Like Roseann Vanella, I often encounter spouses who are at very different emotional stages in the divorce process. For example, one spouse may have come to the realization many months ago that the marriage is effectively over, while the other may still be holding out hope of reconciliation.
Divorce is especially hard on the spouse who does not want to let go of the marriage. Often, they feel like a helpless victim who has suddenly lost control of their future. When the couple comes in for divorce mediation, this spouse is typically very resistant at first to the entire process. In such cases, I typically advise the spouses that if all other avenues have been exhausted and one party insists on divorce, sooner or later the other party will need to accept this reality. Throughout the divorce mediation process, the resisting spouse is often able to come to accept the divorce, and we are able to work out an equitable solution.
As a divorce mediator, it is my job to try to soften this harsh reality and help my clients reach an amicable settlement, so they can pick up the pieces and move forward with their lives.