Mediation: It’s not about winning. It’s not about losing, either.



You’re now in the midst of a bitter divorce.  Seems that no matter what you say, your spouse defiantly opposes you.  It may seem that even when you both finally agree on an issue, one of you changes your mind for the sole purpose of being an obstructionist.

When the cost of the fight exceeds the value of the object
As you’re driving home from the latest meeting between you and your spouse and your respective attorneys, you replay the conversation in your head.  Your frustration begins to mount as you do the simple math.  You spent two and a half hours fighting with your spouse over who gets to keep the dining room table and chairs.   In the clarity that comes from being away from the emotional tinderbox you just experienced, you recognize that you incurred fees of $1,250 or more fighting the dining room set fight, while your spouse incurred the same cost or more for their own attorney.  In the end, you couldn’t reach a resolution because neither one of you was willing to back down.  At that moment, you realize that your combined attorney fees of $2,500 already exceed the cost of the set.  And the issue is still unresolved.  So why not give it up?

When you lose sight of your priorities
If you look back at all the meetings with your respective attorneys, a pattern emerges.  You fight over things you don’t care about or may not even want.  So why can’t you let go?  Perhaps divorce has been depicted to you as having a single outcome:  you’ve either won or you’ve lost.  Perhaps your attorney has hinted early on in your meetings that you will emerge the victor.  And so you dig your heels and marshal your full reserve of emotional resources to fight every battle, big or small, to assure a win.

Seek an alternative path that leads to your happiness
Divorce by nature is highly charged and emotional. The most calm and logical person can get pulled into heated discussions that result in illogical responses and reactions.  The need to win at all cost has an alternative.  Thoughtful compromise through a facilitated dialogue can lead to both of you feeling victorious in those areas that you identified as priorities.  In mediation you’re not trying to win, you are navigating through what matters most, addressing these points through productive discussion, and building your path to a new life.  This is a significant differentiator.  Instead of being dragged through a series of small battles in which you are certain to be at least an occasional loser, mediation helps you to create a new foundation based on your own priorities with the goal of leading you to future happiness.  Divorce can actually end in “happily ever after.”