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Don’t throw in the towel

November 9, 2009

Anyone who has ever been through the excruciating process of going through the legal machinations of divorce – or any tough conflict, for that matter – has at some time or other had this thought:

Oh, hell.   I’ll give him (or her) what he (she) wants. I just want to get this over with.”


Don’t do it.  When you hear yourself thinking these words, stop and think again. Because whatever you agree to today, you’re going to be living with for a long, long time. And so will your kids.

In any competition – and unfortunately, divorce is a competition, in a way – there is always one party who has a tremendous advantage over the other.  It’s simply this: staying power. One party has the ability to just hang in there forever with the assurance that at some point, the other party will cry uncle.

Someone always does. Just don’t let it be you.

I remember how many times I told myself, “I just want my life back.” But fortunately, I resisted the urge to sacrifice long term goals for short term relief.  And when the day came that I finally said, with perfect calm, “I really don’t care whether we’re divorced now, or ten years from now.  But his divorce agreement is not going to be signed unless it says such-and-such …” that I realized I had won.

So take a walk.  Let 24 hours go by.  Sleep on it.  Employ that priceless phrase that has many times in my life saved me from making a serious mistake: 

“Let me think about that and get back to you.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine Pakkala permalink
    November 10, 2009 10:28 am

    It occurs to me that this wise advice applies to any worthwhile endeavor.

  2. November 14, 2009 9:29 pm

    Yes, there are times when I think, I’ll just move back
    into the home to try and work it out. My husband would
    be happy, my mother and my cousins would be happy or
    and my 5 year old would jump for joy, our attorneys,
    our neighbors, everyone would be shocked. Then I actually
    think to myself, my life would be worst than it was before.
    I think about the guest bedroom that I lived in 6 months before
    I moved out of the marital home. Then, I start to think about
    the emotional, mental and financial abuse I endured for 12 years
    of my marriage. I think about how depressed I became and didn’t realize
    I was depressed, I just thought I had no appetite, so why should I eat.
    When I get my monthly attorney’s invoice, I have to literally go and
    and take a nap because I start to think, OMG I’m going to be spending
    a lot of money, but it’s all worth it. When I start to think about
    throwing the towel in, I quickly think about the peace I have when
    I go to bed and wake up. I think about my cute little apartment and
    my new job and the little coffee house I go to as often as I want and
    not have to give an explanation why I must leave the home for coffee.
    I will never throw in the towel. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years and he moved up the corporate latter the entire marriage. We have 3 kids, you can do the math…..I will never throw in the towel.

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