How can the Mediator be Neutral?

A mediator can help heal the pain of divorce by being neutral, and increasing understanding. it is never simple to determine why a marriage ends.  Something was probably lacking for a while, and maybe one spouse was in denial.  The end of the marriage takes two, as doess the beginning .

My challenge as a mediator is how to understand/empathize with both people.  Brad went out to get a newspaper one Sunday morning and did not come back or call for 3 days.  He left Helen with 2 young children, without even a note.  I could imagine her anguish, and the children’s fears.  But during our sessions, Helen never let Brad speak!!  What he did was not right. But something drove him to do this.  He experienced something equally awful or he would not have done this to her. 

That is the crux.  Most of us are trying to make our way through this life doing our best.  We try not to hurt the people we love, or have loved.   But we are imperfect creatures, so we do not always succeed.  We are hurt and we lash out – and the other may not know that he/she has hurt us.  Through my understanding as a mediator, I can often help people to forgive themselves and each other – which will help them to move forward into their new lives post-divorce.

Divorce raises hurdles, as you restructure and begin to figure out your new life – and also raises complex emotions.  Mediation is a good place to explore these things. When you are navigating the maze of these changes, the last thing you want to hear is that your spouse’s position has some validity. 

These feelings are especially intense where the impetus for the break-up of the marriage is a situation with deep emotional effect – for example, where one person has a new lover, or where one person walked out on the other very suddenly and without warning.  The identity as a wronged person becomes compelling and attractive.  In mediation we focus on a broader picture. A neutral mediator can bring you closer to the truth, and the truth will help you to move on with your life.