When I met my husband 30 years ago he was an aspiring law student. The majority of our courting took place in the library and study halls while he crammed for his law exams. I remember thinking how proud I was to be dating such an intelligent man!
Josh proposed the day he graduated and I was over the moon with excitement – the idea of being married to an accomplished lawyer was the perfect start I needed to pave my future path.
Josh and I fell into all the typical trappings of a marriage – As he became more and more successful I slowly felt my career slip away. I worked in advertising but was quick to give leave it all behind and raise our amazing boys!
Those initial years were blissful. I was enamored with being a mom and in awe of the blessed life I was leading. Lucky for me my husband did well and was able to provide for both of us. Lucky for me my husband didn’t care if his income was the sole support for our family.
And so… I eventually just came to know and love my life as a mother and a wife of a successful Family Law lawyer.
Josh often told me about his crazy cases – the horror stories of couples gone awry and all their fighting over money and children. It was nasty but thankfully for me I was with a man who adored me – Josh and I would never have to worry about such things.
He worked late hours. And as the years went on they were later and later but I was consumed with organizing the kids and running the household. Somehow along the way I became less concerned about my own fulfillment and very focused on being “Mrs “and in keeping up with our lifestyle.
When Josh sprung the news on me that he was leaving me for Tessa I was truly shocked. How had I missed the signs that our marriage was unraveling? We hadn’t been connected for a while and I had lost sight of what a marriage was truly about. Humbled and hurt I began to slowly pick up the pieces to my lost life. I started to figure out ways to fill my time with things I was actually interested in. But I wasn’t prepared for the divorce. Not like my ex was. I mean in reality he had spent a career prepping for this moment.
He swung parenting plans and financial statements and allocations and documents at me – I felt winded and crazed. He knew his stuff – I needed a really good lawyer to help me fight.
So I went down the path of searching for a lawyer only to find the industry was small. Many did not want to take on my case as they were colleagues with my ex and didn’t want to “rock the boat” or felt it was a “conflict of interest”. It seemed Josh had a reputation of being somewhat of a shark – the competition was either too intimidated to fight him or worried about the aftermath. My legal counsel was rejected 9 times before I found someone I connected with that was willing to take me on.
My lawyer fought hard and Josh was a tough match. He wasn’t worried about his own legal bills. I was starting to stress over the cash expended for my own counsel. Josh threatened he would not cover those expenses. He threatened litigation. I was stressed emotionally, financially and above all – strategically – I couldn’t handle the game!
In the end we settled out of court. Josh was somewhat fair and I was just too wiped to continue the fight for more. Our kids were watching on the sidelines and I could see the impacts as the case continued.
In hindsight I wished I had listened harder to my husband when he talked of his cases. I wish I paid attention to the warning signs and I wish I had spent the time understanding his actual job.
Divorcing a Divorce Lawyer isn’t fun – It’s a lose-lose for you and the biggest oxymoron I can think of.
Jessica , 48
Mother and Soon-to-be-something else!