Monday, May 15, 2017

Seasons End

I started this blog in August 2006.  My marriage had imploded – I was blindsided by infidelity and extreme financial irresponsibility.  My focus at the time was how to make sure the situation did not break or damage me.  In fact, I knew without a doubt that my faith in God and HIS unfailing love guaranteed that I would weather this storm and arrive on the other side of it stronger, wiser and more at peace in a world that doesn’t always share or support my values.

The divorce took 10 years and $$$ thousands of unnecessary dollars.  Marriage requires maturity – successful divorce requires even greater maturity.  I should have known that a cheater and a coward are the same.  Still in the end I have no regrets about refusing to be bullied by my ex.  I stood my ground (my Daddy told me to – from his death bed).  Divorce is transactional if your emotions are in check – mine were, my former husband’s emotions were not and at every step he was looking to be controlling, punishing or slick.  `I am sure even now he thinks he got over on me.

Fortunately, it was not 10 years of constant fight and struggle – life was intervening in between…I needed to be the granddaughter, daughter, niece, cousin, friend to the people in my life who mattered beyond the divorce.  I needed to focus on my work and making a living.  So, there were long stretches of inactivity when I simply decided that expending energy to drag a man through a divorce he said he wanted was emotionally exhausting, financially draining and unproductive.

My first attorney, while a nice person – was ineffective.  He knew the law, but was animated black person and conflict aversive.  He did not deal well with Steven’s recalcitrance and hostility or with my frustration.  He was more a less a waste of time and money for me.  Then I represented myself for a while to save money since Steven was not yet serious about finishing our divorce – damn! I should have gone to law school.  With some coaching, I won a few motions to advance our case. 

Then in 2015, Steven hired a real family law attorney.  I knew I needed a real attorney – Thank you Jesus!!!  I found my own personal super hero – Errol J. Gordon.  He joked that had he been my first attorney my divorce would have been finished years ago.  He was right.  He handled it and me so professionally.  A straightforward transaction, no fuss, no muss.  I still think watching him work was way better than any episode of LA Law.  Smooth and no drama.  He knew the law and how to handle my former husband – who he correctly assessed as a ‘scoundrel’.  That thought still makes me laugh so hard I might pee my pants j/k.

With the assistance of Mr. Gordon, the divorce was finished in 2015.  My key take aways from this 10 year experience:
  • God ALWAYS has a plan. Trust HIM.  My husband and friend’s betrayal could have changed how I valued myself.  Their choices and behavior were NOT about me.  This experience was an opportunity for me to grow;
  • A good attorney is essential – be quick to fire the incompetent or non-committed.  Mediation works – if both parties are capable
  • Take care of yourself – one of my first moves was to seek counselling.  This kind of trauma does not need to be permanent.  Take care of yourself
  • I am so glad I stood up for myself.  While the financial recovery may be daunting, knowing that I refused to be bullied – priceless and forever empowering
I am in a good place and the life that I built for my self suits me.  Thank for listening.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Powerful Attribute of Patience

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
- Casting Crowns - Praise You In This Storm Lyrics

This is an incredible sermon from Dr. Charles Stanley
The Powerful Attribute of Patience

Isn't it Romantic? (Scandal)

I had said I would not watch Scandal.  Then I checked it out on Netflix and found it a fairly entertaining show.  Last night's episode has that song "Isn't It Romantic" stuck in my head.  The episode recapped the affair Olivia Pope was having with Hugh (the candidate, president-elect, president).  The story told in flashbacks was steamy, hot, torrid - two deeply in love people constrained by his circumstances (his marriage).  The problem is HE WAS NEVER AVAILABLE.  You knew from the start this was never going to end well.  The sad part is professionally Olivia is BRILLIANT, but thanks to tv writing she still a little girl longing to be loved by the powerful convincing (lying, dishonest, selfish) Fitz.  She regularly tells people to get out of her way and let her do her job - she is a force to be reckoned with...... Still she finds herself (despite her moral struggle) weakly available to this man.  He tells her he loves her - truth - that was incredibly selfish.  Now she knows a man who can offer her nothing but secret stolen moments and sex.  He said he'd give it all up for her.  She should have called his bluff- and said call me when you have given it all up.  Then at least she would know if he was really sincere (or letting his penis blow smoke up her ass).  He knew that the attraction between the was dangerous and inappropriate from jump which was why he told Cy not to hire her.

Then there was the moment Melli found out about the affair.  There is always the moment when the wife or someone will find out.  Olivia's weakness and desperation was exposed.  Then there was the closet scene - hopefully she saw all that could never be hers and realized she was voluntarily cheating herself. 

The good news is this is just tv and the brilliant Shonda Rimes will continue to keep the storyline intriguing.  The good news is this is not the real life of the actors.  The bad news is there are too many women who see only the romance of adulterous affair and not the very real consequences.  In real life the woman in an adulterous affair is the biggest loser - forfeiting her integrity, self-respect, time and opportunity for real and respectful love.