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March 30, 2020

Every relationship has its ups and downs.  But when a relationship is breaking down, arguments become more intense and aggressive. Very often those arguments involve the children.  Even the silent treatment – while silent – is hostile.  It’s no wonder why they are affected.  They are caught in the middle of arguments between the two people who matter to them most.

Knowing how to argue in ways that minimise the negative impact on their children is crucial for parents who are separating.  That’s why we are backing a new podcast by law firm Withersworldwide to promote the importance of developing the skills to argue better, as part of a wider series of podcasts about modern relationships: arguebetter.uk

As experts in relationships – the outcome of almost five decades of research with real couples and families – at OnePlusOne we have discovered what works and what doesn’t.  With that knowledge we have designed a toolkit to help people to communicate better, when they disagree.

Penny Mansfield CBE, our OnePlusOne Co-Director, said:

“Even when a couple agree that splitting up is the best outcome for them and their children, the process of separation requires making uncomfortable choices and difficult decisions. Feeling stressed and experiencing fluctuating emotions is par for the course.  So, arguments are easily started and difficult to resolve, damaging the wellbeing of all involved.
“It’s wonderful that Withersworldwide – who are on the frontline when it comes to family separation and divorce – have grasped the importance of helping couples to communicate constructively in order to manage and successfully adapt this big change in family life.  Our evidence-based toolkit contains practical guidance for professionals to use when helping couples to manage conflict.  We are delighted to also be able to offer online resources for couples seeking to help themselves.”

As one of a series of Podcasts launching this month - featuring broadcaster Mariella Frostrup - Penny Mansfield and Katharine Landells, a partner in the Family Law team at Withersworldwide, discuss the benefits of knowing how to argue well.

Katharine Landells said:

“As a family lawyer, I see first-hand the damage that can be caused by bitter conflict.  Relationships break down and a separation is often a highly charged time for everybody involved.  But anger and bitterness can make it impossible for couples to reach decisions about how best they should move on with their separate lives, leading to a vicious cycle of conflict which, in the worst scenarios, can have a long-lasting, damaging effect on the mental health and well-being of their children.  
“No parent wants this, but it is a real consequence of their actions which so many fail to see during a time when their own emotions can be all-consuming.  Being able to use the resources offered by OnePlusOne which are backed with research evidence, has given new perspective to my work with separating couples and I hope will help many resolve their conflicts in a more effective way.”