There’s a shared feeling that 2016 has been a terrible, horrible, no-good year. While some curve-balls hit me in the gut (*cough*election*), this year was far from my worst. Here are my four reason that this year didn’t absolutely suck:
At the start of this year I left an abusive relationship with an alcoholic. I’ve navigated many people out of bad situations, but never myself. It is much harder than I previously understood. I get that now. But I ended the relationship – as difficult and embarrassing as it was – and if I had not, then 2016 would have been truly terrible.
I have worked very hard to own my responsibility for what happened – to the extent that I am responsible for enabling his behavior, lying to hide the situation and trying to ignore the truth. I realize I cannot be responsible for his side of the relationship. Shaking the manipulation and the harm to my self-esteem has been a challenge. But, I feel good about myself again. I’m not perfect, but I’m not afraid to breathe anymore like I was before. This year gave me the time and space to move forward and understand myself again.
These refocused efforts have helped my work, my kids and even my relationship with my ex-husband. I have become very in-tune with the struggles my clients face and that has allowed me to be a better lawyer. While I’ve lost some relationships that turned out to be unhealthy, I’ve gained faith and trust in myself. Being honest with yourself is a threshold to having honest connections with others. I am thankful for finding so many new (and rekindled) friendships that have come my way as a result.
During my darkest moments this year, I was able to write a body of work that I believe will help other people deal with the loss of their relationships (whether healthy or not, sometimes relationships fail). I hope to continue pushing myself in this endeavor as we come to the end of 2016. Look for news about my publication efforts in the year to come.
Looking forward to 2017, I have sorrows from the losses we suffered culturally and politically this year. I am concerned about social policy changes that might harm my friends and loved ones. I am concerned about this country and our place in the world. But I am ready. It was a hard year, which means it was an incredible opportunity for growth and change. Thank you, 2016, for helping me find my strength.
Count-down is on for January 1st!
What will you achieve this year? What made 2016 a good year? Discuss in the comments.
This week I spoke with the smart and financially savvy Emma Johnson, over at her blog WealthySingleMommy.com about the problem with adultery from a divorce attorney’s perspective. The gist: courts won’t compensate you for a broken heart.
When there is infidelity, settlements are all but impossible, rationale goes out the window, and contention runs higher than in other matrimonial dissolution cases.
One of the most difficult conversations I have with clients can be dealing with their expectations because of a cheating spouse. Divorce can be an emotionally devastating experience. Adultery can make it much worse. But at the end of the day clients need to realize that the courts will do little about the reasons WHY you are getting divorced. Letting go of that emotional hurt can help get you to a fair agreement and move forward with your life.
There are many things that can make a divorce case horrible: emotional or obsessive clients who were not emotionally or financially prepared for a divorce; domestic violence; vindictive spouses who just want to punish the other person; children who are caught in the middle and witness too much; and creative lawyer-ing that can involve many courts and run up the cost and time frame of the case.
This week I spoke to Woman’s Day about one of my worst divorce cases, it was a “perfect storm: everything that could go wrong did go wrong.” Of course some of the small details and names are changed to keep it confidential. Once my firm got involved, we ended up turning the tables and getting our client the best outcome.
My Divorce Word of the Day is: Comingle! The quick explanation? This word means you’ve combined your separate property with marital property. The result? You might have turned your separate stuff into marital stuff! I talk more about this here:
Regardless whether the couple’s antics signal true marital problems or are simply more publicity ploys, in my experience as a divorce lawyer signs are pointing to the perfect relationship storm. To be clear, I am a divorce attorney but I do not represent Kardashian or West and I’ve relied on news media reports of their relationship. Here are the top 5 reasons Kimye’s marriage might be headed for an epic breakdown (and how you can avoid their mistakes): Continue reading “Kim and Kanye: These 5 Things May Cause Their Marriage To Fail (& How To Avoid It!)”→