Some people consult with a divorce lawyer when they know they've had
enough. They're done. That train has left the station.
Other people seek out a divorce lawyer, not because they are certain they
want out, but because they aren't, they just not sure.
They have strong misgivings about their relationship, but they just aren't
yet ready to pull the plug, to untie the knot, to begin that new chapter
in their lives.
They tell me what lead them to our meeting:
"She's spent us into bankruptcy, again."
"He hasn't said a civil word to me in years."
"The children are grown and out of the house. Now we just look at
each other with no idea why we are still together."
"He says he doesn't love me anymore. He's seeing someone else."
Everyone has a different comfort level. Everyone has a different tolerance
for pain. There is no universal right answer for when to stay and when to leave.
When someone shares facts with me that has been justification enough with
hundreds of previous clients, but for them is not reason enough to say
sayonara to this marriage, I usually propose this resolution:
If this conduct, expression, situation, which troubles you isn't enough
to call it a day, then, in your quietest, most calm and rational moments,
decide what would be enough. Identify it. Quantify it. Cast it in stone.
That is your line in the sand. That is the place that you will not allow,
that your relationship may not go. That is where you have already identified
that you have gone far enough.
Should that line ever be crossed, you will have already answered the question
of how much is enough. That much, you have already decided, is enough.
This way, you are operating from a place of mindfulness. You take your
fleeting feelings out of the equation. Your ever changing feelings may
tell you to flee when you should stay and may tell you to stay when you
should flee. But, if you answer the question before you are faced with
the occasion, you will know, with certainty, what to do when that occasion arises.
And that, then, is the rest of the equation. When you have identified your
line in the sand, you must make yourself a solemn oath to abide by it.
No equivocation. This program only works if you honor the convictions
of your calmer, more sensible, less pressured self.
You decide. But then, you execute.
For over 25 years of practicing law, this program works flawlessly. When
you know your boundaries and you promise to honor them, life already gets better.
May it be so.