This article is written by a guest author who would like to remain anonymous
Have you heard the latest news regarding Khloe Kardashian and her concerns about divorcing her husband, Lamar Odom? Normally, I would skim over this type of entertainment news, but what caught my eye was the headline “. . . reality star worries that ending their marriage will send him into another self-destructive slide!” What? Really? Doesn’t divorce mean never having to worry about him again? In fact, aren’t you getting divorced because you stopped worrying about him (unless it was about how to tell him you want a divorce) a long time ago?
Before you jump to conclusions, let me share my story with you. I have witnessed the same self-destructive behaviors in my own marriage. But it’s not easy to watch someone you love choose this path! And it’s not easy to “abandon” him because of his choices. I have left my husband before, moving out in the hope that he would value our relationship enough that he would alter the course his life had taken. And, when it seemed that he had, I moved back home.
But somehow his choice to change for the better never seemed to be permanent. So let’s focus on the operative word, the word “choice!” You have no control over your spouse’s decisions. When you finally realize that and decide that your own well-being is of pre-eminent importance, you can make the decision to move on with your life. At first, this will not be easy, but, believe me, once you are out of that toxic and co-dependent environment, you will find yourself becoming more relaxed, less stressed, and, even, at peace.
I have only been apart from my husband for six weeks this time. Of course, I still get
texts from him, and sometimes phone calls, in which he sounds like a broken record, repeating what he knows I want to hear: “As long as we have a chance, I know I will never drink again.” I want to believe him (after all, we were married for over 22 years), but I also know that I have already given him far too many second chances.
I hope, for his own sake now, and not for mine, that he will be able to make that change. But I was an enabler for far too long; now it’s my time to shine and rediscover the real me.
Don’t let Hollywood stars influence your decisions regarding your own relationship. Locate a compassionate counselor, allow family and friends to support and comfort you during your time of need, and, when you are ready, put together an experienced collaborative team to facilitate your divorce.
Find caring collaborative attorneys to help you and your spouse meet your goals and interests, a neutral facilitator who will assist you both with your emotions, keep the proceedings calm, and help you both communicate better, and a neutral financial professional who will help you both to brainstorm all of your financial options for your financial security.
When you have loved and cared for someone, you don’t want to go through a nasty and litigious divorce; value all that was good in that relationship and stay friends, if you can. Stay amicable with his kids, who may not be related to you anymore but with whom you share a long and loving history. And what about those grandkids? They don’t understand how a step-grandmother differs from their other grandmothers. You don’t want to be the one to teach them that some people can just decide to stop loving them.
And let’s not forget the most important consideration; you want to be able to look in the mirror and like the person you see there every day.
Choose your fate; collaborate!
Due to the personal nature of this blog, our co-author wishes to remain anonymous.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14- year career in law, the last 2 of which she served as a full-time professor in law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.