Navigating change is difficult. Rachel Green & the re•solutions team can help increase clarity & improve communication for couples in conflict.

How Long Does Mediation Take?

The answer to this varies a lot. Firstly, you’re in control, you decide how long you want between appointments. If you want to move through the process quickly or slowly.

I’ve had clients who met once a week for 4 weeks, they resolved everything in the sessions and signed their agreement and court papers. From start to finish it was 5-7 weeks.

My longest-running case took 9 years. They would come in when they needed help resolving something, once a year or year and a half. Their child grew up, they put him through college, sold the marital home and were still married. When they came in to sign their papers, they both cried. Even though they hadn’t lived together in years, it still meant something that they were married. The official end of the marriage was an important marker.

I’ve had cases where one partner has toyed with the idea of separation; run it through their minds for months or even years and is now ready to tell the spouse they want to break up. Meanwhile, the spouse is shocked. 

                “Every time we fight you threaten divorce, but you never did anything about it, so I never thought you were serious.”

                “You’re telling the mediator that you were so unhappy. Why didn’t you tell me that, during our marriage?” 

In those situations, we have to give the non-initiating spouse the time to adjust to the idea of the split; begin to mourn the big changes that come with a break-up. They have to process the loss of the future they thought they were going to have before they’re ready to make decisions about how their lives will be structured in the future. 

Often, they’re not doing that processing with me; but with a therapist, or just with friends and families. I don’t hear from them for 8 or 12 or 16 months and they come back in a different place. Looking stronger and more confident, ready to approach these decisions. 

On average though, couples finish the mediation process in 2-18 months.

Rituals For Healing When Breaking Up

Visit places where you and your ex did things together, and say goodbye to the them:

The diner where you always had breakfast

The club where you loved to dance

The bar you both frequented

Even the beach in Mexico where you decided to get married

Plan a trip by yourself, so you have something to look forward to.

Watch breakup movies or movies of your favorite actors, disregarding their romantic or non-romantic qualities.

22 Breakup Movies That Are Way Better Than Any Rom-Com

31 best breakup movies to mend a shattered heart

Turn your ex’s old study or dedicated space into a new workshop for you, for journaling, sewing, painting, writing, dancing, etc.

Have a breakup party! Invite your closest friends and colleagues. Friends come together so tell them all at once what had happened, and you don’t have to go through the story again and again. Ask them to come prepared to talk about their own breakups, their own hurts, feelings of rejection, times they had affairs, times they found out about affairs, times they felt that it was the nadir, with no hope and how that changed over time. Share the universal experience of breaking up. 

And as always work, distractions and connections will help you recover from the breakup.