Pit Bull, Part II

Darling Readers:

Today I follow up with another book excerpt on the subject of Pit bull divorce lawyers, also known as DICKs (Divorce Industrial Complex Kingpins, as if you didn’t know!).

If you missed the first part of this discussion, please click on the link below to catch up:

Pit Bull: To Hire or Not to Hire?

(Below is a description of how hiring the wrong lawyer hurts you personally – the next excerpt will describe how it hurts your kids)

The Pit bull likes and encourages your transformation into Evil Twin New You, and her approach to your divorce will lead you to become that person for not just the duration of the divorce, but into perpetuity.  You’ll find yourself marinating in your anger and resentment for much longer than is normal, necessary, or healthy. 

Most disturbing is that this outcome is not an unhappy accident, but rather quite by design — Pit bull design. At this point you’re probably thinking, “I don’t understand.  Why would my Pit bull want me to be unhappy?  Isn’t she looking out for my best interests?”

No.  

Fuck no.

Let me give you an example from a case I watched unfold a few years ago.  This case perfectly illustrates the damage that can be done by this type of counsel selection driven by pain.

Paul and Mary were married for 27 years, many of which were deeply unhappy for both. For years, Paul asked Mary to attend couples counseling. For years, she refused. Paul finally couldn’t take it any longer. He left the home and the marriage. 

This made Mary angry.  

Very, very angry. 

She hadn’t wanted to work on the relationship, true. But she never imagined he would leave. It just didn’t seem in his nature. Underestimating Paul’s need to be loved and listened to was her first mistake.

Her second was hiring the Pit bull. 

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(“I’m coming for you, your money, and your family.”)

Mary’s anger led her to the door of the Pit bull with the worst reputation in town. This reputation had been carefully built over many years by her napalm litigation tactics, vile communication style, unreasonable position-taking, use of private investigators to dig into the opposing side’s private life, and exorbitant cost.

The Pit bull encouraged Mary to wrap herself in and be defined by her misery.  She fed Mary’s paranoia that Paul had been unfaithful.  She discouraged settlement at every turn.

Mary’s Pit bull filed dozens of useless motions. She fought Paul on every issue, even the ones that should have been no-brainers, such as ownership of his dead father’s watch.  No stone went unturned as discovery spun into a years-long free-for-all paper chase of irrelevancy and revenge.

Besides the financial impact which I will discuss later in this chapter, there is an emotional cost to this winner-take-all scorched-earth approach.  A protracted and nasty divorce driven by a Pit bull produces in the client strong feelings of victimhood and self-righteousness.

That’s right: you come away with some super-attractive qualities you can use to lure a new mate after you get over the divorce in 10 or 15 years:

  • Bitterness!
  • Resentment!
  • A complete lack of personal responsibility and accountability!

That’s not a sexy look.

Mary’s Pit bull also became extremely entangled in her personal life in ways that are inappropriate and ethically suspect. 

She hired Mary’s daughter Kelly to work in her firm. She repeatedly made derogatory remarks to Kelly about her father while disclosing details of the divorce proceedings and her suspicions that Paul was a philanderer.  

He wasn’t, by the way.  

The rumor-mongering and tearing down of Paul’s character was just part of the Pit bull’s master plan. This plan was crafted and put to work for the express purpose of stoking the fires of Mary’s discontent, prolonging the divorce, and driving up the fees.

One of the hallmarks of a Pit bull is the way they worm their way into a client’s life. They act not just as a lawyer, but also a friend and therapist.  Mary’s Pit bull would sit for hours with her, clock running, as Mary unloaded sad tales of woe about Paul and his terrible treatment of her. 

While it’s true most of us would be uncomfortable paying someone to be our friend, the Pit bull will convince you it’s all part of the process despite the whorish implications.  And thus Mary and her Pit bull became inextricably intertwined as the divorce ground on for two years.

Two years.

The divorce was finalized six years ago.  Paul has flourished in his career, remarried, and found happiness.  He looks back upon the divorce with sad reflection, wishing things could have been different. He still makes efforts to normalize the relationship with Mary in the best interests of their children.

Mary?  

Not happy.  

Not dating.  

Not working.

Still angry.

Still plotting revenge.

In Some Respects I Get It. 

I am not immune to the revenge impulse. Until a few years ago, I considered myself quite a talent at seeking payback for those who wronged me.  I used to take delight in the downfall of those people and on occasion may have contributed to it.

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I know, I know, I was a terrible person. And then I had a mid-life crisis.

If you’re lucky, the beauty of the mid-life crisis is the emotional growth spurt it brings. My mid-life crisis taught me that the desire to hurt others is driven by fear, rejection, and pain.

Confucius noted, “Before you embark upon a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

My smarty-pants quotes extend beyond Confucius.  There is also an old Latin proverb that comes to mind here:

Revenge is a confession of pain.

Think about that. 

Those six words sum up perfectly why we sometimes allow ourselves to drink from the delicious but poisonous glass of revenge.  “Delicious” because we mistakenly believe our own pain can be lessened by creating pain in another, and “poisonous” because that mindset can destroy us.

Unless you are a sociopath or a completely un-evolved paramecium posing as a human being, revenge will almost never provide what you are seeking: solace, peace of mind, happiness, and freedom from the pattern of endlessly repeating negative thoughts and behaviors.

But I get it.  

I can see how someone in the throes of shock and anger could adopt a Pit bull and unleash that snarling violent dog upon their spouse. In the heat of the moment, it’s tempting to hire a lawyer whom you think will cause your husband or wife as much pain as possible.

But before you do:

Stop.

Think

Define yourself.

Who do you want to be at the end of this terrible process? What sort of life do you want to have? 

Do you want to learn and grow and become a New and better You? Or do you want to shut yourself away from who you could be to focus on who you used to be and what you used to have?  What is more important: developing an exciting and amazing future, or obsessing over what you expected your life to be?

Coming up next:

How Hiring a Pit Bull Hurts Your Children

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If you or someone you know is thinking about hiring a Pit bull, please consider this instead:

Divorce by Design

 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Signal Mixer

    This is one of your most poignant essays. I know far too many people who have fallen into the trap of thinking that they cannot win unless their former partner loses. They become experts at hate, and incompetents at love. And who would want a partner whose proudest accomplishment is destroying his or her former partner?

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