Mediate This!

7. The 4 Stages of a Relationship: Are You in Love or a Power Struggle?

July 17, 2020 Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell Season 1 Episode 7
Mediate This!
7. The 4 Stages of a Relationship: Are You in Love or a Power Struggle?
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Mediate This!
7. The 4 Stages of a Relationship: Are You in Love or a Power Struggle?
Jul 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell

Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell discuss the 4 stages of a relationship as human beings meet and eventually move through the phases of:

  • Stage 1: Acquaintance
  • Stage 2: The Intimacy Stage
  • Stage 3: Loss of Intimacy
  • Stage 4: A Business-Like Relationship

By the end of this podcast you will be able to determine if you are in the friend-zone, in love or in a power struggle.

Their advice will help you deal with:
• Divorce (contested/uncontested with/without children, property, assets, debts)
• Parental Rights
• Paternity Cases and Rights
• Parenting
• Child Custody/Time-sharing
• Alimony and Spousal Support
• Child Support and Arrears
• Document Assistance
• Visitation
• Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
• Post-judgement Modifications
• Family Disputes
• Business & Contract Disputes
• Employment: Employer/Employee Disputes
• Real Estate: Landlord - Tenant Disputes
• Settling matters though In-person Mediation
• Settling matters though Online Virtual Mediation

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Show Notes Transcript

Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell discuss the 4 stages of a relationship as human beings meet and eventually move through the phases of:

  • Stage 1: Acquaintance
  • Stage 2: The Intimacy Stage
  • Stage 3: Loss of Intimacy
  • Stage 4: A Business-Like Relationship

By the end of this podcast you will be able to determine if you are in the friend-zone, in love or in a power struggle.

Their advice will help you deal with:
• Divorce (contested/uncontested with/without children, property, assets, debts)
• Parental Rights
• Paternity Cases and Rights
• Parenting
• Child Custody/Time-sharing
• Alimony and Spousal Support
• Child Support and Arrears
• Document Assistance
• Visitation
• Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
• Post-judgement Modifications
• Family Disputes
• Business & Contract Disputes
• Employment: Employer/Employee Disputes
• Real Estate: Landlord - Tenant Disputes
• Settling matters though In-person Mediation
• Settling matters though Online Virtual Mediation

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Mediate This! Intro:

Hi. My name is Sydney Mitchell. Hi, I'm Matthew Brickman, Florida Supreme court mediator. Welcome to the Mediate This! Podcast where we discuss everything mediation and conflict resolution.

Sydney Mitchell:

Matthew, I am extremely excited today to discuss with you the role in relationships, the role that a spouse or parent has in a home as well as kind of what you've described as a progression of several different stages in a relationship, how that relationship changes over time. And so can you kind of give us a little bit of an introduction of what you mean when you say that there are different stages of a relationship and how does that work?

Matthew Brickman:

Yes . So as a mediator, I believe that there are four different levels or stages of relationship. So let's start with level one. That's the basic level. That is the level that I call the acquaintance level. So that's where two people say hi and decide that they just want to hang out with one another.

Sydney Mitchell:

So they're just friends,

Matthew Brickman:

Basically . It was friends. Yeah. Just friends , you know what, at that level, there's no real expectations of one another. Nobody's really expecting anything of the other person. And so, you know, yeah. You're just friends and yeah .

Sydney Mitchell:

Can I pop in a question really quick? We talk about stages of relationship. Is this stages of a friend relationship stages of a romantic relationship? What are we talking here?

Matthew Brickman:

Be romantic or platonic. I mean, the assumption is at this level, you're not romantically involved because you don't even know if you want to hang out with that person. Right. But as we go through different stages. Yeah. Um, but look, it could be friendship that you're looking at potential romance, right. But it's still just your basic level. It's just your basic level. Think of it like this. And at this level, there really are no expectations because when you start to expect something of the other person, that's where then you start having disappointments and the re and the feelings and all this stuff. No expectations, God at this level, there's also no rules, no accountability, no responsibility and no consequence. As both of the people make up their own rules as they engage in the relationship. So for example, rules would be like, Hey Sydney , where do you want to go for coffee? Like, okay, fine. You know what I mean? There's no roll . Sometimes you'll pick it sometimes. Maybe I'll pick it. What movie do you want to go see? Or where do you want to meet up? Am I going to pick you up? Are you going to meet me there? When we got there, who's paying, are we going Dutch? I'm paying, are you paying? I think we had that. One of the other episodes, you said, you'll go as long as I pay. But at this level, there's no set rules. We just make it up as we go. It's a case by case basis that we're making decisions and that's level one.

Sydney Mitchell:

Okay. And so when does it start to change? To levels ?

Matthew Brickman:

Okay. So level two or stage two of the relationship is what I call the intimacy stage. So that's when two people move past the, Hey, you just want to hang out and decide that they're going to be intimate, whether that is dating exclusively, or even getting married at that level still, there's no rules. There's no accountability. There's no responsibility. And there's no consequence. And everybody inside that relationship makes up their own rules as they move through that stage.

Sydney Mitchell:

When you use the word rules, what do you mean by that?

Matthew Brickman:

Well, okay. So rules such as who's paying the bills, who's doing the chores around the home. Who's in charge of the finances.

Sydney Mitchell:

So the word rules can kind of be used synonymously with expectations. Yeah , yeah , yeah .

Matthew Brickman:

Expectations, rules, roles. One of the other roles would be, they eventually have kids. Who's going to stay home. Who's going to work. Are they both going to work? Of course, nobody just, both of them stay home. Somebody's got to go make the money. Right. But there are a lot of different rules inside of that intimate relationship. And so that's stage two or level two.

Sydney Mitchell:

Okay. And then level three, where does it start to change there ?

Matthew Brickman:

Okay. So level three is loss of intimacy. So that's when two people decide that the relationship is no longer working. So I was like, you know what, Sydney there's justice at work. And for me anymore, that's a very dangerous place to reside for an extended period of time. Because still just like level one and two, there is no accountability, no responsibility and no consequence. And so, you know, people are left to their own devices and they usually treat each other poorly. They will treat each other in whatever manner they wish throwing all morality and levels of decency out the window. For some reason, as human beings, we tend to attack those who are closest to us .

Sydney Mitchell:

Okay. Let's say Bob and Suzy , those are the two names I just thought of. So we've got this proverbial, Bob and Susie they've hit stage one. There we've become friends and acquaintances and they've hit stage two, which is developing some type of intimacy and relationship. And that's where those rules or expectations or standards start to come into play as they just go about everyday life. And then what were the names ? Susie and Bob, Susie and Bob. Um , now have , I guess I could have said Matthew and Sydney , but married . So, so then they hit level three, which is the loss of intimacy. Like I think about your role as a mediator is this where they come to see you? Like, is this, are these stages one, two and three kind of what you observe about an individual's life as you talk to them, get to know them and prepare.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah . So this is where they usually come and see me as that loss of intimacy. And that's a whore . Like I said, it's a horrible place to reside and it's a really bad place to reside for an extended period of time. So when two people decide whether they're married or whether they were never married and they've got a child together, when they decide that, Hey, this relationship is not working anymore, they really need to come and see me as soon as possible. Because again, there's no responsibility, no accountability, no consequence. And the longer they're there, the more things they can do to one another and the worse it can get, and the harder it can get to actually create a parenting plan or divide up their things, people will dissipate assets. And it's just a bad thing. So at this level, this is where I help people move into the fourth level, which is a business like relationship. So one of my many jobs as a mediator is to help the two people transition into the final phase of relationship, which moves them from a place of loss, into a business like relationships . So from level three to four. So, you know, when two people are in business with one another, you know, you don't have to like love or hate the person you're in business with. I mean, it's a business transaction. Everything is a business transaction where now you're exchanging money information where the child is going to be exercising time sharing with his or her parents. Um , really there should be no feelings involved because it's business. And so this is one of the jobs for me as a mediator is to help transition the parties. So whether the parties choose in mediation, which sometimes they do, or they will choose to give up their decision, making authority and give it to a judge either way when the agreement is established for the first time and Bob and Susie's life, they're going to have rules, accountability, responsibility, and consequence. And it's actually a very healthy place to live because now they know what they can and cannot do with each other. And there's going to be consequences for violating that. So for the first time in their life, there's going to be clear, defined boundaries in their relationship. And now the roles are going to be clearly defined or redefined actually. And there's going to be consequences for violating those roles.

Sydney Mitchell:

Essentially, what coming to mediation does is you're helping negotiate a plan that both parties can agree to and live with giving them a clear path of, okay, mom, okay, dad, or whatever their roles are. This is what the standard is for the children or whatever types of things that they're working out. So how do the roles in the relationship change? Because in the friendship stage, stage one, there really aren't any roles. And then in the second stage, as we talked about, there are rules, but they're just determined by the people .

Matthew Brickman:

They are self assigned roles that every couple makes up their own rules inside their relationship. I mean, the way that my parents make worlds and roles in their relationship may be different than your parents. The way that my role is defined in my marriage may be different from your relationship with someone that you may be in. I mean, everybody has their own roles that they create in that second level.

Sydney Mitchell:

What have you observed happens to roles when a relationship hits the third level, the loss of intimacy, what happens to the role? I know your role, but how do you see , um, you know, roles changing or, you know , disappearing completely. Um , in that third phase,

Matthew Brickman:

Let's start with the roles in the second level again. So in the second level of relationship, which is intimacy many times like in a marriage, we're going to talk marriage. We're about many times in the marriage. When the parties are together and not married, then they're playing house. I call that plain house. That would be a paternity action. People make up their own rules and their own roles. And each of them have their own assigned self assigned roles. So for example, a mother may work as a homemaker and the father may leave the house and go to a job. So that would be their roles. Now, both the parties are working, but only one party is actually getting paid for their work. Um, now as a homemaker, the mother's job might be to take the child to the doctor's appointments, school meetings, play dates, the park, feeding, bathing, caring for the child, cleaning the home, maybe cooking meals , um, and the father's job, maybe to go to work, maybe do some yard work, unless he's at an HOA and association, they'll do it for him, but he's got to pay for that still. Um, and then, you know, he may assist the mother and , uh, with the child, or maybe do chores when he comes home, but every family makes their own rules and assigns their own roles inside that relationship. Many times mom takes the child to the doctor while dad is at work. But keep in mind that without dad having a job and going to work well , there would be no insurance and no money to pay for the doctor. So both of them have a role in a part to play in the family.

Sydney Mitchell:

[inaudible] what did this look like for you growing up?

Matthew Brickman:

Um, for me growing up , um, my dad worked, my mom stayed home until my sister , uh, went off to school. Then she worked part time. Um, and , um, you know, we, as far back as I ever remember, we always had family dinner and then, you know, my father would then go and have a meeting or a small group, or, you know, something with the church, you know, usually in the evening and my mom would, you know , help us with homework and, you know, do homework , uh , homemaker stuff. But they really work together as a unit and sorta just, you know, flowed and overflowed and what not. I remember my mom always taken us to school in the morning. Um , that was just, you know, her role. I remember her taking us to the doctor, but I remember my father being the disciplinarian. So, you know, they had their own rules.

Sydney Mitchell:

Do you believe that there's, you know, and I think especially in modern day, things have really changed and become a little bit less traditional , um, you know, but to our listeners, I mean, do you feel like there's really a right way to do it? Or how do you, how do you know when you're doing it when you're distributing roles? Well, in a relationship, what does success look like when you're, you know , having a discussion about whose responsibility is what,

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah , it's a great question because , um, success means that two people are able to co-parent peacefully and who knows what that role looks like. I mean, who really knows, I mean, because, because, you know, even in a parenting plan, what's amazing about a parenting plan is the parties can then redefine their roles. And so they may redefine their roles in a particular way, taking control of their life. And one parenting plan, maybe looking completely different than another parenting plan. Now those roles are now going to be a court order with accountability, responsibility and consequence . So the parties still have the ability to create their own roles and create their own rules like they would in stage two, right? The only, the only thing that's different is now there's going to be accountability, responsibility and consequence. And so, you know, they have their own roles. Um, and so, you know, like , like during that relationship, you know, but let's go back a little bit during the relationship, for example, you know , uh , as I was saying where, you know, everyone's got their own roles, you know, dad may go to work, make the money. Mom , uh , has a home to live in and, you know, she's got food to cook and running water to babe pay the kids and both of them have their part to play and they have their own defined roles. Right. Um, but I've had mediations where, you know, the parties come in to mediation because you know, now they're getting divorced, but it's interesting because, you know, dad might've had the job, but guess what? He's not good with math. And he was horrible paying the bills. And when they come in, it's the wife or the mom who has all the records, she knows what the bills look like. He has no clue because they made up their own rules and roles inside of their own relationship. I mean, every family is unique and how they define their roles. And even in mediation, they have the ability if they so choose to assign new roles .

Sydney Mitchell:

Right. And that's the whole, that's the empower, you know, the empowerment part of, of this process. And , um, I think it's cool. I just, I see so many people, you know, when you think about mediation, it's oftentimes, you know , uh, something you show up with a grudge and you're just trying to get it over with, but no , like mediation is a place that you are empowered to, to choose something, you know, and agree upon a plan that, you know, like we say it like you can live with. And , and , um, so I just, I think that this whole conversation about empowerment brings a really new perspective on mediation to people that might, you know , consider it a little bit of a , uh, something to drink, you know?

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. Well, and you know , you know, when I went to mediation the first time I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know what to expect. I mean , I went in very defensive, very fearful of the unknown. Um , not knowing that, you know, coming to mediation, transitioning from level three to level four from loss of intimacy to a business, like relationship is actually a very healthy process. It's a very, I mean, you're, you're, you're transitioning from damage to, to, to something that can be new and grow into something that can flourish. And, you know, so, you know, mediations where we , you know, for example, we would set up a parenting plan and now we set up and define the new roles and responsibilities of the parents as they transition from that loss into a businesslike relationship. So, all right . So I'm going to generalize something here. Um, so hopefully nobody gets too offended, but I'll , I'm just going to generalize for the, for , for the sake of a story. Um, but sometimes the roles are reversed. You know, like for example, in my case, the roles were reversed. Um, you know, I actually , um, uh, never went to court and fought for custody. It actually was given to me , um, my ex wife gave me the kids and then she moved away. So it wasn't something that I went out and fought and I won custody of my kids. No , but I ended up with it. Um, but here's, here's , here's a common example of what I hear in mediation. So a mother may accuse the father of not ever go into a doctor's appointment or even a school function, usually accusing him of not knowing the kids' teachers or even where the school is located. Um , a mom may accuse the father of never changing a diaper, feeding a child, bathing, a child, taking care of a child. And she made me present. Correct. I mean, he may not have done any of that at level two, but that might not have been his role that they both created at level two.

Sydney Mitchell:

Right. I was going to say, I would imagine that you hear that all the time.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. And mom's got to understand she had a , she had a hand in creating that role and taking her responsibility and saying no to him and assigning him a role, you know, may have been to go to work so that the mother could do all of those things that she wanted to do. Usually then the father will snap back at the mother and accused her of never working.

Sydney Mitchell:

This kind of seems like it's, it's like snowballing into, into quite the disagreement.

Matthew Brickman:

And , and so, you know, and when a dad who has gone out and worked accuses a mother who is a stay at home homemaker of never working, it never ends well like that. Like all of a sudden I've got to jump in there and it's like, okay , this is, this is not a good place because there is not a statement further from the truth. And usually he says that in defense, frustration or anger, so let's talk about stay at home moms. We're just going to pause here and talk about, stay at home moms. Um , so moms that are able to stay at home a hundred percent and then we'll discuss part time moms and whatnot, or part time working moms, but moms that are able to stay at home a hundred percent. Um, yeah, they may not get paid for their job, but she probably works more consecutive hours each day than the dad does. Like dad will get up and go to work. And then when he's done, he will come back home and he'll usually relax, mom, she will get up. And from the minute that her feet hit that floor until the minute that she goes to bed, she's working. I mean, there is no, there is no rest she is going. And so, you know, it'll start with the kids and then she's got the family duties and then maybe, you know, if she is working part time, then she'll go to a job and then she'll come back and then she'll deal with the kids and put the kids to bed and do the family duties. And that's only in day one. And this goes day after day after, day after day. So, you know , um, so, so yeah, so before we get into how we can redefine their roles, you know, you know, you've mentioned before where you've had, you know, multiple people setting tones as your, as your parents have gotten married and remarried. How did you see these roles in your family?

Sydney Mitchell:

Yeah. Um , and for those of you guys that haven't listened to past episodes, maybe this is your first month tuning in. I shared a little bit of my story previously. My parents were divorced when I was about three. So I grew up on a parenting plan in two separate homes. Um, they were both, you know, about 15 to 20 minutes away from each other, most of my upbringing. So I was back and forth every one to two to maybe three days. Um, and so, yeah, I mean, definitely, you know, as we talked about, there were two totally different tones in each home. Um, but I can say that, you know, the, the, the roles of the mother and the father in each of my homes were , were more on the traditional side. Um , like for example, you know, my father was, you know, definitely the primary , um, you know, he was the one that was working long, hard hours, you know, making most of the income. And then my stepmom , she just worked part time. Um, and that's actually still the case to this day. Um, you know, because he can work and make enough money that she doesn't have to work. And therefore she takes care of the home. She takes care of the dog. Um, and then there were some things, of course, like, you know, maybe doing some cleaning or doing the lawn or cooking that they, they kind of share together. Um, and then as far as, you know, things like doctor's appointments and school functions , um, you know, that had a different dynamic for me because those are things that, you know, living in two homes it's like, does the mom's house take care of it or does dad's house take care of it? And so there's that dynamic too. Um, but yeah, I mean, for the most part, I observed rather traditional roles in each of my homes. Um, but I also think that sometimes those things changed based on the season that the families in, you know, for example, if somebody were to lose their job or, you know, somebody to have the opportunity for a second job. Um, and so, you know, and I think that's probably true to a lot of families nowadays, you know, that things can be really flexor , you know, even now a lot of times, a lot of, you know, a lot of people are working strictly from home. Um, we're in the midst of, of , uh, COVID right now, you know, we're recording this and, and , um, you know, a lot of businesses have drastically changed. And so now those roles can, you know, can kind of be reconsidered. You know, now that one parent is home a lot more and things like that. So I just, yeah. To answer your question ,

Matthew Brickman:

Um, I'll , I'll tell you, I saw a huge shift , um, back, you know , um , when the markets crashed and we had the whole housing debacle here in the United States, and because, you know, a lot of men lost their big high paying jobs. And so there was massive unemployment. Well then, you know, new jobs came around, but number one, employers were not so apt at , um, you know, you know, giving , uh, you know, those, those high paid jobs back. And there were younger people that were able to actually , um, you know, take those jobs and, you know, so the roles switched. A lot of women started to go to work. A lot of dads started being , you know, stay at home dads, but you know, one of the things in mediation that happens is, you know, the parties have the chance to assign new roles because, you know, just because of mom or a dad did not do a particular role doesn't mean that they can't learn a new role,

Sydney Mitchell:

Or they don't have the opportunity maybe to take on a new role that they, you know, like, I think about dads that work really long hours, well, maybe they would really love the opportunity to be involved in , in some more right. You know, regular things in a child's life. So is that, is that kinda what you do ?

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. Yeah. And usually post divorce or paternity. Now, both parents have to work full time. You know, when the children are with dad, he will begin his day. When he wakes up, he'll take care of the kids in the morning, he'll take them to school, he'll go to work. He picks them up. And then he's got family duties. When the kids are with him, when the children with mom, then she'll begin her day. When the kids wake up, she will take care of the kids. She'll go to work, she'll get the kids from school. She'll do her family duties when the kids are with her. So, you know, now both of them are going to have an opportunity to , um, to do a new role. It's not that they weren't able to, or didn't know how to do it. That just wasn't their role, you know? Um, so, you know, sometimes, you know, sometimes there are those times Sydney though, where a parent is simply not interested and you're taking on a new role. Um, the in fact, you know, they don't want anything equal or even close to equal. They want to do as little as possible. Now it's becoming more and more and more rare. I mean, it really is rare, but occasionally it happens. You know, usually these days, most fathers desperately want to be involved , uh , with their kids. And the courts are beginning with premise that both parents are necessary. And now the child has frequent, continuing contact with the parents so that the parents can step up and perform those new roles, which are going to be outlined in the parenting plan. Now, if one of them fails to abide by the new assigned role that's created in the parenting plan now, like we've been talking for the first time in their relationship, there's going to be consequences.

Sydney Mitchell:

And so now that we're, you know, we're talking about our proverbial, Bob and Susie are in stage four and now they're negotiating through a business like relationship. Um, and this is where you come in. I mean, this is kind of where I imagine that your entire profession sits . Um, tell us a story. Uh , if you have any off the top of your head about a time that maybe a parent, you know, like you're saying, didn't want to step up and engage.

Matthew Brickman:

Okay. Yeah. I've got I've, I've got one. So , uh, Sydney , it was actually the only time , um, that I ever got suspended as a mediator. Yeah. Yeah. A judge, a judge suspended me. So I was contracted in the courthouse and I was a contract mediator. So I didn't work for the courthouse. I was just contracting. But , um, I, I had a party that they would never married. They went in to , um , to, to court. They did not have a parenting plan. Judge cinnamon , right into me for mediation. They come in and sit down and the mom goes, you know, I don't want him to have timeshare . And he said, fine, I don't want timesharing . And I was like, well , what do you mean you don't one time sharing . She goes, he doesn't even know our child's name. And I said, really, what's, what's your kid's name? And he's like, I don't know. And she goes, he doesn't even know if it's a boy or a girl. I'm like, nah, I'm like, I'm thinking they're kidding with me. Right. And he's like, no, he had no idea that they had a little girl had no idea when she was born. Had no idea what color she was. Uh didn't know she had hair or was bought , like he knew nothing about this child. And he wasn't interested and guess what? She didn't want him involved. So I did a parenting plan that said, and she didn't want child support and he didn't want to pay it. Like you would think this is the easiest mediation in the world, right? Like you would think, no, I did a parenting plan that said, okay, dad has no time sharing. Mom has a hundred percent time sharing. Dad has no decision-making mom has a hundred percent. Decision-making dad is not paying child support. Mom's waiving child support. It was the easiest mediation I actually ever had sent over . I typed up the agreement, printed it out. They went back into the courtroom. The judge sent them right back to me and said, you will set up a time sharing plan. You will run child support. And even though the parties had absolutely no intention of following it, the court required a plan. And , um, and then because I did that, the judge called for my suspension. Now, the reason for it is because you cannot waive your parental rights and you cannot waive child support outside of the DCF investigation, which usually that means someone's probably going to jail or illegal adoption. And so we had to set one up. Now we're gonna discuss in future episodes about the parenting plan. Um , but at least I will conclude with this. The parenting plan is a default plan that the court hopes the parents will simply put in a drawer and just go out and co-parent and be flexible. The parenting plan should be pulled out only when the parties cannot text, email, talk on the phone, talk in person, and then they'll have a legal binding contract that clearly defines their roles, rights and responsibilities. And then they pull the agreement out of the drawer and follow it until they can get to a place of communication. And co-parenting,

Sydney Mitchell:

I was going to say, it's really just a document of accountability if there's a problem,

Matthew Brickman:

Really , if there's trouble just to give you just a quick mind picture virtual picture is I tell people a lot of times and mediation that, you know, since we're transitioning into a business like relationship, that these are the corporate docs that will structure the company and the company is the child. And the idea is that mom and dad are two equal joint CEOs of that company. And the idea is to build the biggest brightest, most successful company out there. But no CEO is going to go sit in their office and pull out their corporate docs every day to see how to run the company. It's only, if something goes crazy, if something goes awry, then they'll at least have a document usually for a corporation. It's if you get sued, right, then at least you have the corporate docs , uh , that, that, that, that talk about that the company, but that's when the parties should pull this out, but they are two equal joint CEOs running a company. And it's there to make sure that when dad is with the child, that mom hasn't fired HR, like the worst thing is you go, when you're two equal CEOs of a company, one goes to talk to their hiring firing manager or HR. And they're like, ah , where's my HR director. Oh, I fired him last week. Like, no, you can't go rogue. And that's what the parenting plan is there for where you've got the rules and the roles clearly defined. And again, for the first time and the parties lives, there will be accountability, responsibility and consequence.

Sydney Mitchell:

Well, I really just love hearing your stories. And I know that in the midst of empowering families to co-parent peacefully, you face a lot of issues too. And you know, you really get into the thick of it with, with each of these couples. And it was really cool to watch and observe you mediate, you know, as you negotiate these plans and agreements. And so Matthew, thank you for all of your insight and I love your illustrations as always. I'm always thinking to myself, where are you getting these illustrations? And we look forward to continuing to hear your feedback. As we begin in the next episode to discuss the introduction of the entire mediation process,

Matthew Brickman:

Occasionally Sydney and I will be releasing Q and a bonus episodes where we will answer questions and give you a personal shout out.

Sydney Mitchell:

If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us@infoatchatmediation.com that's info@ichatichatmediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your question answered here on the show,

Matthew Brickman:

But more information about my services or to schedule your mediation with me either in person or using my I chat mediation virtual platform built by Cisco communications. Visit me online at [inaudible] dot com. Call me at (561) 262-9121 toll free at (877) 822-1479. Or email me@mbrickmanandichatmediation.com .