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Divorce: Do You Hear Me Now?

There are many books about love language.  But what is divorce language?  How do you tell your "loved one" that you want a divorce?

Do you reserve a table in a quiet, chichi restaurant, in some out of the way corner and there, toward the end of a fine bottle of Malbec pop the question, "Honey, do you want a divorce?"

No, probably not.  What went excellently for a proposal of marriage would probably go disastrously for a proposal of divorce. I see red wine all over your nice shirt.

Do you do it by text sothat you are well out of range? "I want to divorce U."

No, Too remote; too cold; no skin in the game.  You'd be ridiculed in social media for years.

Do you do it by conduct, move your money to a separate bank account, change your Facebook status to something vague or leave with no forwarding address?

No. Fear and panic would set in setting off a firestorm that no one, except for unscrupulous divorce lawyers, would relish.

Most people express first their desire for divorce in subtle, almost invisible ways. Long silences.  Barely veiled displays of animosity.  Incongruous slights of important events.

As time passes, the expression becomes more overt.  Slammed doors.  Public retorts. Affairs.

Yes, affairs are a pretty certain way of expressing that you want a divorce.  It is hard to miss that message.  It's sloppy and complicates the issues, but really gets the point across.

From the view-point of the recipient of the message, how can that message be heard?  Are you open to it?  Do you receive it?  Are you picking up that vibe?  Or are you in denial?

Would you just as soon not know why he's out so late?  Why he laughs exuberantly with someone else on the phone, but never with you?  Why he'd rather watch television yet again tonight than have a quiet dinner around the table for just the two of you?

My question is, how loud should your spouse yell to be heard? How long before that elephant in the room is called out into the open? And which of you has the guts, eventually, to call that question?

They say that sunlight is the best disinfectant.  One of the two of you has to lift that shade and let the sun shine in.  Come blinding light or pouring rain, truth will, and must, will out!

Don't let the faint whisper have to become a lion's roar.

Let it be so.

Michael Manely

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