How Rare is a Happy Marriage?

How Rare is a Happy Marriage?


Unicorn,” is defined as “a creature of the imagination; a person that exists only in legends or myths or fiction.”

As a therapist, mediator and attorney, I see many unhappy individuals and couples longing for the “happily ever after” they had planned. The ones in the most pain are not sure if they want to stay or go.

To many of my clients, the possibility of experiencing a truly happy marriage seems as remote and impossible as sighting that “imaginary creature represented as a white horse with a long horn growing from its forehead.”

A happy marriage is not a mythical or magical experience. It’s the end result of many acts of two people who truly CARE about each other.

You can appreciate that despite your best efforts, from time-to-time you’re going to trigger each other. Or hurt each other. Or scare, sadden or disappoint the other.

The difference between reality and mythology is that the happy marriage doesn’t miraculously appear. In the real world, you can create a happy marriage by learning a few Compassionate Communication skills — including empathy and forgiveness — and applying them liberally and often to your relationship.

What I have learned over the years is that the difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage is that in the HAPPY one, each partner truly CARES. 

Partners share:

  • C – Compassion for themselves and their partner. Compassion is not codependency. It’s a healthy perspective on your own needs as well as your partner’s. It’s knowing the 5 steps to receive what you truly want and need and practicing the miracle of empathy.
  • A – Acceptance of all the idiosyncrasies that make your partner unique. Acceptance is the ability to love someone for who they are, and not who you need them to be. It is also accepting the humanity and divinity of both of you, knowing we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And marriage can trigger all our human parts.
  • R – Respect for each other’s individuality. Respect is the ability to see the good traits of your partner and honor those. No one is perfect. As Sam Keen said, ” We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
  • E – Empathy for your feelings, desires and needs. Empathy means you listen, understand, and truly care what your partner feels, and they learn to do the same for you. You drop the walls you've built to protect yourself and the filters through which you have judged each other and truly relate from your heart.
  • S – Self love that allows each of you to practice healthy self-care. True self-love is the ability to take exquisite care of yourself, no matter the circumstances. You give yourself the attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance you need. Then you share all that love with your partner.

If you're unclear where your relationship is breaking down in this CARES model, I can help. 

Take my free Relationship Assessment – and find out how to heal and transform your relationship. 

Bottom line: Unicorns don’t exist, but happy marriages do. You can have one — if you try.

And if you do your best, and CARE as much as possible and it's still not meeting your needs, you can have a Compassionate Divorce®, which isn't a Unicorn either. 

Linda Kroll is a therapist, mediator, attorney, Chopra Certified Master Teacher, and author of the bestselling Compassionate Mediation® for Relationships at a Crossroad: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce.  

You can get a free chapter of the book at, or order the book on Amazon. El

There are more free gifts and resources for Compassionate Communication and Compassionate Mediation® at 

Linda's online course on Compassionate Mediation®  is available now. To learn more go HERE.

Introduction to Compassionate Mediation – a whole new world…

Introduction to Compassionate Mediation – a whole new world…

The first thing I want to do is read you a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.

He said, “To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides. If we take sides, it is impossible to do the work of reconciliation, and humans want to take sides. That is why the situation gets worse and worse. 

Are there people who are still available to both sides? They need not do much.

They need only do one thing, go to one side and tell all about the suffering endured by the other side and go to the other side until all about the suffering endured by this side.

That is our chance for peace.  That can change the situation.”

And that is what we do with Compassionate Mediation.

We're trying to do is give each party – or if you're working with an individual, give the individual – a chance to come from their highest self, let go of their limiting beliefs, unburden pain from the past and relate from their hearts. 

And then when they relate from their heart, they can talk about their

feelings that they've exiled – the hurt, the sadness, the fear – and their partner can listen to that. 

Their partner can't listen to the judgments, the “you” messages. You always do this, you never do that. 

And a lot of people are getting into some very bad habits of communicating. Maybe they're fighting more, maybe they're distancing more. Maybe they're doing the dance of fighting and distancing. 

But now more than ever, the skill of Compassionate Mediation can be something that you can use with your current clients or future clients to teach them a new way to communicate.

Compassionate Mediation starts with compassionate communication. 

And the good part about it  is you're trained in therapy or coaching or helping them process their feelings.

You're also going be able to talk about the content.

If you're talking about a property division, how to talk about the property aspect or how to talk about child support or how to talk about maintenance, if there's going to be any.

You will help them through all the feelings that come up around these subjects.

And far too often we'll be counseling someone and they'll decide they're thinking of a divorce and they want to go to a mediator.

Or they want to hire an attorney. 

I mentioned to anyone thinking of the divorce that mediation is always the best way to go, whether it's Compassionate Mediation or any other mediation because it gives them a chance to speak with each other. 

But in compassionate mediation, we're teaching them away to be more self-led to compassionately communicate, to learn how to empathize, and then to talk about all the different options they have. 

Another thing we're doing in Compassionate Mediation is we're talking them “off the ledge.”

And if you know what I mean, it's when an individual or couple comes into your office and they think they have to act now, they think they have to jump, they've reached the end of their rope,

They're so tired of the same old, same old that they need to make a decision and they need to make it fast. 

Deep breath here.

The important thing is not what they decide, but are they deciding from their highest and best self

Because if they're not, they're just reacting. They're reacting to their own parts, they're reacting to their partner's part.

But when it happens in marriage counseling, many people don't bring it up because they think that if they're in marriage counseling, all they're there for is to make the marriage better. 

And unfortunately, one or both of them may have already been considering, “What would it be like to separate, What would it be like to find somebody new? What would it be like to get out of this union?”

But  because they're exiling that part of themselves, they're only showing up with a part that's trying to be invested in counseling, but they're not fully invested in counseling because they're not talking about the part that's thought about leaving. 

We use Compassionate Mediation to make it safe for all parts to come in and feel welcome:  The parts that are scared, the parts that are worried, the parts that are angry, the parts that feel betrayed, and the parts that think I might want  to end this, what would that look like.

And that's why in one of the modules in the training,  I talk about how you talk to the initiator and how you talk to the non initiator. 

The initiator is the party in the couple, the one member of the couple that really would like to separate or divorce, and I tell that person that if they don't process some of the feelings that led to their desire to leave, their partner is not going to be part of this process. Their partner is going to pull out. 

So then they'd be left with having to hire an attorney and file for divorce. 

Their partner would have to file a response, and  a year or two later, thousands of dollars later, maybe they'll get divorced. 

So I tell the initiator, take the time to learn how to communicate to process the feelings that got you here.

And I tell the non-initiator, the person that doesn't want to think about a divorce, doesn't want to think about a separation may be totally obsessed with staying together – that if they don't open their minds to consider the possibility of leaving, the partner that wants to separate or divorce isn't going to stay in this process because it's going to feel too much like marriage counseling.

So they have to meet in the middle where the person who wants out talks about feelings. The person that wants to stay talks about what would it look like if I left 

And you hold the space for that whole conversation and whatever topic they bring up, if they bring up money and how money is divided between the two of them, that's a subject that could go on for weeks or months.

Because when you talk about money, you have to talk about all the parts that are triggered about that conversation.

You can talk about the legacy burdens that each of them brought nto the relationship about the roles and responsibilities. You can talk about their limiting beliefs or the way they've managed, or the parts they've exiled.

And at the same time you will know enough to give them feedback about how to talk about money. 

So if you're talking about property division, you list their assets and then you list their debts.

And that process can take weeks because most of all they don't have that information readily.

Sometimes it could just take a session for one  party to feel as educated as the other party is, but you will have this skill set

to facilitate that conversation.

Please join me and learn more at

Four Tips

Four Tips

Four Tips for Healing All Your Relationships

How do the stories you tell yourself about someone affect how you show up in your relationship?

“She always does this.”

“He never does that.” 

What are the beliefs that keep you in conflict, even if the conflicts are within your own mind?

Check out what you're telling yourself about the expectations, the disappointments, the “shoulds,” the stories –  and just make a note in your mind.

Think about how painful this relationship is to you.

Does it make you feel scared or sad or unloved or vulnerable?

What are the feelings that you're feeling and where do you feel them in your body, in your heart, in your chest and your throat, your back, so check out.

What would it be like for you if you didn't have to tell yourself those stories?

 If you didn't have to feel the feelings of pain or sadness or disappointment and you could truly relate from your heart. 

Here are FOUR TIPS to help!. 

The first tip is Connect to Your Best SELF.

What does that mean? 

I'm an IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapist and Dick Schwartz, the founder of IFS always talks about SELF as having eight C qualities: C as in courageous, calm, connected, curious, confident, compassionate, clear, creative.

And I always add grateful.

When you're feeling all those calm, compassionate feelings, you're “in SELF.” 

However, we're not usually “in SELF in all our relationships.

What happens is in our interactions, we get triggered.

When we get triggered, it triggers some deep wounds at times, and instead of acknowledging our pain or our fear, we try to manage it.

We go about our business or we try to ignore it, or we try to stay busy.

Even as we're trying to manage our lives, those exiled feelings come out, and we have out in ways that cause stress. Those behaviors cause stress for us, but they ten cause stress for other people.

Some people eat too much, drink too much, get addicted to things, get enraged, go have an affair.

There's all different ways to try to get extreme because you can't manage your feelings and you can't acknowledge the exiled feelings that you're not talking about.

When you're “in SELF.”, you recognize that you're a human being, but you're really a spiritual being who is  having a human experience.

What does that mean? 

It means that you're divine. It means that whatever spirit, soul, God, nature, higher self means to you – that is who you are 

Learning how to be “in SELF” will improve all your relationships..

Here are some ways to connect to your best SELF.

You can meditate. You can journal, you can pray, go for a walk. You can take a bath. You can quiet your mind and listen for the messages from your soul.

There's lots of different ways to do that. Whatever brings you peace, brings you back to yourself will help with this first tip to connect to your best SELF.

The second tip is to Let Go of Your Limiting Beliefs.

First of all, you have to know that you have limiting beliefs – all those stories, all those expectations.

Someone wiser than me once said that “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

Think about that for a moment. 

Expectations are premeditated resentments. 

If we don't expect, we can't resent the fact that our expectations aren't met.

You may have to leave certain relationships if you're not getting your needs met, but take a look and see how much you're laying your expectations onto someone else and hen being disappointed that they can't deliver it exactly as you wanted.Byron Katie does a lot of good work on her website

She has you look at your thoughts and ask yourself four questions.

Byron said that 85% of the problems in life come because we believe our own thoughts.

Think about that.

Just because you have a thought doesn't mean it's true.

Just because you have a story.doesn't mean it's the only way to look at the situation. 

Write down a belief and Byron Katie says, ask yourself four questions

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it a hundred percent true?
  3. How do you feel when you think that thought?
  4. How would you feel if you could let that thought go?

Take a breath, and you'll notice you might think it's true, but it's not a hundred percent true.

You probably noticed that if you could let that thought go, you'd feel much better than you do. 

Then she asked you to try on a different thought, because when you have a different thought, you have a different feeling.

When you have a different feeling, you can often show up more “in SELF” because you're going to drop down from your head (and all that judgment) and go into your heart.

Connect to your best SELF, let go of limiting beliefs and then unburden the pain from the past.

The third tip  is to Unburden Pain from the Past.

You may need some help with that.

You may need some therapy. You may need to talk to a trusted friend you may need group support. You may need to go to a 12-step program.

When we're carrying around pain from your childhood, pain from when you first got married, or pain from other relationships, and you bring that old pain into the present moment and project it into the future, that keeps you from being in SELF.

It also makes you more vulnerable to being hurt because that well of exiled feelings never gets unburdened.

Internal Family Systems is a great way to get to your higher SELF, let go of those limiting beliefs and judgments, and go back to where the pain was first caused and take better care of yourself.

I want to invite you to check out an IFS therapist in your area, or work with me if you'd like to and see how you can unburden the pain from your past.

Tip number one, connect to your best self

Tip number two, let go of your limiting beliefs, 

Tip number three, unburden pain from the past.

The final tip is to Relate from Your Heart.

Take a deep breath with me and connect to your heart.

When you connect to your best self and you're no longer using your belief system to create walls around your heart or filters through which you judge someone else.

When you unburden the pain from the past, you really are a channel of love and a beacon of light.

From that place, all relationships heal. 

You may decide you have to leave or you can begin to create boundaries, not cutoffs, and you can do it coming from your higher self.

For my friends that are getting divorced, I invite you to notice that divorce brings out all parts and you have to learn how to speak for the feelings underneath the fear and sadness, because that's what going on for both of you.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the great spiritual leader said that eople like to take sides. 

And what we can do is therapist or mediators or coaches or clergy or parents or anyone helping to be of service – is to go to one side in a conflict and tell them about the pain and suffering of the other party.

And then go back to the first party and tell them about the pain and suffering of the other party. 

Because once you can have compassion that we're all having the same feelings, we all have the same parts, healing can happen.

We all have the same challenges, and you can come from your higher self and speak with empathy, set your boundaries and be safe. 

You really can relate from your heart.

Once again, here are the Four Tips.

  1.  Connected to your best self.
  2.  Let go of limiting beliefs
  3.  Unburdened from the past 
  4.  Relate from your heart.

I want to invite you to go to for a Compassionate Communication Care Kit.

It's a free gift and it gives you a guided meditation to actually get to SELF, and to experience what it feels like to come from that calm, compassionate center.

 It also gives you a four minute overview of Compassionate Communication.

It gives you a Relationship Assessment so you can start to assess how you are showing up in your relationships and it gives you a roadmap to my Compassionate Mediation® process.

I'm so glad you joined me and I have a lot more to share.

Let's stay connected.

Go get the Compassionate Communication Care Kit at

Begin to do Guided Meditation…As you do that, you can let go of your limiting beliefs. 

You can unburden  yourself from pain from the past and the stories you've been telling yourself over and over again, and you don't have to suffer with pain from the past.

You truly can unburden it. You get to see what a burden it is. And as you unburdened it, you can relate from your heart, heart to heart, with someone else.

As you're relating from your heart miracles happen, they really do.

When you change the dynamics, you change the energy between you and that person with whom you’re having a conflict.

Just take one more breath and imagine yourself showing up in the relationship and you don't even have to interact with that person. 

You can show up right now and just change your energy. Just stop judging. See if you can stop telling yourself the same stories.

If you can find the inner child in you that needs appreciation, affection, attention, and acceptance and give it to yourself.

Stop looking for it from the other person, give it to yourself and then see what shows up.

As you listen to the Guided Meditation to get to self, you're going to understand that your parts can keep you stuck. 

They can keep you telling yourself the same story and dropping into the same foxhole and getting some post-traumatic symptoms from whatever was triggering you in the first place. 

Get the guided meditation, learn how to be in self. 

As you do that, you'll let go of your limiting beliefs. You'll unburden pain from the past. You'll relate from your heart. That's what I wish for you.

I wish for you the opportunity to become your best self and have all that you desire and deserve.

You can let go or all that you don’t want and take exquisite care of yourself. Also, let’s stay connected in my Compassionate Communication Community on Facebook: Join us HERE: www.CompassionateCommunication.GROUP

Compassionate Mediation® for Your Practice

Compassionate Mediation® for Your Practice

If you're a therapist, coach, mediator, attorney, counselor or clergy, who works with individuals or couples in conflict, I'd like to take a few moments and talk with you about Compassionate Mediation®.

It's more than marriage counseling.

It's more than divorce counseling.

It's a hybrid of both that allows your clients to talk about every issue that they may have to consider if either partner has thought about leaving.

You can provide a process that brings more awareness, compassion, mindfulness, and SELF-energy into those conversations.

I offer you my process of Compassionate Mediation®.

My name is Linda Kroll, and I wrote the book Compassionate Mediation: How to Add Passion to your Marriage or Compassion to your Divorce

For many years, I have been working with individuals and couples in conflict doing individual counseling, couples counseling, and divorce mediation.

I put together my degrees in counseling, mediation and law, combined with my Chopra-certification as a teacher of meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda, to combine emotional and spiritual healing along with financial and legal information and support.

I want to share this process with you,

I have a Roadmap , which provides you with an outline of my process and an introduction as to how to integrate it into yours

The reason I want to share it is that I went through my own long and painful divorce, and it was a typical adversarial one.

I don't want that for you or for your clients or for the world.

I've spent the last 35 years merging IFS – Internal Family Systems therapy – with mediation and law and higher consciousness – and created this process that I want to give to you.

When I say give it to you, that's what I want to do.

I want to certify you – if you'd like to be certified – and give you my templates, my outlines, my scripts, my meditations, my contracts so that you can take this process and use it in your practice now, and then take it with you wherever you want to go in the world with it so that you can add more expertise, more impact, and more income to your life using this process.

If you're a professional – therapist, coach, mediator, attorney or clergy – or if you know one who could use this information –please share it because I'm ready to go.

I'd love for you to be part of it, go to

If you've already got the Roadmap, we'll talk about it and see if this is a fit for you. I'd love to get to know you and see how Compassionate Mediation can enhance your practice now – either in-person or online.

I just need to tell you about someone who recently reached out to me for help.

She called me because her husband wants a divorce and she doesn't. He's taking her to mediation and he's filed and she's all distraught. If you knew how to use Compassionate Mediation, you could help them both navigate this time.

Sometimes talking about an ending – with what it would mean to give up children's custody some of the time and part with your money and divide the household – and at the same time, help them learn how to compassionately communicate,

They can relate from their best SELF, let go of limiting beliefs, unburden pain from the past, and relater from their hearts.

When they do that, they can share empathy with each other in ways that they never have before.

Please join me in the Compassionate Mediation process, the introduction, the certification.

Let me give you the benefit of all my years of experience, both personally and professionally.

Please book a call with me now to see if this is a fit for you.

I look forward to staying connected.

Join Me

Join Me

Now that the quarantine is over, many individuals and couples are re-evaluating their marriages.

Many may be wondering, “Should I Stay or Go,” and YOU can be the expert they turn to for ongoing support – which often lasts months, and sometimes years.

I am passionate about helping individuals and couples to compassionately communicate and resolve conflict from their highest and best SELF.

I want to teach other IFS therapists the skills I developed from blending IFS therapy, mediation, law, higher consciousness and mindfulness to use this process of Compassionate Mediation® for your personal and professional growth.

I am inviting you, as part of my hand-picked small group of therapists, to join me in my Compassionate Mediation® Certification program which is starting soon.
Instead of losing clients to other professionals at the thought of a separation or divorce, you can expand your toolkit with my turn-key process that gives you the questions to ask, information to share, and guidance to offer your clients.

Compassionate Mediation® blends emotional and spiritual healing along with legal and financial information and support.

It helps people consider what an ending could look like so they can choose to re-commit to creating a new and better marriage, or a peaceful and respectful separation or divorce.

As you become known as an expert in conflict resolution, you will get more referrals from others, increase your client base and keep your current clients for months – and sometimes years – as they process all the feelings and make all the decisions – necessary to restructure their relationships.

If you are interested in learning more, please schedule a time to chat so that I can answer your questions and see how this process can integrate into your practice now.

Just go here to schedule a time to chat:

Together, we can change the face of divorce, one heart at a time.
I wrote Compassionate Mediation for Relationships at a Crossroads: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce. Dick Schwartz said it is “Relationship healing at its best.” You can access some book excerpts HERE!
Please JOIN ME for a chat about how you can integrate this process into your practice n ow.
P.S. In this ground-breaking process, I will offer hands-on guidance and mentoring with all aspects of your therapy practice.

From cutting-edge tools and techniques to dynamic interviewing tips, from meditations and scripts and templates, along with marketing skills, and from supervision for your most challenging clients to safe and supportive sessions designed to support your own personal development, this program will be a comprehensive haven to nourish you as you nourish others.

Please join me for a call while there are still open times. 🙂

"I’ve experienced significant improvements in my relationship with my husband and children."


"I learned there could be a Compassionate Divorce."


“We’re building an entirely new marriage.”


“Linda guided us mindfully through the impact of divorce."


“I came to Linda seeking mediated divorce documents and came out with nothing but peace and hope."


“I am breaking free from destructive patterns.”


“Linda helped me love all ‘Parts’ of my SELF!”


“With Linda’s caring guidance, I moved forward with peace and strength.”


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