There are many different ways of doing things. Few are wrong. Most make sense. In employment, there is a mantra of “Hire slow and fire fast.” It means, take a long time to interview many people for a position and a longer time still to really get to know the potential candidate. Try to become as sure as you can possibly be that the fit is right before you offer the position. And then, if later on it proves that the employee has ceased to be a good fit, get rid of them pronto. Does getting a divorce require the same approach?
In my 25 years of divorce practice throughout metro Atlanta, I’ve encountered a number of folks who apply this mantra to marriage. Take a very long time to date. Date as many people as you can. When you start to winnow the field, spend a very long time making sure that your eventual candidate is exactly the right fit before you offer them the position. So far so good.
It gets interesting, though, when we get to the other side of the mantra.
If it gets bad, get out and get out quick before it gets worse.
Obviously this approach isn’t norm. The norm is somewhat the opposite. People take a long, offtimes grueling slog through despair, heartbreak, acrimony, anger and perhaps eventual apathy before they finally cut the knot. And when folks do finally cut that knot, they can look back (hindsight being 20/20) and can identify how many years ago they should have ended the marriage. “It hasn’t been good for five years,” “seven years,” I’ve even heard, “26 years.” That is a lot of misery.
As I said, there is no wrong answer here. There are probably a lot of right ones. The best option probably lies somewhere in the middle. A rush to exit is probably shortsighted. All marriages have their rough patch. Most folks wouldn’t be so intolerant of a little bit of a bad time. But hanging in there until the last dog is hung seems like an awful idea. Who decreed that marriage was martyrdom?
So, slow to hire. Sure, if you can be that patient and that deliberate. But fast to fire? If that’s the way it’s going to be, at least make sure it’s a big fire.