This is a common question and concern.
My experience tells me that if one person wants out of the marriage, inevitably the separation will occur. It’s only a matter of time and the method they choose to effectuate process. When one spouse is reluctant to end the marriage, it puts the “initiating” spouse in a difficult position. On one hand, the initiating spouse knows how hard this will be on their spouse but on the other hand they may still feel that separating is the best alternative to a marriage that no longer works for them.
In many cases, the news of wanting a separation does not come out of left field to the recipient spouse. But marriage is a complicated matter and when a marriage is showing signs of trouble, it can take months if not years for the wear to begin to rub at the fabric of the relationship. Some couples will try marriage counseling while others feel that it’s too little too late. Other couples will just drift along in a state of status quo neither happy nor unhappy but perhaps staying together for the sake of the children.
Usually the party who calls me to get information about mediation is the one who wants the separation or divorce and has had time to research their options, think about the consequences and taken the bold step to make the first call. The fact that they have called a mediator, tells me that they want to work on the separation or divorce in the least contentious way possible and in the best interests for the family.
If the party who calls me has not even broached the subject of a separation with their spouse in any significant way, I can coach them about how to have that conversation. It’s not an easy dialogue to have for sure, but it can be done in a meaningful and empowering way and will certainly set the groundwork for a successful mediation.
|“If I were asked if I would use the mediation process again, I would say “definitely yes.” I found our mediator to be a very caring and concerned individual who really did want to see us succeed in our futures.”
Ada L. Hasloecher
Divorce Mediator / Center Founder
Divorce & Family Mediation Center, LLC