Rebuild or Tear Down?

While the majority of my time with my clients is spent in sessions where the couple is negotiating terms for their divorce, I have worked with couples who are not yet sure if divorce is the path they wish to take.

Most have tried couple’s therapy, and that didn’t work. Most have considered “just sticking it out,” and that hasn’t been satisfactory. Many are looking for a viable solution that stops short of tearing down their marriage.

And this is where marital scaffolding comes in.

The idea for marital scaffolding came to me years ago. Since then, I have worked with couples who are willing to make an extra effort to see if their marriage can survive. When they first begin work with me, I meet them where they are.

What do I mean by this?

My role as a mediator with these particular clients is to discover what’s working, what’s not, and what can be agreed to by both parties to shake up the mundane and challenge the unsuccessful strategies that have been wearing a rut in the relationship.

Once everything is on the table, we work together to formulate a written agreement that the couple commits to implementing for a period of time, say 4-6 weeks. Then, we get together to review what went well, what went poorly, and whether to re-up an edited version of the plan.

For some, two or three sessions are enough for them to know that rebuilding their house is a better choice than tearing it down; for others, the attempt at scaffolding allowed them to see that their house was no longer livable and can now make the confident choice to move forward with a mediated divorce.

If you’re not quite ready to get divorced but no longer interested in your status quo, please reach out to Jenna Brownson, Esq. at 978.760.0482 to see if marital scaffolding might be worth exploring.


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