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Marriage Story and the Problem with Women’s Success: How Mediation Can Help Women Struggling with Traditional Gender Roles in Divorce

Marriage and partnership have come a long way from the 1950s ideal of the family. Dual income households are hardly unusual, and women with careers are, on the surface of it, completely accepted it modern Western society. But though values seem to have shifted, women still unfortunately face consequences in going “too far” in pursuing their dream. A study conducted in Sweden showed that women who made certain career choices faced consequences in their marriages that men didn’t face. An Atlantic article on the study also quotes some dispiriting opinions from Gen-Z children on how they see female breadwinners. The children appear to believe that the most desirable roles for husband and wives are traditional, with men as the breadwinners and women staying at home or supporting the household in some way.

The Swedish Study found that marriages faced difficulties when there was a sudden change in the dynamic of the couple. Couples with an equal division of labor didn’t split up as much, but if a wife suddenly got a high powered job and began to focus on her career, her marriage suffered. Also sadly, the more high status the roles were – running for public office or taking on CEO roles – the more the marriage suffered.

The recent Oscar winning movie “Marriage Story” explored what happens in a marriage when a woman’s career ambitions are squashed by supporting her husband’s career and focusing on the roles of wife and mother. In the movie, both partners are oppressed by the gender roles they find themselves in, even as they willingly perform them. The divorce turns messy when Scarlett Johannssen’s character contacts a cut-throat lawyer. The lawyer, triggered by her own messy divorce, makes the couple dance to an age-old tune of resentment and accusation. This costs the couple, both financially and emotionally.

Luckily, these days you don’t have to “lawyer up” to get divorced. At Boileau Conflict Solutions our mediators have strategies to reduce conflict in divorce in order to save time and money. To do that,  we tackle the roots of conflict in couples, which might be in gender roles, or in emotions about money and unequal power dynamics. We are experts in psychoanalysis, math, finances and the law. Strategies such as game theory can help you see your dynamic in a more objective light and recognize that you still have mutual interests: namely surviving your divorce, thriving in your future life and careers and caring for your kids. Some couples may still want to be friends, which is especially important if you have a co-parenting relationship.

Couples who work in entertainment like Scarlett Johanssen and Adam Driver’s characters, or who are entrepreneurs, may face especially complex issues related to intellectual property and speculative future income (at one point we see the wife’s lawyer claim that her client is entitled to half of her ex-husband’s MacArthur grant because she helped to make his theater company dream a reality). As financial and legal experts we will work with you to maximize the assets you both have rather than allowing conflict to drain one or both of your assets needlessly.

Perhaps the best outcome of choosing divorce mediation is the potential to overcome traditional sexist gender roles so you can have an amicable divorce and grow together as friends or co-parents in your new, post-divorce life. Mediation is a route that lets you follow the best in both of you rather than play out damaging gender roles.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. The sooner you can resolve your conflict, the sooner you can begin to craft a sustainable future for you and your children. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. You can visit us at our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/whos-afraid-of-ambitious-women/604855/

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