So I got a heartbreaking divorce call this afternoon.
A crying wife contacted me worried sick because her spouse, with whom she just began marriage counseling, had filed for divorce. The cad. Her first court date is in March.
She was genuinely upset. Crestfallen really.
Usually the people who call me are angry, not sad. Or maybe the angry disguises the sad? I never thought about it before and sure as hell won’t now. Who am I to say?
She & I were both confused. They had just started marriage therapy? Who the hell suffers the indignity of marriage therapy if they are going to divorce anyway? Get a hobby. Order Hulu (not a sponsor).
She was very clear with me. She did not want to lose him. I didn’t want her to lose him! But I am not cupid. Wasn’t there anything she could do? If she hired an attorney, could she prevent the divorce from happening?
Legally, there is no way to ensure that a person remain married to you if he or she is no longer interested. If they are no longer feeling it. You can’t prevent a person from divorcing you anymore than you can stop two strangers from divorcing (btw if John Legend and Chrissy Teigen divorce 2020 will literally not survive it…)
Like Thanos says: “Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.”
You can’t stop a divorce from happening to you but you sure as hell can make it difficult 😊
Put diplomatically, you can oppose a divorce.
What the hell is the difference, you ask?
Only this. If your spouse wants to divorce you, and goes so far as to hire an attorney, file for divorce, serve you, yada then there is nothing you, your lawyer, Adele, or the judge can do to save the marriage.
Your spouse can decide not to press the divorce but they must come to that conclusion. It is their pleading so it will be their decision.
If they want to divorce you they are going to divorce you. The marriage is over.
All you can do is ensure that the divorce is on your terms, instead of theirs. That is where the power is.
As the self-help gurus say, “Focus on what you can control.”
Who gets the kids? What amount is child support set? Who stays at the marital home and how long do they get to move out? Will you be keeping the Cabo timeshare? You get the picture.
But, the poor woman on the other end of the phone protested, we just started marriage counseling. Why would he go to marriage counseling with me if we are just going to divorce?
Hell if I know.
Apparently, if you are wondering, husband retained a divorce attorney and filed the Complaint because he wanted Wife “to face reality.” To face reality! Scary!
I did not like this guy already.
I would feel used if I were this marriage therapist. I advised Wife to discontinue attending these therapy sessions as they were obviously a sham and Husband was not truly committed to bettering the relationship and moving forward into the twilight years of Metamucil and grandchildren with her if he had one foot in therapy and one foot in Family Court.
(By the way, attorney readers, I would be fascinated to learn if two parties enroll in marriage therapy at the same moment one of them files for divorce based on irreconcilable differences if you could have the divorce dismissed based upon the fact that the marriage is very clearly not in name only if they are actively engaged in improving it).
But hope springs eternal. Wife admitted that she would indeed keep going to therapy. She wants to make it all work. To put it back together.
That is only human.
And who am I to say no? That this is foolish. Who cares what I think, with my frontal left-brain dominance and my jagged worldview. The Court date isn’t until March. I have seen entire marriages that don’t last that long (it’s October as I write this). Maybe spending a lot of money on a divorce attorney to do nothing at all is just what these folks needed to get their marriage back on track.
“The inevitable is no less a shock just because it is inevitable.” -Jamaica Kincaid