These days I always say Congratulations!-- and I really mean it. But as a young lawyer I
hesitated when I handed my client the Final Order ending their marriage—"good luck,” I would say, trying to show the appropriate reverence for the death I had just occasioned. So why did I change? After 22 years of practice I’ve learned that people move on, almost always to happiness. Sure, divorce is messy and painful and it shouldn’t be glorified, but it is a new beginning. And happiness, real happiness, real joy and a better life is the possibility of a new beginning.
The photograph at the top of this page was taken just before sunset as I was riding my bike Sunday along Elliot bay. The couple looked perfect together, enjoying an amazing sunset, and I thought, everyone deserves to be happy.
The experts will tell you that life after divorce gives you the opportunity to reclaim the things you gave up for a “happy” marriage. For many men and women, the sacrifices of marriage were huge, often an education or a career or even self-esteem and self-confidence. The conflict of an emotionally damaging marriage is a negative that takes up a huge amount of time and emotional energy. Divorce is exhausting but replacing a relationship that was filled with conflict with things that you can actually control is empowering.
Many people think that family ends at divorce, but it’s often just the opposite, as parents can finally focus on their family and have deeper more personal relationships with their children. For many people it can be a new family.
Lastly, chose happiness. Most books and advice columns suggest you avoid the toxic emotions of hate, blame, revenge and anger. Making yourself the person who was “right” is actually a lot of wasted energy. Focus instead on yourself, take a trip, eat better, get healthy, read a book.
And speaking of books, here’s a link to a great list of terrific books to help you see the best side of divorce, some are funny and some thoughtful, but they’re all great reads. In many situations, you’ve got to laugh or cry. Divorce is one of those situations. Go ahead and cry, but definitely laugh too. I’ll be there to congratulate you! #familylaw #divorce #seattle #divorceattorney #lawyer