Before getting married, engaged couples will spend hours selecting the right outfits for their nuptials. They will go store-to-store, adding coveted items to their wedding gift registries. They will make binders with charts and calendars and a Pinterest page with photos. But, has the couple had the necessary pre-marriage conversations that will help them stave off future disputes?
Mediation is not pre-marital counseling, but it should be an exercise that engaged couples use to facilitate their difficult pre-marriage conversations. Setting household budgets, knowing the right time to get a dog (or cat), starting a family, and changing career goals – all are intricate and (sometimes) difficult conversations that couples should have before marrying.
If you add the overlay of two spouses from different cultures and countries, there will be more conversations to be had before walking down the aisle. Where will you live? Do your personal goals jive with your new spouse’s goals in terms of travel and living overseas? If you have children, do you want them to be citizens of both countries? How do you handle a traveling toddler? How do you facilitate access between your child and extended family who lives at a great distance? How do you pay for this jet-setting lifestyle?
A neutral person can work with marrying couples to facilitate these conversations in a productive way. Mediators are trained communicators who can frame and structure your conversations so you can achieve a more solid foundation on which to start your married life.