If you are preparing for divorce mediation, you have probably been advised to leave your emotions out of it. Unfortunately, emotion is an integral part of a divorce and you can't just wish it away, but you can learn to deal with it. Here are four practical ways to deal with your emotions during mediation:
Ask For a Break
If the negotiations get too emotional, ask the mediator for a short break to help you cool down. This won't shock the mediator since they are used to such things. Taking a short break will also help you to clear your head and strengthen you for further discussions, so the mediator is likely to be receptive to your request. You can take a short walk, stretch your legs, and go to the bathroom (even if you don't have to go) during the break.
Communicate Your Feelings
Communicating your feelings to the mediator and your partner may also help. Don't assume that they can read your facial expressions and gestures; they may be reading the wrong things. Most couples who choose mediated divorce aren't too combative, so your partner isn't likely to make you sad or angry intentionally. By communicating your feelings, you give them a chance to choose their words carefully or change their approach without hampering the discussions. The mediator may also come up with some helpful suggestions on how to move forward. Besides, surprising your feelings may only worsen them.
Request To Bring a Support Person
Mediation usually involves the couple, mediator, and maybe the couple's lawyers. However, this doesn't mean that you can't bring a support person to comfort you during the process. You can bring a close sibling, religious leader, or best friend. Just ask the mediator and the other party first so that you don't catch them off guard; they won't like that.
Don't Stoke Your Partner's Emotions
Lastly, you should examine your actions and words to know whether you are stoking your partner's feelings. Your partner may be making you angry because you are making them feel angry, too. As explained in the introduction, you shouldn't run from your emotions, but there is no use feeding them either. Therefore, if you are needlessly needling your partner, stop it, and they may respond in kind too.
Run everything by a lawyer, like those at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC, before making a firm commitment if you suspect that your feelings may lead you to irrational decisions. Hopefully, your emotions won't scuttle your mediation process.