Jennifer Safian

Divorce and Family Mediator

People often ask me, ”What is the most frequent cause of divorce?

I believe they expect to hear something like “ an affair,” or “financial disagreements.” And while these can certainly trigger much distress in a marriage, my answer is “communication.” If the parties are communicating with an open mind and an open heart, being honest, and willing to listen carefully and truly understand each other, affairs or financial disagreements may not occur as often, or may be overcome. Remember that listening does not mean agreeing, but it is the first step towards good communication.

I recently saw a great movie, 112 Weddings, a documentary made by the wedding photographer Doug Block, who wondered what became of some of the couples he had filmed on their wedding day. He tracked a few down and interviewed them, exploring with them themes of love and commitment through life’s challenges. He also juxtaposed flashbacks of their wedding days with scenes of their lives today, which makes the movie even more compelling.

All of the couples had faced challenges of one sort or another. Isn’t that life? These included:

  • A very sick child;
  • Loss of job;
  • Depression;
  • An affair;
  • Major differences with the in-laws; etc.

It is fascinating to see how some worked through what were often traumatic times, and despite the ups and downs of their relationships, they hung on to each other:

  • One person actually admitted that if he knew now what he didn’t know then, he was not sure he would have married the same person. However, he also stated that they were learning how to work through things together.
  • Some were increasingly committed and loving of each other, enriched both individually and as a couple by their challenges, their individual and joint efforts.

This documentary is a true testament to human beings, with all their qualities and their faults, their fragilities and their strengths.

Watching this movie reinforced my initial belief: communication is at the core of a good relationship.  Any problem or situation can be resolved but you must TALK and more importantly, LISTEN to one another.

Wishing you much growth and love in all of your relationships!


Jennifer Safian Divorce and Family Mediator

phone: (212) 472-8626 email: website:

Divorce and Family Mediation Upper East Side of Manhattan (NYC) New York, NY

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