Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Endings

I'm in the liberation business.

In the divorce portion of my practice, people come to see me for one of two reasons.  They either want to divorce their spouse or their spouse wants to divorce them.  Either way, at the end of the process, the couple goes their seperate ways.  One of the parties has shed their spouse and the other party has been shed.

The party who sought the divorce obviously feels they are in a better place. But even the party who didn't initiate the divorce is in a better place.  I have a bias here that you are better off not being married to someone who doesn't want to be married to you.  It's painful, but I think it is self evident.  Bonnie Raitt's song, "I can't make you love me," comes to mind.

The decision to divorce and the discovery that you are being divorced is painful.  There's a lot of anguish there.  The process of divorce can also be hurtful, though good divorce lawyers try to minimize that.  The process of divorce can be a time for self discovery and reflection as you ready yourself to move into the next phase of your life.  The final product, the divorce, is a better end for both parties.  It can be bitter-sweet.  Sometimes there are moments of self doubt, wishes that things could have turned out better, but by the end of the process, usually all of that has been dealt with and the bright light at the end of what felt like a very dark tunnel is immediately before you, beckoning you on.

Maybe it seems strange to read this, but divorce is about freedom.  If you've gone through a divorce already, you know the truth of that statement.  Whether you are choosing to be free, or are being forced to become free from a spouse who no longer wants to be married to you, in the end you get your freedom.  You are either no longer burdened by a relationship you have deemed dysfunctional or even destructive or no longer burdened by someone who doesn't love you as you have a right to be loved.

When I boil it all down, it means a happy ending.  And almost always, my clients think so too.

Michael Manely

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