OK first let me say I love your blog to the moon and back. I found it last week and I’ve spent all my free time reading back to your first post. You are a genius, seriously. You need a TV show or something.
I went through a contentious divorce a few years ago and I made some pretty big mistakes while I was going through it. I can tell you what they were but I don’t want you to post that part, ok? I did some things that were really shitty and possibly illegal.
I hired a “DICK” as you say, and my lawyer instructed me to do these things.
That’s not my problem, though. My problem is my former lawyer is obsessed with our local social scene and appearing to be a charitable person. She has put an enormous amount of pressure on me since I hired her to donate to her pet projects.
I’m sure you can imagine the conundrum or what feels like implied inappropriate pressure to donate. This woman knows all my secrets and the last time I hesitated to donate she called me and was extremely rude and basically bullied me into making a donation.
I’m not extremely wealthy and I really resent this pressure but I am also afraid of what she will do if I stop contributing to her causes. I know she technically can’t talk about my secrets but I think she will anyway. I think that because she talked about former clients to me in some of our meetings.
I like it when you give people scripts. Any ideas for me? Keep up the writing; it’s so great!
Since you went back in time and read all my work, I assume you saw this one: Portland is a Small Town.
That was very fun to write. It’s long, but a good read, so if any of you missed it, have a click!
Ashamed, the reason I bring up that blog is to refer you to the comment I made to the tall and handsome lawyer with amazing nose-holding talents when it comes to some of his clients:
Don’t forget: If you fuck a dog, you’re going to wake up with fleas.
You fucked a dog, my friend. The pressure to donate is your flea infestation.
Luckily for you I am the advice equivalent of Trifexis® and I’m here to help.This will be a two-part blog because my advice to you has dual components:
- Take responsibility for what you did in the past; and
- Take control of your relationship with your former lawyer.
I believe that you are ashamed of your actions during your divorce and that the shame you feel allows your lawyer to manipulate you into doing what she demands, even years after your case ended. Until you free yourself of this shame she will always have power over you.
We had quite the email exchange, didn’t we? I wish I could say I’m surprised at some of the shit you and your lawyer pulled but I’m not. I’ve come to believe I have seen it all.
You asked to keep the details out but finally gave me permission to include this:
You instigated a fight with your husband to provoke him into a physical altercation and then you lied to the police about it. This enabled you to get him out of the family home and severely limited his parenting time with his kids for over a year.
That makes me sick. I’m not surprised you are both ashamed of yourself and easily manipulated by your partner in crime who knows all your secrets. I’ve touched on this subject before, as you probably know: False Allegations.
I am not a religious person but I do believe in the power of forgiveness and atonement. You cannot have the first without the second.
It is time to confess what you did, ask for forgiveness, and only then will you leave this shame in the past where it belongs.
Your last email to me indicated your relationship with your ex-husband is better now than it has been in years and that soon your youngest will leave for college and there won’t be much reason to communicate with his dad any longer.
That’s not quite true, because even as your kids become adults you and your ex will still be thrown together at family occasions. If you want those to be as happy and stress-free as possible for everyone, do as I say.
The Tough Conversation
Invite your ex to your home by telling him there is something important you’d like to discuss with him. Usually I suggest wine for these conversations but this may be a vodka talk. I’ll leave that up to you.
Prior to your meeting, compile a written list of all the shady things you did during your divorce. As hard as it will be to make that list complete, don’t leave anything out.
Sit down and say the following:
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about everything that transpired during our divorce and I don’t think I can live with the guilt any longer. I need to tell you what I did so I can ask for your forgiveness and in turn begin the process of forgiving myself.”
Now you read him the list of transgressions and you do not make any excuses for your behavior.
Specifically, you do not blame your DICK for what happened. You were the client and you made the final call on that bullshit so while your lawyer may be an unethical monster with no moral compass, you did not have to follow her advice.
“Robin DesCamp says that in order to make a proper apology, one must do three things:
- Admit and assume personal responsibility for what happened
- Ask for forgiveness
- Ask how to make things right.
“I take full responsibility for everything that happened. To this day I feel great shame about my behavior and I hope you can forgive me for what I did. If there is anything I can do to rectify what I’ve done, please tell me.
“What’s that? You want me to swallow that handy vial of poison in your hand? Look, I want to make things right but that’s a bridge too far.
“You want me to admit what I did to our kids and our friends so you can repair your reputation? OK. I will do that.”
Ashamed, people do some crazy things during difficult times, especially divorce. It is up to the lawyers to talk their clients off the edge, not push them over. For that reason I suggest you write a letter to your state bar association and describe what you told me in our emails.
As I told you when you first contacted me, do not divulge the name of your lawyer to me. A quick reading of the rules tells me I could be mandated to report her activities to the bar. I have spent more than enough time dealing with the bar association lately, thank you very much.
My hope is your ex will forgive you and you can move on to a better relationship with him and more importantly, with yourself. Shame is a horrible burden to carry. It’s lucky for your lawyer she lacks that particular human characteristic or it would have ground her into dust years ago.
I believe my words tomorrow will be more impactful if you have your ex-husband’s forgiveness, but regardless you should follow it anyway.
Tune in then when I give you some practical advice on how to disengage and avoid money-grubbing from your sleazy former lawyer.
Update! Readers, here is the link to the conclusion:
(Shameful bear feels shameful.)