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When You Have Married The Wrong Person

         From the perspective of a divorce attorney, “I married the wrong person”, is a fear voiced by many clients.  Even for those who are not married, the thought that you may be in a relationship or have children with the wrong person is all too common.  A recent New York Times article looks at these concerns.  De Botton, Alain (2017, May 28), Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person, The New York Times, Sunday Review, Opinion.

            A frequent theme in this article is looking for answers to the question, “Why did I marry the wrong person?”  One problem, according to De Botton, is that as we try to get close to another person, we may only display our best behavior.  We can end up in a relationship with someone we don’t know very well and quickly start down the road of living together, having children together, or getting married.  To make things worse, your potential partner is no more self-aware than you are. 

De Botton says “marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.”  It’s all too tempting to leap before you look. 

In the end, we often have trouble being happy because we don’t know what makes us happy.  We believe we are seeking happiness in a relationship, but we are actually seeking familiarity and what we already know.  Love can also be confused with other emotions, such as wanting to help or take care of someone who has needs and troubles.  We then marry the wrong person because we don’t associate being loved with just being happy, but instead with many other complicated feelings.  These feelings get in the way, and we find ourselves less and less happy as time goes on.

            Another reason marriage and relationships can be so difficult is because seeking a partner and marrying are done in part to avoid being lonely.  If remaining single begins to seem unbearable, then it is hard to be in the right frame of mind to make reasonable choices about a partner.  We might start to feel like the “clock is ticking” and make a choice based on some artificial deadline.  Choosing who you marry can become a desperate attempt to cling to whoever is available at the time. 

Complacency can naturally put us too far along in a relationship or marriage with children, houses and other financial and emotional commitments with the feeling that it’s too late to turn back. 

            Of course, it is possible to make your relationship work, and you don’t have to marry the perfect person, or even someone who shares all of your interests.  Unfortunately, by the time a potential client comes to ADAM, things have usually broken down too far to have any meaningful discussion about saving the marriage or the relationship.  We are here to offer solutions and to help you through the process of a divorce or separation, and all the details involved to make the best of that situation.

That’s where our expertise comes into play.  We are here to help you protect your share of the assets and the income.  If you have children, we are here to help preserve and strengthen those relationships through meaningful custody and parenting time arrangements.  We can help you make sense of things, even if the reasons that your relationship ended don’t make sense. 

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce attorneys for men.

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