A spouse that you can reason with is lovely but…what do you do with a spouse, or an ex, for whom reason seems a foreign language?
Watching the state of our Presidential election has me thinking about what to do with people who don’t/can’t/are incapable of listening to reason and how that applies inside our homes, inside our relationships. Lord knows I help many, many people whose spouses and ex’s don’t/can’t/are incapable of listening to reason. Still, they have to be reckoned with.
The most straightforward way should play out in the election, come election day you out vote them. In the family law context, this means that you run headlong to court. Set your goal and you press forward to that goal without regard to the speed bumps, road blocks, land mines that your spouse/ex puts in your way. You get to your goal with, or without them. This is where judges matter. That’s why God gave us judges. What I mean by that is that spouses or ex-spouses don’t have to agree with you to arrive at an outcome. If they can’t, there is always a judge to resolve the dispute. That is the beauty of our system. It is a guaranteed way of becoming unstuck and reaching a conclusion, without the other side ever playing along.
The other way is to outsmart them. This requires developing, incorporating and adhering to a strategy that takes your spouse/ex across the finish line as unwitting participants. Think Mission Impossible, only, it’s possible. We do it every day.
Sometimes this plays out like the medium’s advice in Poultergeist. “Run into the light. Run into the light.” Only at the last moment to be commanded, “Run out of the light. Run out of the light.” You put on the breaks and throw it into reverse only to watch the other side crane their necks around to gawk at you in astonishment as they race into the raging inferno,
Other times it is a variation on “be careful what you ask for.” This is a gamble, but isn’t life, after all? You are betting that your spouse/ex’s demands are ill conceived and unworkable or a smoke screen for something else. Grant their demand and watch them quickly melt. You’ve stolen their energy. You’ll watch their face contort in dire desire to express, “you can’t agree with me. I have to fight with you.”
But all the strategies available are many and subtle and intricate and are seldom utilized in family law practice. I don’t know why. That’s why, to be safe, the best bet when dealing with unreasonable spouses and ex’s is get them into court.
Let the judge deal with them.
Judgment day can be a beautiful thing.