It really is. So don't bother even thinking about trying mediation to sort your issues out after separation!
Who are we talking to when we say this?
Well, really we're talking to those who are in the middle of conflict after their separation. Maybe it's a conflict about the kids, where they should live, when each of you should get to see them, who needs to pay for them. Or maybe it's about finances, whether the pension should be shared, how much money needs to be paid every month to keep the other going.
To those people in conflict, you have a question to answer, and you need to answer this question now.
The question you need to answer is this: how would you like to resolve your conflict?
Pretty easy question, eh?
OK maybe not. So here's where your decision-making comes into play. Right now, when the conflict you're experiencing is still raw, when all that ill-feeling and argument and position-taking and more is clouding every waking moment of your life, right now we know it can be really hard to make a clear decision about how to sort things out. We know that it might seem like a good idea to get some advice, from your friends and family around you who will likely support any decisions you make, and from professional people, like lawyers, counsellors, therapists. We know that it can be comforting to spill out all your issues on such people, to take their advice, to rely on that advice even.
What we know about conflict, however, is that at some point you need to take some ownership of sorting things out, that resolving things is down to you and the person with whom you're in conflict.
Let's say that again for effect.
Resolving conflict is down to you and the person with whom you're in conflict. Not your friends or family, not your counsellors, therapists, lawyers, courts. Just you and the person with whom you're in conflict.
Sounds a bit judgy, fair enough, we get that. But have a think about that for a moment. It's your conflict. You know your family. You know what's going on, what your interests and wishes are, and the same is true for the person with whom you're in conflict. Sure, you might be able to get someone to fight your corner for you, or to have a decision made in court that vindicates your position. But that conflict will still bubble underneath, permeating through your life, your family, festering and unresolved.
So get some advice, listen to what your friends, family and professionals are saying, but then sit down, take it all in during any quiet moment you can find in all this madness, and decide, knowing what you know, where you want to be, if you want to fight, to lock horns with your ex, or whether you'd be willing to try talking things out. If, given the choice, you could genuinely resolve this conflict ruling your life right now, would you still want to feed it, grow it, or would you want to understand it, work out how to settle it down?
In the title to this post we said that mediation is a waste of time. It really is, at least if you've decided to fight instead of talk, that is. OK we admit, it was a bit of a shock headline to get you to read this! But seriously, if both you and your ex really want to give talking a go, if you feel given what's been happening up until now you might need a bit of help doing this, we're here for you. We won't judge you, we'll help you talk and listen to each other, we'll help you take some control back and decide for yourselves how life should look for you, your family, in the coming months and years.
Our mediators are ready, happy to help, and waiting for your call today.