People often comment to me that it must be depressing being a divorce attorney. Like any job, there are difficult days. But for the most part, I very much like what I do.
I come from a strong, religious background. When I got married, I expected it to last forever. I had five children in ten years, assuming that I would be a stay-at-home mom, and only come into the office when my husband, who was also an attorney, had an especially heavy caseload, or, when I got tired of squatting down to have conversations and I was looking for some adult (read “grown up”, not rated “R”) interaction. But my marriage was not a happy one. I am a determined, optimistic person, and I told myself, and everyone around me, that things were going well. Sometimes, I even believed it.
Despite the issues in our relationship, had things remained as they were, I would not have left. Because we were married, and to me, that was unbreakable. Depending on my husband, and expecting him to depend on me, was one of life’s few constants, like the sun rising, or the need to breathe in again, after breathing out. When my marriage imploded, I felt like the sun had failed to rise. The most difficult part, for me, was accepting that what was happening in my life was real. It was an empowering moment to realize that, although I could not control my husband’s choices, I could control what I was willing to accept.
It was an empowering moment to realize that, although I could not control my husband’s choices, I could control what I was willing to accept.
When a new client sits across my desk for their first consultation, I feel an empathy for them. When they express anger, shock, guilt, disgust, loneliness, fear, betrayal, and continued love, I recognize those feelings, and I understand how they can go together. But because I have walked that road, both alone, and with many clients before, I know what my new client will need to have done when the shock wears off. And that is why I like what I do. Because most days, when I go home, I know I have made a positive difference.