What You Can Do Before

What You Can Do Before

If you’re in the midst of mediation, and it feels like you’re not going very far, take a moment and think about it.

Mediation works best when all parties are open to discussion and learning. It also works best when people come in with definable goals — it’s “Why is he annoying me all the time lately?” vs “I want him to stop annoying me all the time.” It’s knowing if you want to end the relationship or resolve the relationship. It can also be about more than the relationship — you don’t need to come in prepared to discuss your first date or your wedding day. Sometimes a mediator can learn the most just by the normal conversations you have with your partner.

It’s also important to have an open mind, and to be aware of that. If you’re already angry with your partner about something, you’re going to carry that anger into the mediation session. While mediation can help you with any negative emotion you might bring in, it’s still best to leave those kinds of emotions at the door. They won’t help with what you want to get out of the session, whether it’s a new understanding or a new step in a plan. It requires a certain amount of maturity, which can be difficult when a relationship is being discussed.

Above all: remember that you chose mediation for a reason. You’re sitting down with your spouse and someone to work on a solution that makes everyone feel better. You’re not there to pick a fight or make the other person feel bad. You’re there because rather than having an ugly fight in the court system, you’re there to have a reasonable discussion about the future.