How Marital Mediation Can Help You Communicate Better

 Jennifer Warren Medwin
June 10, 2020

How Marital Mediation Can Help You Communicate Better

Jennifer Warren Medwin

One of the greatest challenges in a marriage is effective communication. You might feel like your marriage is struggling, but you may not want to get divorced.  Coach and mediator, Jennifer Warren Medwin, explains how marital mediation can help you if you are hoping to find a way forward in your marriage.  This article originally appeared on Thrive Global.

When a fire is burning, it requires a significant amount of attention to put it out. Marital Mediation can assist in getting the fire, which is destroying your marriage, under control. The alternate dispute resolution process is a growing area of family mediation. It can be used in conjunction with or instead of traditional couple’s therapy for marriages in crisis. Just because counseling didn’t help doesn’t mean that the marriage is over. Marital mediation offers couples hoping to find a way to stay married a short term, practical, constructive, forward focused, solution-oriented option prior to making a decision to divorce. The process does not explore deep personal issues, address mental health diagnosis, discuss family backgrounds, pathologies, or provide treatment. It encourages a collaborative process to achieve common goals where each party takes responsibility for working through the relationship and process.

Marital Mediation is an additional resource for people that wish to pursue and improve their marriages. The process uses the skills and techniques in Divorce Mediation to help save the marriage instead of helping couples divorce. It utilizes mediation techniques to open and improve lines of communication, help couples address areas of tension in their relationship, and works to develop plans that focus on behavioral changes each person will make in order to lessen future arguments.

A trained Marital Mediator acts as an impartial communication specialist who fosters and facilitates discussion that allows the clients to exchange differing views, ask questions, discuss different topics, and find short term solutions based on identified issues and obstacles. Parties are encouraged to talk about their interests, values, and needs, not just their wants. The mediator uses negotiation and conflict resolution skills to empower the couple to be active participants in their own solution by working together to understand each other’s desires, feelings, thoughts, and goals. 

Conflicts left unattended can become major issues that spiral out of control and destroy a marriage. Marital Mediation allows couples to move out of crisis or limbo quicker in order to make educated decisions about the future of the marriage. By better understanding the issues and exploring time sensitive and creative solutions, couples can often reach agreements, overcome their differences, and stay married.

What are the benefits of Marital Mediation?

  • Marital Mediation is facilitated by a trained Supreme Court Mediator who is a Certified Marital Mediator and specifically educated about the divorce process.
  • It provides an opportunity to save the marriage even if other forms of alternative dispute resolutions have not been successful.
  • The process is private, confidential, and client driven.
  • Marital Mediation is a short-term, forward focused joint venture to better understand the relationship.
  • It implements a pragmatic and practical approach.
  • The process empowers couples to be a part of the solution, to learn new communication, negotiating, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Marital mediation is goal and task oriented.
  • It focuses on the problem not the other person which decreases the blame game and emotional avoidance allowing for more honest and open discussions.
  • The process is solution based where the couple independently sets goals and objectives together for mutual implementation.
  • Marital Mediation is resolution focused.
  • It encourages brainstorming options for a favored outcome.
  • The process is couple driven not attorney or judge driven.
  • Marital Mediation utilizes a framework by which the neutral facilitator helps discover hidden interests and opinions not realized by the couple.
  • It helps the couple develop a more positive story or narrative about their relationship.

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