Does anyone remember the film, Annie Hall?

In one scene, the screen divides into two showing Annie played by Diane Keaton and Alvie, the Woody Allen character discussing their relationship with their analysts.

Alvie’s analyst asks him, “how often do you have sex together?” He replies-“Hardly ever! I’d say three times a week”.

in response to a similar question from her analyst Annie replies-“Constantly! I’d say three times a week”.

This exchange is not untypical of the emotionally charged disagreements that surface when couples separate. All too often, e.g. when they are discussing things between themselves or being advised by their lawyers and certainly, when they are in court, this sort of issue which may have underlying significance is either put to one side or is ignored completely.

It is all too often forgotten that disagreements such as Annie and Alvie’s can have a very significant bearing on a couple’s relationship and how they deal with their breakup. The net effect could be that such issues as child contact are not properly resolved and months or even years down the line the parties find that they are still in conflict with one another.

Mediators are not surrogate therapists or counsellors but in the course of the private, confidential sessions that they facilitate, issues such as those identified by Annie and Alvie can be given proper acknowledgement and if appropriate can be discussed. Consideration of such issues might result in an acknowledgment by one or both parties which could in turn help them to draw a line and move on.