A Mediator’s Best Friend Can Remedy Your Relationship Issues

mediators best friendI am a mediator and I recently lost one of the loves of my life.

A best friend.

A source of unconditional support.

His name was Brady.

My dog, Brady.

I provide family mediation, and yes, I am one of those pet-owners. You know the kind. The ones who consider their pet a member of the family.

I was thinking about our relationship today while on a hike that he and I had taken countless times together.

Brady was incredibly obedient.

Smart. Loyal. Goofy.

Great eye contact.

Even better head-nod.

Basically, he did everything I told him, listened whenever I wanted to talk, and always agreed with me.

And he was beautiful to boot! What’s not to love?

Is this not every man and woman’s dream scenario for a relationship?

I don’t know, is it?

As I moved briskly along the hiking trail I began to think about that question. Ours certainly was a perfect human-dog relationship.

But was it a dream scenario for good ‘ol human relationships?

Well….yes, and no.

No?

Some qualities of my relationship with Brady might be a dream scenario: a nightmare dream scenario!

I have never found a healthy relationship that was built on the premise that one has exclusive power and control.

I have never found a healthy relationship built upon universal subservience.

Or, complete deference.

No, those qualities make for unpleasant, unhealthy, and at times unsafe relationships.

If it creates such bad relationship issues, how could it also be a dream scenario?

But remember I wrote “yes, and no?”

Brady was a great listener.

Great relationship partners know now to listen.

Like Brady, they make eye contact, they maintain eye contact, and they nod their head to acknowledge their partner.

Relationship tips, from a mediator’s best friend:

My relationship with Brady was phenomenal.

Take these lessons from Brady to strengthen your relationships:

  • Brady was a great companion, as I was to him. Provide companionship to your partner
  • Brady and I complemented one another beautifully. Embrace the differences in your relationship and view them as complementary pieces
  • Always listen.
  • Play when it’s time to play, and hang out when it’s time to hang out.
  • Provide physical comfort to one another. Perhaps not a belly-rub, but human touch can be a beautifully powerful force
  • Avoid judgment. Instead, fully embrace each other, foibles and all.
  • Provide unconditional support.

And occasionally, give a good head-nod.

Please comment below — I would love to hear from you! 

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About the Author ()

I help families resolve conflict through family mediation and divorce mediation in Massachusetts. My services include mediation for co-parenting disputes, marriage problems, separation and divorce, parents and teenagers, and family conflicts. The goal of my mediator’s blog is to help teach or remind readers of helpful communication and conflict resolution techniques that can be used in their relationships. I live in Natick, MA with my wife, son and dog and mediate throughout the Metrowest Boston region. Please note that my name is spelled Ben Stich, not Ben Stitch.



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Comments (6)

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  1. Eric says:

    Brady’s head nod not only communicated acknowledgement but also a willingness and eagerness to engage. A skilled active listener he was!

    Thanks Ben and Brady….a great piece, on some great lessons, learned from a great relationship between dog and human.

  2. It promotes communication and co-operation. A neutral person, the mediator, helps those involved better understand the issues, explore creative solutions, and reach agreements that are acceptable to both parents.

  3. Rachael Wurtman says:

    I bring my yellow lab, Amy, to work with me in my private practice as a divorce and family mediator. Amy brings a lovely sense of perspective and calm.

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