Looking Over the Shoulder Too Closely of Those Who Are Helping Can Do You In

Read about how to let go and to trust the people who are trying to help you with your divorce; following this rule will help them help you.

By Stacy D. Phillips
Updated: March 18, 2015
Health and Well Being

The following is the eleventh segment in a 13-part series based on the book, Divorce: It's All About Control -- How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif. This continuing series deals with one of the most destructive wars --the Internal Wars—and the Enemies Within, all of which can be just as devastating as the emotional, psychological and legal wars. The Internal Wars deal with "way too much" and "far too little," -- both of which can be vicious enemies. As I mentioned in the prior four segments which covered alcohol/drugs, over-spending, gambling and overeating, each one of the Internal Wars deals with self-abuse in one way or another. This segment highlights overworking.


This is another Enemy Within that can suddenly become ruler of your psyche and throw you into a War you do not want to be in. When we micro-manage our attorney, our children's nanny, and others, it demonstrates that we have no trust in the very people to whom we have pledged our trust. Not only are we being counter-productive we are probably driving those around us nuts—ironically the very people who are so intently trying to help us. Are you too managerial—too microscopic in overseeing those key individuals around you? Think about this: you hired each of them—your attorney, your nanny, your CPA, your Financial Planner—to take care of certain specific needs that you have. Are you allowing them to do so or are you second-guessing everything they do? And how about this: Are you too involved in your children's lives? Since the divorce are you now "overdoing" in your children's world like volunteering for every field trip, home room helper, sports team...if they are teenagers are you trying to hang out and be one of the guys or gals? Throwing yourself into your children's lives and becoming involved—or obsessed—in a more than healthy manner can present itself as one more combatant in the "Way Too Much" War. So then as we talk about Over Managing, count this last problem as another potential opponent with which to go to War. Here is a collection of reasons why Over Managing may not be a good idea:

  • Over managing the people I have asked to help me will intimidate, irritate or make them angry.
  • These trusted individuals might get fed up and leave me.
  • I cannot focus adequately on the things I should be doing if I am spending time meddling.
  • People will label me with names like "insecure" and "obnoxious."
  • I may annoy my children or turn them off completely by smothering them with too much involvement in their lives.
  • I may easily demoralize the very people I need most to inspire.
  • Pestering or badgering the professionals I hired does not say much for trusting myself to have hired the right people.
  • People will begin to avoid me or behave distantly when I am around.
  • I will alienate the very people I need.
  • People may start making fun of me behind my back (my children included).
  • The business professionals cannot perform effectively in their jobs the way they normally would if I were not micro-managing them.
  • Too much managing clearly states I need Control because I feel totally Out of Control.

You may have your own dozen or so reasons for resisting the temptation to give into the Enemy Within that coerces you to over-manage, and writing them down will help you clarify why you do not want to fall into the "over-management" trap.


Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is co-chair of the Women's Political Committee and a member of Divorce Magazine's North American Advisory Board. She can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile here.

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November 21, 2009
Categories:  Coping with Divorce

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