Mediation to Stay Married (also known as Marital Mediation) is a mediation process for couples who are experiencing marital problems or difficulties and who would prefer to stay together, constructively work through their issues, who are willing to learn to resolve conflict and who wish to avoid divorce. Mediation to Stay Married is a practical, solution-oriented approach to conflict resolution in which the couple identifies, brainstorms, negotiate and solve their problems.
How does Mediation to Stay Married work?
Mediation to Stay Married does not seek to delve deeply into the past or interpersonal, psychological issues of couples (or its members.) Through Mediation to Stay Married, the couple can develop concrete plans or modes of action that can be helpful to address their marital conflict and issues. The couple works with a trained mediator, who uses dispute resolution techniques to help define the issues and gain understanding, discover hidden interests and create options for breaking impasses and improving the couple’s conflict resolution and interpersonal communication skills. The mediator facilitates communication among the parties wherefore the parties can independently set goals and objectives together for mutual implementation.
What is the difference between Mediation to Stay Married and Marital Counseling?
Couples are encouraged to continue marital counselling or independent counselling. Marital Mediation is not and cannot take the place of counselling obtained from a licensed mental health provider. Counselling is performed by a mental health professional and involves therapeutic analysis and insights. Mediation to save and Stay Married is a more practical approach to solving a conflict that relies on dispute resolution techniques. The process is guided by a trained mediator, however, is created by the couple. The ultimate benefit of Mediation to Save and Stay Married is that it teaches conflict resolution, constructive communication and a deeper understanding of their issues and conflicts. The mediation process helps them to realise their own solutions to conflicts.
An attorney/mediator can help you understand what happens if you divorce. A divorce attorney can paint the “worst case scenario” picture so you can make decisions in the best interest of your future and the future of your children. An attorney mediator, by way of experience, professional and otherwise, understands what happens to couples who divorce. They understand what happens in litigated cases or when mediation or collaborative divorce process is involved. Many times, however, couples say, “we don’t know how we got here”. A world wind of emotions, anger and miscommunications set couples (and attorneys) on a certain path to financial and emotional chaos.
People often “jump the gun” when they are having marital problems. Their minds immediately go to the idea of divorce, because they see and know of no other option. Marital Mediation helps a couple understand the source of conflict and helps them envision a positive future. What people often don’t know is that marriage skills can be taught and learned. The difference between a marriage that lasts and one that breaks down is the success of this learning process and willingness to devote time to learn and read about the skill of conflict resolution and communication.
Many marital problems (especially in more “mature” marriages) flow from financial disputes and insecurities. Mediators who are practising attorneys are often in a good position to analyse finances, understand legal options, and assist the couple in finding concrete solutions to financial problems. On occasion, it may be helpful to use an independent skilled financial professional to identify the source of conflict and offer neutral, independent advice.
Why see a mediator rather than a mental health professional?
Utilizing Mediation to Stay Married is not a choice of one method over another. Often, knowledge is gained by the couple’s efforts to understand the source of conflict while in marital therapy. A troubled couple should use all the resources available to overcome the conflict and keep a family together. If one or both of the parties suffers from depression, addiction, or other problems, individual counselling is a must. Couples can also get great help from marital counsellors, and if they have not been helped by a series of marital counselling sessions at one point in their marriage, they may be helped the second (or third) time they try it. A martial mediator, on the other hand, offers a practical approach to conflict resolution. The parties identify the current issues and in a guided mediation brainstorm options for resolution, closure and final agreement. Mediation to stay married teaches couples long-term conflict resolution skills applicable to any conflict, in any situation, at any point in time.
By: Angela Ioana Green