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Divorce: Reality, subject to debate?

Is reality subject to debate? Really?

Like most nuances of divorce, this issue isn't confined to divorce but pervades our culture. It's like whether we've been to the moon, whether the Eaiih is flat or whether our planet is rapidly, dangerously wanning. (Yes, no and yes for those keeping count.)

So it isn't unusual in divorce to find ourselves in the midst of an argmnent that should never be because it is an ai·gmnent about reality.

Take for example, the fellow who is caught dead to rights with his mistress. Maybe he's busted while in the act, or maybe he's been a bit reckless with those salacious videos he had such fun making, but he is caught and caught good. "You're having an affair!" the wife might exclaim. "No, I'm not," he boldly asse1is. "But look at these photos of you and her. You are naked; so is she and that isn't Twister you are playing." "It's not me," he continues, "that's been photo shopped. It's only my face on someone else's body." "Well that someone else's body is wearing the Christmas socks I gave you and the two of them are in our bed!"

Or, "You must pay me support," she insists. "You must pay the mortgage and the utilities and my car and my cai· insurance and the groceries and the lawn care and the vet bills and ai1ything else I need." "Any thing else?" he inquires. "Yes," she responds, "move out!" "Move out?" he asks, "All those expenses eat up my entire paycheck. How do you expect me to live?" "Well that's your problem," she retorts. "I have my lifestyle to maintain."

Or, "I demand custody of the children," he asse1is. "How can you have custody of the children? You aren't often here," she replies. "I'm always here. I wake them. I feed them. I play with them. I bathe them. I read to them. I put them to bed, sun up to sun down," he retorts. "When?" she asks. "While you're at work?" "No, before I go to work and when I get back," he charges. "You go at 8:00 in the morning and don't usually get home until 7:00 or later. What do you supposed I do with them all day while your gone?" she wants to know. "You watch tv," he responds. He continues, "I care more for the kids. I demand custody."

The common element here is that the positions defy reality. They are not reality based. They can't work. They won't be accepted and therefore they will be litigated. Who does that serve? You can blow $10,000 to $100,000 to deny and defy reality, but in the end, you are much poorer and reality still rises up to strike you down.

As someone keen on efficiency, that is woefully inefficient and, because it prolongs the inevitable, prolongs the suffering, yours as well as your eventual ex's.

Unless driving at full speed into brick walls, Vai1ishing Point style, is your thing, don't do it. Admit the reality of the situation. Work with it. Like swimming with the current, you will find the process less painful, less expensive and more likely to yield a better resnlt, even if your wife is in possession of those 8x10 glossies.

Smile for the camera. Move on.

Michael Manely

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