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Can divorce mediation be saved with a simple apology?

When the idea of ending a Pennsylvania marriage belongs only to one spouse, the feelings of resentment, anger and hurt felt by the other party can influence how the divorce proceedings progress. Attempting to settle the couple’s issues using divorce mediation may be impossible in this situation. Only when the couple is able to reach an even temporary truce does the possibility of an amicable split arise.

The individual who feels wronged in the divorce may want to go to court simply to have the chance — right or wrong — to tell his or her side of the story. Additionally, hurt can grow into anger, causing an individual to seek retribution. When that happens, the person attempts to drag out the proceedings and argues with the other spouse at every turn.

Amazingly, a simple, heartfelt apology may be able to bring things back into focus for the other party. Acknowledging that the decision to divorce profoundly hurt the other partner could begin the healing process for both spouses. It may not cure everything, but it could provide the other party with a catharsis that cools anger and the quest for retribution, which would eventually cause more harm to the entire family than the divorce itself.

Divorce mediation is about a Pennsylvania couple resolving their marital issues together. When the parties are at opposite ends of the spectrum, a peaceful resolution may be impossible. Apologizing for one’s role in the end of the marriage could give the other spouse something desperately needed — the acknowledgement that the divorce is not all his or her fault and that the other party knows that. Once the healing process has begun, further settlement discussions could lead the way to a post-divorce relationship free from harsh feelings and accusations.

Source: The Huffington Post, The Power of an Apology in Divorce, Betsy Ross, LICSW CGP, Feb. 12, 2014

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