Jonathan Fields, Esq.,
Tell me about yourself
I am a divorce attorney and mediator at family law firm Fields & Dennis LLP in Wellesley, MA. I’ve been practicing law for over 28 years and received my J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Amherst College.
Tell me about the funny video your wife Erica made “Shelter in Place”?
I am a divorce attorney and mediator by trade, and I’ve learned many things on the job about relationships and the law. I don’t think I’ve learned anything as important however as to listen to my wife. Quarantine leads to unexpected creativity, so my wife Erica made this funny video, highlighting my many flaws: https://www.facebook.com/erica.s.fields/videos/10221863074026223/
What have you learned about relationships while sheltering in place?
One thing you might pick up on if you watch the video is that none of us are getting away with just sitting on the couch bingeing on Netflix during this crisis (even if we might try!) We have a job to do (not just our work-from home jobs), and that’s being there for our spouse. One other thing this video might tell you is if we are bingeing on Netflix or leaving the peanut-butter spoon in the sink, we need to be gentle with each other (hint, hint!) Too much bingeing, and too little tolerance can turn social isolation into a serious challenge for a relationship.
We are so lucky to be able to sit on the couch with our spouse right now. And since we are spending so much more time together, it might be time to do something extra nice for your other half to show how much you appreciate that you’re in this together.
What advice do you have for others to manage their relationships?
This time of social isolation can be a blessing or a curse; either way using some skills from mediation can help you get through it:
- Listening - Listen to your spouse. Active listening means really engaging and reflecting back what your spouse has said rather than nodding and checking your phone
- Judgement - Don’t be critical
- Laugh - Use humor rather than judgement
- Divide & Conquer - Divide the house-work and childcare as fairly as possible
- Schedule - Schedule some time alone! To be present for your other half, you need some time to yourself
- Gratitude - Be grateful for this time together and look to a time in the future when things get back to normal
- Space - If you need it take space, go for a walk or call a friend or loved one
With a little bit of patience and remembering, we get through anything together….
Jonathan E. Fields is a family law attorney and partner at Fields & Dennis LLP. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.489.6776 https://www.fieldsdennis.com/