Emotions are so raw in a divorce– anger, sadness, and fear are the most common that I see my clients grapple with every day. For over a decade, it’s been my job to guide them through a very painful, personal journey. And yet, the reason it doesn’t wear on me is that I am inspired on a weekly basis as I see people face their greatest fears.
When I went through my own divorce, and started sharing custody of my son, it definitely changed my approach with my clients– how could it not? My goal became to stop the pain as quickly as possible– to stop the hemmoraging of cash in order to preserve as much wealth for the family. Finding legal strategies that can act as immediate tourniquets has become my mission, and I am eternally grateful to have found something I love to do while helping those in need. But here is my one word of caution for those about to embark on their own divorce journey– the recovery process can (and often does) take years.
It should come as no surprise that the same technique I use with my clients (applying tourniquets) I tend to apply in my personal, and particularly emotional life. To stop the pain, I often try to just shut out the emotions and focus on the necessary tasks. Funny thing is that it doesn’t seem to work so well when you are trying to move forward with rebuilding your life. To get to a better place and be emotionally available for another, you actually have to work through the pain– all the loss, all the sadness and yes, the immense disappointment.
Opening up old wounds, deep-seeded fears, realizing our own faults and weaknesses is no easy task, but if we do not want to repeat old patterns and make the same mistakes, we have to put in the work and choose to become a better person. I regret that I was not my best when I was married, and it is so sad that my marriage did not work out, but from my greatest failure came some of my best lessons in life. I had no idea how strong I was, and being on my own the last 7 years had taught me a great deal about myself– and others. This ability to understand and empathize more with others, has proven invaluable.
From a legal perspective, it remains my goal to stop the hemorrhaging as quickly as possible, particularly to preserve goodwill and the family’s wealth, however, from an emotional perspective I would encourage people not to shut down the pain, but rather take your time to slowly work through it. Without pain, there will be no gain.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.