What is Marriage Mediation?

The Marriage Mediation process offers help for struggling marriages with the help of a Marital Mediator.

Marriage Mediation uses the skills and techniques used in divorce mediation to help save the marriage.  You have most certainly heard of divorce mediation but marital mediation is different – the goal is to help couples stay married instead of helping couples divorce.  However, most people do not even know there is another route to help them address marital problems.

Marital Mediation

  • Your marriage is in struggling OR you are holding on by a thin commitment – your marriage needs help but you don’t know where or who to turn to.
  • You have gone to marriage counseling and feel like you are rehashing the same anger, accusations, problems without any change or tools to effectively resolve your differences.
  • You are tired of the same results after each dispute – it gets better for a while then back to the same “old” way of communicating and relating.

Marital Mediation offers help for struggling marriages with the help of a Marriage Mediator.

You have most certainly heard of divorce mediation but how about marital mediation?  In Marital Mediation the goal is to help couples stay married instead of helping couples divorce.  Most people do not even know there is another route to help them address marital problems.

Over the span of many years in my career as Divorce Mediator and Divorce Coach I heard the same comment repeated, “we went to counseling and it didn’t work”.  I kept saying to myself, “there has to be another way and if only I could have met this couple early on just maybe they wouldn’t be in my office to dissolve their marriage”.  Marriage is the most important personal and financial relationship you have.    Just because marriage therapy didn’t work for you, it doesn’t always mean that your marriage is over.    Marriage is challenging and requires difficult conversations and difficult decisions.  As a Marriage Mediator I help couples who want to stay married to solve issues that are causing stress and issues in the marriage.  Marital Mediation is different than traditional counseling because unlike therapy, mediation does NOT explore deep personal issues, address mental health diagnosis, discuss family backgrounds, pathologies, or provide treatment.  There just might be one more option to seek and couples should be encouraged to use every resource available to preserve and improve it.

How is Marital Mediation different than marital therapy/counseling?

The goal is to help couples have a better marriage and resolve their issues that are creating conflict.  Marriage therapy sometimes has a negative stigma attached to it (especially for men) and there is great resistance by the man or woman to enter into counseling.  They feel they are failures or don’t want to share their problems with a stranger.  Because marital mediation is pragmatic, practical, deals with the here and now and uses negotiation tools that will empower the couple to be an active participant in their solution – there isn’t the same negative resistance to entering this process.

Marriage Mediation focuses on:

  • Practical and definable plans for new behaviors and resolutions around issues in conflict
  • Series of transformative negotiations to help a couple negotiate their relationship, communicate and interact more constructively
  • Pragmatic, short-term interventions to reduce the conflict in order to allow other therapy models time to work
  • Learning skills for problem-solving
  • Goals, skills and tasks that are reality based and achievable with a commitment by the couple because they were a part of the resolution plan

Marital therapy/counseling focuses on:

  • Therapeutic insights and psychological underpinnings of the couple’s relationship and behaviors
  • Assessments, diagnosis and treatment plans
  • Past trauma, family history, and sexual history

When is Marital Mediation not recommended?

  • If there is mental illness present
  • Substance abuse present
  • Personality disorders present
  • Physical abuse present

What issues are best suited for Marriage Mediation?

  • Communication issues (lack of, disrespectful, avoidance, inability to resolve disputes…)
  • Financial issues (different spending patterns, financial infidelity, controlling of money…)
  • Intimacy issues
  • Career issues
  • Parenting issues
  • Blended family issues
  • Remarriage issues
  • Discuss the realities and effects of divorce and the life after the divorce

Who are Marital Mediators?

Marital Mediators come from many backgrounds, educational training, and life experiences.  Ironically, most (and usually the most qualified) are also divorce mediators.  Yes, divorce mediators can also make great marital mediators because of the insight and experience on some of the causes of marriages failing.  During their work they learn and see the root of people’s fears, anger, and issues because when you are splitting a couple’s children and money they don’t hold much back.  Often times, Divorce mediators learn more about a couple than most marriage counselors learn about a couple because very little is left untold or shared when the parties are separating their assets and their children during the dissolution process of their marriage.  Because of this insight and their skills as problem solvers, negotiators and resolution focus they identify the problems, negotiate the issues and find a resolution that works for all and that help marriages improve.

Divorce mediators also understand the practical and financial effects  of the process of divorce (i.e., finances being split, time with the children being split, holidays with the children being split, homes being sold and so on).  Therefore, they are effective at helping a couple to see the divorce life they are headed toward if they don’t do the good work of healing and learning new ways to be in a relationship/marriage with one another.

Marital Mediation Testimonials

“After several months of working with Sandra Mike and I have decided to stay together. It is going to be long road but we are very hopeful. The past year has been very rough but we are emerging victoriously! These new skills are so powerful and life changing.”
“Sandra mediated my divorce and I must say she did a great job…She listens well, has great knowledge and is very efficient. Thank you, Sandra.”
“…your efforts to help me and my spouse negotiate a really tough situation and even tougher personalities. You impressed me with your perceptiveness of what was going on, and your directness in addressing it, all while maintaining your professionalism and poise. Thank you for being honest and fair.”
“This is a painful but positive experience and we are taking baby steps forward with your guidance and learning to approach conflict in a whole new way.”
~John & Irene