Marriage vows state newlywed's intentions. Marital agreements drive daily reality.
Clearly defining areas of struggle, considering possible solutions, and building mutually supportive and understood agreements may change the most difficult marriage into one with potential. Poor communication, cloudy commitments, unspoken expectations, unclear divisions of roles, and differing understandings about time and money can create power struggles, distress, and relationship breakdown. Solid agreements may offer an antidote to breakdown.
Marriage mediation begins by assisting spouses in identifying what is and isn't working day-to-day. Next, through a safe, structured, and confidential process, the focus is on re-establishing (or establishing for the first time) the marriage's communicative and other everyday "nuts and bolts." The objective is to build clear and mutually satisfying agreements that positively and productively shape the relationship.
Mediation is an adjunct to, but does not replace couples' work (e.g. PAIRS) and counseling/psychological services (which frequently unearth issues inviting agreement construction). Depending upon participants' desires, a written "Memorandum of Understanding" may be developed.
Specialized assistance is available for marriages in which chronic/acute illness, short/long-term disability (physical, emotional, etc.), or addiction present unique challenges.
A basic intention by each person to remain in, and work on, the marriage is required for participating in marital mediation.
References available upon request