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.