Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

C: Deception in Clear, Blue Waters

There once was a woman with Caribbean blue eyes and blond hair; gorgeous.  I know, because she came to my office.  I have been to the Caribbean Islands and there seen, with my own drab hazel eyes, the ethereal, blue crystalline waters.  The memory of them shot to my mind as I shook her hand.  I was to become—as lawyers usually do—her confidant, so I eventually asked her if she wore contacts.  “No,” she said, “They’re ‘real.’”  Her indulgent smile told me that I was not the first to ask.

Naturally, she was there because of her husband of almost twenty years.  He had openly moved in with another woman several weeks before.  She came to me because the previous night he had broken the lock she had changed on the front door and come in on her in the middle of the night.  He said he was there to get his clothing, but he had been drinking.  A fight ensued.  she was badly shaken up.  We got a protection order and filed for divorce.

We were both relieved when he hired a competent lawyer.  Things settled down.  Our short initial hearing approached.  Rebecca and I met on the Friday preceding the Monday hearing to outline the things we asked of the Court .

On Monday, when I met her at the Courthouse, her first words were, “John has been calling all weekend.  He’s unhappy.  He does not want the divorce.  I want to give my marriage a chance.”

I talked to her about it, never one to squelch the chance to save a marriage.  As we talked, here’s where our discussion went:

Fact

Her Excuse

  • He’s still shacking
  • He can’t find another place to live yet
  • He attacked her in the middle of the night
  • He was drinking because he was unhappy
  • He hasn’t paid their bills in weeks although his GF provides his roof
  • He’s been “drinking up his money,” see excuse above.  (See how unhappy he is without her?)

She is a very “spiritual” person and does not believe in divorce: “What God has joined together…”  Besides, she is very “forgiving” (read, “noble”) and can understand how they got here.  Really?!

The Caribbean waters became murky, surreal.  I told her she needs a therapist.  She says she can’t afford it…

Up walked John and his attorney. 

So,” I began (admittedly a bit harshly) “John, you don’t want this divorce?”

No, ma’am, I don’t want to rush that at all.

Whoops!  My lawyer ears pricked up.  This sounded a bit hedgy to me—I would have expected something a bit more emphatic, perhaps like , “Rebecca is the love of my life and I was about to eternally screw up…” I probed.

So, you want to return home?”

John ever-so-slightly stiffened.  “Well, I’m considering it—I just don’t want to shut off any of my options.”  And this may have been the starkest truth I got all morning. 

My client, unbelievably, beamed as if to say, “See, I still have a chance…”  We all four discussed the fact that he was still living with another woman, which in most circles does not bode well for reconciliation.  Again, a slight stiffening as he explained that he knew “they” weren’t “ready” for him to be at home, so that meant, of course, that he had to take the time to find another place to live yadayadayda

My client seemed okay with this.  I was aghast.  I pulled her around the corner for a little privacy.

Don’t you see,” I implored, “This is all about him—he’s just keeping all his ‘options’ open—he was truthful about that.  You are his wife.  Do you want to be one of his ‘options?’  Do you want to wait and let him decide whether or not he wants you or her or both of you?  I think he’s enjoying this while you’re in pain.”

And here is the surprising thing I heard next:  He had been married before, and she and he had begun their affair before he left his wife.  She knew he was a cheater—she was one, too.  She just never—in a million years—thought he’d cheat on her.  Their love had been soooooo thrilling…(I felt all that “sanctity of marriage” stuff leaving the scene). 

She had suspected other women since their marriage—this is just the first time he’d moved out.  She felt she “still had a chance” to keep him…it is a bad thing when a lawyer is rendered speechless.

We all came to agreement on the bill-paying.  (Thankfully there are no kids)  We told the Court and left.  Our clients would not join us two lawyers in the elevator, hanging back together—I saw them holding hands as the elevator door shut.  I looked at opposing counsel who shook her head and said, “Sick.”  I asked if she thought we should have told our clients not to go have sex.  She answered that the admonition would not do any good.  I concur.

I know what John wants: Variety.  “Options.”  He told us.

My question is, “What does she want?” 

And if she “wins him back,” what has she won?

Is there any relationship worth this?  -C

11 comments:

Mamma has spoken said...

That is a sad story that won't have a happy ending. I'm betting that you'll see her again in a few months hopefully a little wiser.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I suspect she'll be back.

A bird in the hand said...

“No, ma’am, I don’t want to rush that at all."

The first words out of his mouth say it all: he doesn't want to RUSH it, which to me says he wants the divorce....but not yet.

Often people have to find out the awful truth for themselves by going through the painful experiences. Then, in hindsight, they blame themselves for being blind. I hope your client wises up soon.
Spiritual doesn't mean sacrificing yourself to some who causes you harm.
I hope she returns to your office!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I don't agree with Oprah on everything, but on a show she did on infidelity she confessed that when she first started out and was working in Baltimore, she got involved with a married man. She stated that it was a big mistake and she said something to the effect: "So, you win over the married man and you discover you've won the lyin, cheatin "prize"! WHY do women settle for a lying, cheatin prize? I don't get it! Another thing--we women raise our sons--and daughters-- I just wonder-could we do better at actually "instructing" our young about honor and fidelity and the golden rule? I know that at different times of their adolescence, all of my three would NOT listen to a thing I said, but I can never stop wondering if I could have done something different and better.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Whoops! No delete button on comments, so I just want to identify myself in the previous comment --
Stick Horse Cowgirl "V"

Carol............. said...

Must be like some addicitions..it takes a few times of trying to quit before it finally happens.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Sad. The heart wants what the heart wants. Far as I know there is no cure for it. I have seen intelligent people do really stupid things for "love".

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

she wins a cheating husband to go with a cheating woman......and they wonder why they have problems!

Debbie said...

Yet more proof that my problems are oh so small!

Suzanne said...

Oh, I've been in a similar situation... I took him back and bought myself one of the most painful and tragic episodes of my life. Really, REALLY tragic. Seriously tragic.

Here's what Maya Angelou says...

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Amen, sister.

Jody Blue said...

Thats just messed up.

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