How can we mediate if we have a contentious relationship or if my spouse intimidates me?

Divorce mediation can still work, even when parties have a contentious relationship.

Mediating a contentious divorce is certainly more difficult compared to a relationship that is amicable. However, that does not mean that mediation is impossible, or even that mediation is not still the best option. When parties get along and agree on most subject, divorce is easy. A divorce with challenging issues – including the relationship between the spouses – still needs to be completed, and mediation can still work, despite a difficult relationship.

Many divorces happen precisely because the relationship between spouses has become too contentious to continue. Mediation can still be an excellent way to resolve the disputes because it provides both spouses an opportunity to discuss their respective futures in a setting that will deescalate the tension. The mediators at South Shore Divorce Mediation are generally quite skilled at keeping sessions calm and productive, and minimizing whatever tension there might be between spouses. Of course, none of this is fool-proof. If spouses cannot tolerate being in each other’s presence, or if one spouse is so scared or intimidated by the other spouse that he or she is unable to meaningfully participate in mediation, then the process breaks down.

Mediators often encounter imposing or domineering spouses who try to pressure the opposing spouses in a variety of ways. While there are situations where this becomes too overbearing for the mediation process to be productive, mediators have a variety of tools for circumventing the cycle of conflict  and bringing both parties to the table to discuss their future in a fruitful, thoughtful, and civil manner that is beneficial to both sides.