War of the Roses

In 1989 Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner starred in the movie The War of The Roses. They played a wealthy divorcing couple trying to get the other to leave the house. They destroy the house, ruin cars, swing from chandeliers and just behave badly. They were stubborn, self indulgent, childish and evil. Almost 25 years later my stomach still takes a flip thinking about that movie. I was so personally disturbed by the behavior, even though I had not personally experienced that type of conflict. It was just so destructive, both physically and emotionally.

Now viewing that film through the lens of a mediator involved in family law cases I believe I can confidently state there is no possible way that couple could mediate a divorce!

So, who can mediate a divorce? Mediation is about abandoning an I Win/you lose mentality and replacing that mindset with common goals and compromise. Good mediation candidates are individuals, especially in divorce, who are able to see a bigger picture and care less about minute details. People who can look past today’s concerns and see how things play out long term are good candidates. Most people have those skills; they often just have not used them very much recently.

We live in a world of “I” or “Me”, IPhone, IPad, MyFi, My Medica, all those terms deal with the individual and not a cooperative or collective view.

Mediation is hard and painful work at times but well worth thinking of a goal and outcome instead of I/Me.