Spouses and partners often ask about mediation and when to begin the process or how to avoid divorce or separation. If you notice that your relationship is deteriorating, think about where you are in the model below. Mediation can help at any point in your relationship, however, it is important to pay attention to these four responses NOW if you wish to avoid divorce later.
Scholar Caryl Rusbult, suggests couples tend to deal with deteriorating relationships in four ways, which she has labeled the exit–voice–loyalty–neglect model.
NEGLECT RESPONSE: “JUST LET THE RELATIONSHIP GO AHEAD AND FALL APART”
A destructive reaction that occurs when a person is not invested in the relationship, does not want to deal with problems, and is willing to let the partnership simply wither away.
EXIT RESPONSE: “WE HAVE TO END OUR RELATIONSHIP”
The exit response—withdrawing or threatening to withdraw from a relationship—tends to happen with those dissatisfied or minimally invested and believe other possible partners are available.
LOYALTY RESPONSE: “LET’S JUST STICK IT OUT DESPITE ANY DIFFICULTIES”
A passive response that consists of choosing to stay despite problems but making no attempt to resolve them, hoping that they will smooth out over time.
VOICE RESPONSE: “WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IMPROVING OUR RELATIONSHIP”
The choice of people who value the relationship and are invested but feel problems need to be discussed, indicating a willingness to work things out.
The Neglect Response and the Exit Response are considered the most destructive in a relationship. Pay attention: if you notice these responses from your partner and wish to avoid separation or avoid divorce, seek out a therapist or mediator early on, before more problems arise. If you would like more information about the mediation process, please schedule a free 15-minute chat or a consultation at http://clementmediation.com