We’ve all heard people talk about Taking the High Road. “I’m just going to take the high road.” That sometimes infers a bit of ego in the self-satisfaction that the speaker has or is making better choices than the person with whom they are in disagreement. Taking the High Road involves two or more people in some type of relationship that comes to a divide, with choices that have to be made in order to continue in that relationship.
When dealing with divorce, the High Road can be taken during the decision-making process to obtain a settlement that works for both people in an out-of-court divorce (no Hearings or Trials), in a divorce with a Trial, and after the divorce is over in the co-parenting relationship definitely, and in the division of assets, and the continuation of paying child and spousal support
I see three aspects of the High Road that together can create the foundation for a life long process of relationship building: Courtesy, Compromise and Consideration.
- Courtesy: The showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others. (online definition) That’s easier said than done if the other person in the relationship isn’t polite or courteous in return. But that shouldn’t affect the High Roader’s position. One can be firm and polite. One can ask for more respectful behavior and communication while remaining elite and courteous. And when the High Roader can maintain an attitude of politeness and courteous behavior, the High Roader can influence the other to join them in their lane marked “courteous”. Yield right of way to the High Roader.
- Compromise: “An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.” (online definition) This is what both spouses have to do in order to create a marital settlement agreement for a divorce, and this is what both parents have to do long after the divorce is final in order to raise young children in two separate households, and sometimes with two different ideas for parenting. Compromise is tough because it requires one or both people agreeing to things that initially divided them. The High Roader would look at where the priorities lay so that their compromise would be to satisfy the greater good. In the example of co-parenting, the priority would be what is best for the children. Is the compromise for the benefit of the children, even though the request to compromise is coming from the other parent and on the surface appears to benefit the whim of that parent. An interruption of the co-parenting schedule might have to happen if one parent wants to take the children on an excursion, and that day or two is on the other parent’s time. The High Roader would consider the enjoyment and happiness of the children first before rendering their decision to the other parent. The High Roader fluidly changes lanes.
- Consideration: “Careful thought, typically over a period of time.” (online definition) The High Roader can often times be asked to change: change their schedules, change their plans, change their ideas, and change their preferences. It can be exhausting to be in a relationship with someone who asks for a lot of change. People spend time considering what they would like from another person, and in working out the details of a compromise situation to honor what the other person would like, too. Before the compromise is made, the High Roader can request conditions upon which they will consider future change for the benefit of both people in the relationship. If consideration is not provided, it can be requested. Quite often, people can’t see or understand what the other person is thinking or feeling, and in order for consideration to be provided, it has to be requested. If done with genuine respect in the words chosen and tone of voice used, the High Roader can influence more consideration in the relationship. The High Roader considers the journey until the destination is reached.
Everyone can be a High Roader if it’s clear that Courtesy, Compromise and Consideration are part of their road map.
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