an interest.

21:19 And so the magic is how do we get the parties to the point where they can split the orange, where they both mutually benefit, easier said than done, right?

21:31 So there’s some things I would tell people.

21:34 One of them is, listen, just like you feel you have certain interests you want to defend, know that the other person does as well.

21:40 So to this fictional man who’s going to be going to the mediation, I’ll tell him – let’s say he’s going to be going to a divorce.

21:48 I’ll tell him, don’t corner your wife If you corner her, you’re going to give her no incentive.

21:57 to work out a deal with you.

21:59 If you go with demands and without a rationale, ’cause that’s gonna be another tip, you gotta give rationales for everything.

22:07 People will tend to agree with you if you give them a reason as to why you have a position.

22:12 But if you just go with a demand and say, This is what I want, well, then they’re going to reject it because they’re gonna assume nefarious intent on your part.

22:20 So you have to give rationales.

22:22 But back to the cornering. When you corner somebody, you create in them an incentive to fight back, to lash out, like a caged animal or a cornered animal.

22:33 And so the goal should be to get them to see that it’s to their interest, to settle with you on this term, then to take a risk in front of the court, in front of a judge.

22:47 Because neither of us knows what a judge might do.

22:49 Some lawyers might be able to guesstimate, especially if they’re in front of that judge. However, if – If the trick is to help the person not feel that they have to defend themselves, you want to

23:03 coax them out of their corner.

23:05 And so there’s an acronym for this, BATNA.

23:08 It’s basically best alternative to negotiated settlement.

23:12 Meaning what I’m talking to somebody,

23:15 I’m the mediator, I’m talking to this person.

23:18 And let’s bring up a simple example of child support.

23:20 And wife in her caucus room says she wants 1000 and monthly child support based on what she believes is earnings.

23:30 But

23:31 let’s say to him, he can only afford a maximum of 750, okay, per month, otherwise he thinks he’s gonna, that’s gonna break him.

23:40 And so if I go to him, or if I go to her, if you say, listen, if you corner your husband, okay, if you corner the other side with 1, 000, you say, that’s my red line I’m not bending if it’s

23:53 any less than a thousand.

23:56 I’m going to be like, you’re going to corner him to have an incentive who just go to court, because he might as well take a chance if he thinks that he might get 750 from the judge.

24:06 So the person is being given two sharp options, either take 1, 000 and accept defeat or go to

24:14 750 by agreement, but if it’s not going to happen, he’ll just take a chance to go to the judge.

24:21 And so – you roll the dice.

24:22 Yeah, exactly, because they might as well.

24:24 You don’t want him there You want to incentivize his performance to go to something lower.

24:30 So when you know that red line, everyone has one, all right?

24:35 When you’ve taken them there, and that’s the final offer that’s being made, that’s when you might know where you’ve pushed far enough.

24:45 Maybe then, since you don’t know what the judge might do either, you don’t take the risk for the 1, 000.

24:51 But you incentivize them to maybe say 900.

24:55 And now he has to start thinking, okay, is it worth the risk now?

24:59 Okay, now that I’ve been cornered, should I just accept partial defeat?

25:04 Or is it still worth the risk?

25:06 Because I might not get the 900 from,

25:10 I might not get 750 from the judge, but if she’s offering me 900, let me go ahead and take that.

25:15 At least I’m saving something.

25:17 But if I go to court and I get 1, 000, then I might have regrets that I didn’t.

25:22 And so that’s the kind of thing we play, I guess It’s

25:27 trying to help people see their best case, worst case, potentially in court and why they should settle on something.

25:34 And so I can give you many different examples.

25:35 But in a nutshell, the tip is don’t corner the other side.

25:40 And if you feel cornered, when you have a good counter-offer, make sure you give a rationale for it.

25:46 If people are more likely to accept it, instead of feeling that you’re just trying to jerk their chain and, you know, cheat them.

25:55 Let’s talk about coping mechanisms.

25:58 That could be part of a mediation, but that probably happens afterwards.

26:04 So do you employ any coping mechanisms during mediation?

26:09 Do you have a style, you know?

26:11 You just talked about that one style.

26:14 Do you have a flow?

26:16 There you go.

26:18 Of your mediation when you start the mediation, the flow.

26:20 Yeah, so typically you want to build trust

26:25 A person is not going to want to settle if they can’t trust the mediator.

26:28 They think the mediator is in the other side’s pocket.

26:31 And to fix that, by the way, I always tell the person who’s inviting the other side to the mediation table, give the other side three choices in mediators and let them choose one.

26:41 That way, they will not feel that they are being cheated by a mediator who’s biased or is in your back pocket.

26:50 So that’s one thing.

26:52 Next tip, don’t offer.

26:55 Nobody should be paying 100 of the mediation fee.

26:59 Because if the person who doesn’t have any skin in the game, who doesn’t pay any kind of money towards mediation process has an incentive to walk away more often because they haven’t lost anything

27:11 except time.

27:12 And so,

27:14 we’ll typically see the example.

27:16 Let’s say a dad wants to go to mediation to resolve his issues out of court.

27:22 He thinks mom’s gonna go for it, but mom says, well, if we’re gonna go to mediation, fine, I’ll go, but I’m not paying for it.

27:28 So he’s like, fine, I’ll pay for it, okay.

27:30 Let’s say it’s gonna be 500 for four hours to do the mediation.

27:35 He says he’s gonna pay a thousand for both sides.

27:38 Well, right there, the mistake is he’s incentivized her, or she’s incentivized to not settle because of the fact that she won’t lose anything.

27:47 So that’s not, I think if anything, He may want to offer to partially pay for her fee.

27:53 maybe pay half, you know, so he’ll pay 750 and she’ll pay the other 250 that remains so that both of them have some skin in the game because when they don’t, then people are more likely to take it

28:06 to do seriously because they don’t lose anything if they just walk away Um, as far as other like a tricks of the trade when you’re going through the process.

28:18 I think a lot of it, it does depend on the gender.

28:21 Okay, I would say, um, both parties want and need respect Okay, I think talking to a man as a man, there’s a certain way I’ll talk to a man where I kind of raise the ante when it comes to his

28:40 self respect You can get a, you can motivate a man to do anything if it’s honorable to him.

28:46 Okay, and I mean, it’s kind of like a dirty secret, but I think if.

28:52 opposite sex, realize that more.

28:53 They might get a whole more what they wanted.

28:56 But when a man starts feeling torn down, when a man starts, he’ll be defiant on purpose.

29:03 It’s like it’s in his nature.

29:06 As men, we want to stand up for ourselves.

29:08 We don’t want to be dishonored.

29:11 It’s an honor code.

29:12 There’s a book out there, a famous book by Dr. Eggerichs Love and Respect.

29:18 How men are basically wanting to be respected, that women basically want to be loved.

29:23 Of course, we all want to be loved.

29:24 Of course, we don’t want to be respected.

29:25 But generally, broadly speaking, that’s what a man is looking for, is respect.

29:32 And so when the marriage relationship is ending, cooperating is ensuing, he’s going through the process, whether it’s the mediation table or in a courtroom.

29:42 Respect can still go a whole, whole long way when you’re dealing with a man. And so anyway, I just, I’ve just discovered that there’s like the book said, that men operate by an honor code.

29:53 You might find the worst kind of man, you know, a man who is out of control and whose mouth is just horrible and no one will be willing to put up with him.

30:04 But that man still wants and craves respect.

30:09 When you treat people honorably, you’re going together with a reciprocity back.

30:13 And it’s again, it’s human nature.

30:15 I think to a woman, I think, you know, she needs respect, of course.

30:20 It’s just not the same way, it’s different.

30:23 And I think nurture and nurturing is a big factor, of course.

30:28 And so, you know, when you get into the whole children and a mom who is, in my opinion, what I’ve seen is sometimes the worst thing to a mom, okay, especially in the court system is

30:48 the possibility that she might be publicly characterized as a bad mother.

30:54 Like that, what I’ve discovered is one of the things that a woman or most moms cannot tolerate.

31:03 The idea that, well, what do people think of me?

31:06 Even if you didn’t wanna be a mom, or it doesn’t matter.

31:10 What will people think of me, what kind of a mother am I? All right, and I’ve always said to

31:18 women clients of mine, hey, don’t think that a female judge is necessarily going to be

31:26 the best thing in your case, because some moms automatically think that.

31:30 They think, of course, she’s a woman judge.

31:31 Of course, she’s gonna go along with me.

31:33 But no, don’t think that because that woman judge is the only one who could ask the question, what kind of mother are you?

31:40 A man judge is never gonna ask you that.

31:42 A woman judge can, because she might be a mother, too.

31:45 Women can speak to women in a certain way, a certain way.

31:48 but

31:50 I caution some of my women clients to not think that mom judge, or judges, a woman is going to necessarily be on her side, especially because a lot of these women judges get accused all the time of

32:04 being biased against men.

32:06 And sometimes these female judges are just waiting for a really, really good father to come before them so that female judges can disprove that

32:19 myth, disprove that stereotype.

32:22 Air on the other side.

32:23 Yeah, exactly.

32:24 It can backfire big time.

32:25 So don’t put all your eggs in one basket and just think that the genders are going to be necessary to be on your side, ’cause I’ve heard a lot.

32:32 Wow, man, this is awesome.

32:34 So you have an opportunity to talk to my men and give them your most three important points.

32:41 What would they be?

32:43 Yeah, so

32:45 I think self help.

32:48 is very, very important.

32:51 Okay, I never tell people to divorce ever.

32:55 Okay, it’s personal to me.

32:58 But I do tell people to separate, because sometimes you need your time alone so you can focus on yourself and get healthy, get a therapy you need, okay?

33:10 And so getting that time in private, we can work on yourself, we can get your support system intact, is probably a good thing.

33:20 And I think too many men, because of societal pressure and other reasons, we might work ourselves to death and do many things that are not healthy for us.

33:30 Sometimes that’s partly to blame as to why our relationships, you know, are going downhill, because there’s no time for the relationship.

33:39 And so taking time, pausing it all and just helping yourself heal, is necessary.

33:48 The next thing is connected, I guess it’s therapy.

33:52 There’s, you know, we talked about the N word, narcissism, but I guess the other word, it’s the T word.

33:56 Therapy is a word that men, unfortunately, still think is for the weak.

34:05 They think, yeah, they think if I have to go through that, then I’m going to admit that I’m weak because men want to be strong, right?

34:14 We’re caretakers, we’re defenders, And if we

34:19 admit that we might be fragile in a certain place and we need some help there, especially on the inside of what people cannot see, we think that that’s beneath us.

34:30 And so unfortunately, especially amongst black men,

34:34 you’re not going to see the tendency to want to just admit, look, I need some help and I think I need to go and talk to somebody and learn how to cope and learn the tricks of the trade that I need

34:45 to put into my life.

34:48 like how I need to look at things differently, how maybe my mouth and my tongue is causing a whole lot of these problems, how I’m culpable as well for the demise relationship.

34:58 It’s not just her.

34:60 And so because of blinders on, we’re not able to see this, but if you go to therapy and you work on yourself and you are forced to kind of look in the mirror from a different perspective, then that

35:15 might go a whole long way.

35:18 The final thing is,

35:22 I think it’s gonna be the next generation, dealing with

35:28 not perpetuating a cycle.

35:30 I guess this goes along with therapy as well.

35:31 Basically it’s this.

35:36 You’ve heard that for a generational curse, right?

35:40 Take my word for it.

35:42 Take my word for it.

35:42 You see this every single day in family courts, the

35:48 angry

35:51 man who is out of control emotionally, who’s lashing out, who’s defensive, defiant, whatever,

36:00 and who’s triggered by his partner.

36:05 When we’ve done discovery, and we’ve kind of get to the bottom of it, we discover and we see that

36:14 he never wanted to be this way, but it was a result of what was modeled for him.

36:21 And there’s a kid involved in this case and we realize the school records are showing that this little child is repeating the exact same thing.

36:31 So I’ve seen it three generations, and I’ve seen enough cases where I’m getting a client, who’s a dad, going through divorce, whatever, and I put his name into the system, to the Harris County

36:44 system for his public record and I.

36:47 find his name.

36:48 But I’m like, wait a minute, that says 1980.

36:50 Oh, that’s my father.

36:52 Okay.

36:53 And so you see the pattern.

36:55 And so this happened multiple times.

36:58 So my point is, don’t be surprised when somebody says, Hey, listen, there might be something intergenerational here.

37:08 It’s not your fault.

37:09 You’re the product of it.

37:11 So what you have a kid in it now.

37:14 What can we do to break the cycle once and for all?

37:18 Maybe we need to involve therapy.

37:21 Because the last generation never had it.

37:23 Maybe we need to

37:26 bring in more self help.

37:28 Last generation, there was no value of it.

37:30 Maybe your son, your child needs to see how a man copes differently so that he can, yes, become more in touch with his feelings.

37:40 Yes, to say that way.

37:42 But it’s not to turn him.

37:44 Stop the madness.

37:45 Exactly.

37:45 It’s to stop the cycle.

37:47 That’s inevitably going to be repeating itself over and over and over.

37:50 And I’ve just seen, David, so many instances where that’s happened and people don’t realize it when they’re in the loop.

38:00 When you’re in the loop, you can’t see it.

38:03 All right, those are excellent three points.

38:07 This has been fun.

38:08 It’s been very enlightening.

38:09 This I myself, I have to admit, you know, when I say the word mediation, I’m thinking like yawn, boring, but not even close.

38:18 No, absolutely.

38:20 So we appreciate you getting on the podcast with us and want to tell people where to find you on the internet.

38:26 So I try to keep things simple.

38:28 I’m MacPierreLouis on everything.

38:31 So M-A-C-P-I-E-R-R — E-L-O-U-I-S, no hyphen.

38:36 And if you just put MacPierreLouis, you’re going to get there. MacPierreLouis. com is my website, everything is just MacPierreLouis And, of course, LMIPodcast.

38:46 Lawyers Mediators International, where we talk law and conflict resolution topics like mediation issues.

38:53 And lately, my big thing has been technology in mediation, artificial intelligence, AI, I’m fascinated by that stuff.

39:01 So definitely people who are interested in technology and family law could check it out too.

39:07 Well, thank you again Mac.

39:09 We’re going to close it out.

39:11 And I will have your contact information at the bottom of the show notes.

39:15 But thank you very much for hanging out with us and we’ll close it out and just stay on the line.

39:20 Yeah.

Lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, practicing family law but passionate about helping people resolve their conflicts and disputes through mediation. MacpierreLouis.com