Case Study: A marriage affair and mediation

John has a job that requires him to travel quite a bit. Diane has a good job at home, and their children are in high school. John recently admitted to Diane that he had slept with several women during his trips during the past several years, but that the relationships meant “nothing” to him. Diane’s face reddened, and then she admitted to John that she was having a very intense “emotional affair” with an old boyfriend that had been going on for eighteen months.

John and Diane were very confused when they came to their first session with the marital mediator. They thought there was no choice but to end their marriage.

In marriage mediation, the mediator led the discussion on the situations that may have caused each of them to stray from their marriage. The mediator also “normalized” their situation, indicating that what they were going though was a common occurrence in many marriages. They learned from the mediator that an affair (emotional or otherwise) did not necessarily mean the end of the marriage. With this knowledge and understanding, John and Diane recommitted to their marriage. In mediation, they discussed the possibility of John taking a lower paying job that would mean less travel.

This case study is fictional and does not represent any real person.

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