The Importance of Self Awareness

Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 by Marc Beyer and is filed under Divorce,  Minnesota.

I recently read an “Ask Amy” column that caught my eye. The writer explained that every year she and her sisters and female cousins got together near the Christmas holidays for shopping, dining, and a girls-weekend at a hotel. They stopped inviting a particular sister, however, because according to the writer, this sister just did not fit in anymore. The rest of the group was all stay-at-home moms who went to church. This particular sister, though, was a divorced working mother who did not regularly attend church. The sister was hurt that she was excluded, and confronted her sisters and cousins in anger about it. The writer asked Amy why couldn’t the sister just accept the fact that she did not fit in anymore and find a new group to hang out with?

Amy responded by stating that she agreed with the sister, and that the writer was a horrible person. Probably not the response the writer was expecting. I am sure the writer expected Amy to vindicate her feelings and agree that, yes, her sister is being unreasonable and she should just accept the fact that the rest of her family does not want to socialize with her anymore.

This scenario reminded me of many people I see going through the divorce process. They are blind to their own faults, and expect the rest of the world to agree with them that it is their spouse who is the unreasonable person. They expect that the Judge will agree that their spouse has caused all the problems, and that they are totally blameless. First of all, Minnesota is a “no fault” divorce state, so the concept of fault is irrelevant in any event. Regardless, people in the divorce process often expect some kind of grand vindication, or a proclamation that, indeed, they are “right” and their spouse is “wrong.”

This will not happen. Do not use the divorce process as a way to validate yourself or to prove anything to your spouse. The reality is, the Court will not see things the same way you see them. Judges often say that “10’s don’t marry 2’s.” If you are constantly finding fault with your spouse, chances are you have some fault of your own.

You and your spouse are the least objective people in the process. For this reason, it is important to have as much self-awareness as possible and recognize that the Court will not see things the way you see them. Being detached from the emotional aspect of your divorce, your lawyer will see things from the same perspective as the Judge. Remember this when your lawyer tells you something you do not want to hear, or if your lawyer is not willing to portray your spouse as evil incarnate.

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