Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just Waiting to Die

In my profession I get to hear many, many very sad stories.  The one I want to talk about tonight is one of the saddest I ever heard.

A female client once told me, I've been married 26 years, and I knew in the first week that I wanted a divorce.  That floored me. 

This woman was approaching 50, now had two grown children and had been mostly miserable every one of those 26 years.  She waited until her youngest was off at college before she came to see me.  When her youngest found out about her now pending divorce he asked, "why did you wait until I was gone to get some peace in the house?"

Contrast that with another client, married five weeks.  She, too, knew in the first week that she wanted a divorce.  Her husband's antics in the remaining four only reinforced her judgment.

Five weeks versus 26 years. 

Clients will often want to revisit their history, to recover monies paid for spouse's activities such as paid off credit cards or expensive hobbies, that, hindsight being 20/20, have proven pure folly.  I always tell them the sums spent is water under the bridge.  That money is gone. 

In divorce, parties are rewarded for making a quick decision about whether they want to end or endure the misery they share with their spouse.  While arguably laudable that you stay with a spouse long after they've "flipped your switch," the law does not reimburse you for it.  Cutting your losses, whenever you've lost enough (money, time, self respect), is always the better course insofar as the law is concerned.

For years, my lengthy marriage client thought she was just waiting to die.  My short marriage client wasted no time in getting back to living. 

Where are you?

Michael Manely

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