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As a Professional Family Mediator, I have been involved in many a family squabble whether it’s couples divorcing or siblings disagreeing on what’s best for Mom & Dad.

In the case of divorce, couples will often resist meeting each other somewhere in the middle, fighting over a sofa or better yet, a coffee maker or dishes. Many times a spouse is filled with anger and resentment from years of tolerating certain behaviors from their partners that they did not find acceptable. They have either never brought it to their attention, or did and it fell on deaf ears.

Siblings will often dig their heels in on matters that from the outside appear to have no importance or relevance to the issues at hand. Of course as a neutral third party and an outsider to the family dynamics, I can see so clearly that these resisting parties are really battling something from years ago or the recent past where they felt that that they had been “done wrong”. Siblings often hang on to the rage of not being the child who was perceived to be favored or the sibling who constantly bullied them.

My advice to anyone involved in a family squabble is to try to step away from the emotions and view the situation for exactly what it is. Think about making a sound, smart decision for all of the benefits it may bring you and your family, not for making the other party pay. As cliche as it may sound, ask yourself, “will this be important to me 5 years from now”? If the answer is no, let it go and move on.

My other piece of advice would be to start practicing from today to not let these feelings go unaddressed. They may be difficult to deal with now, but they will only ferment into the future and like vinegar, those emotions become acidic to you and your loved ones.

Objectivity can be extremely difficult, a Professional Family Mediator can guide you through the process of settling disputes so that you can see that forest through the trees and the path to a brighter future.


Roseann Vanella is a Professional Family Mediator & Founder of Advanced Mediation Solutions located in Cherry Hill, NJ. She is also the Radio Host of Family Affairs, a weekly show which airs on WTER/Blog Talk Radio. Roseann speaks professionally on all family matters and contributes articles to various publications.


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