At this time of the year, every year, we start thinking of what we can resolve to do a better job at. (Like not ending sentences in prepositions!) So, from a divorce attorney’s perspective, here is what I think are important things to consider in the context of possible New Year’s Resolutions.
5 New Year’s Resolutions from a Divorce Attorney
1: Do everything you can to help others avoid divorce if at all possible!
Divorce is more expensive and more destructive than anyone can ever know it will be and can ever know even after the fact that it has been. Too many children, friends, and family suffer from a divorce in too many ways
2: Always be aware of the effect of your words.
Your words can help make another person’s day wonderful, or terrible. This applies not only to the effect of your words on your spouse or child but also to the effect of your words on a third person – who may, in turn, affect his/her spouse or child or another. Good things carry forward as do bad things.
3: Be yourself – and stop trying to be someone else to please somebody else.
Many of the problems we have seen in our practice stem from a person attempting to change for their partner – thinking that they may not be good enough, or funny enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough. Be assured that if you and your partner are meant for each other, you will be good enough, funny enough and smart enough from the beginning! You do not need to change. People who try to change end up chasing a non-obtainable goal – sometimes just becoming miserable and other times waking up too late – realizing that they have wasted a long period of their life not liking themselves.
4: Be honest with yourself.
Know your limitations. Have obtainable goals. Bring children into this world only if you can truly care for them and provide for them.
After years of being asked what the main cause of break-ups and divorces is it seems that the answer may be simple in many cases. Remember that in the case of a marriage we promise to love and honor our spouse for better or worse and in sickness and in health. In our law practice, we see family after family which has long ago been torn apart or which is currently being torn apart.
The one thing that seems to stand out as the cause for these tragedies is “selfishness.” People ask all of the time about the “cause” of divorce, and I think they want some magical uncontrollable cause to be out there lurking: something like “ bad economics” or “drugs” (both of which can destroy families). But the one thing we seem to see the most is selfishness – the unknowing or even knowing inability to put the marriage or the children or the spouse or the partner above one’s own wants and desires; the inability or unwillingness to love and honor their spouse for better or worse; the inability or unwillingness to keep the promise they made at their wedding.
So, the last New Year’s Resolution from a divorce attorney is:
5: Keep your promises – and help others to keep theirs.
Best wishes for the New Year!!!!!
William L. Geary is an attorney in central Ohio. He is about to enter his 41st year of practice and is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of Ohio and the Federal Court for the Southern District of the State of Ohio as well as the United States Supreme Court. He and his firm members concentrate their practice in family law matters only.