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Divide and divorce

Divide and divorce

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There are so many permutation and combinations to a divorce, but the two most important choices to be made are to either end it gracefully or fight to the finish. Naturally divorce is the death of a dream and transpires because there’s incompatibility, grievances, disillusionment, disrespect and neglect amongst many other reasons. Interestingly, I increasingly get many couples approaching me to help them with a ‘happy divorce’. They realise there’s too much water under the bridge and that though both of their intent is to have a positive end they would rather ask for help with it in order to avoid the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’. Apart from logistics related to kids, there are so many sticky issues that crop up, be it division of assets ranging from properties and money to CD’s and crockery. Emotions are so precariously placed that some couples have a meltdown over who gets a particular pet, artwork or lamp. But the most difficult for most couples is about how to handle the “division” of their friends. Friends in turn find it difficult to choose as to whom they should invite to their parties, outings and holidays. What needs to be made clear to friends is that they are not being divorced, and neither should they feel the need to take sides. Friends should invite both to their parties and if any one of the couple has an issue, well, it’s their problem. Friendships that are meaningful should not have to be “negotiated” or “pressured” as it’s not fair to everyone concerned. I advice divorcing couples on initially meeting common friends one on one for love and support but never bad mouthing each other no matter how great the urge. There’s no need to focus on the pain, what’s important is to think of and thank the good times, accept the reality of what is, and look forward to a respectful equation for the rest of their lives. Over time, certain friendships will naturally go from strength to strength and some will just fizzle away. What’s important is to focus on a “happy divorce” and to be committed to being kind and respectful to each other whenever they do arrive at the same events no matter how painful, fake or ridiculous it may seem at first. Over time, the emotional turbulence settles and as life moves forward they feel this incredible sense of strength self-respect and balance. The most wonderful outcome of a happy divorce is when they see the respect, love and admiration in the eyes of friends and family who truly love them both.

1. My husband and I have two kids. We are quite happy but often I hear him make snide remarks about our sexual behaviour. He wants some action every night while I get conscious of the fact that we have kids in the house and I fear one of them will walk in on us when we’re at it. I don’t like my husband making those comments about the way he feels deprived…almost making me sound guilty of it. Please help me handle this… 

Sexual fulfilment is a very essential ingredient to a healthy marriage and if he is deprived and voicing it then his need should be taken seriously. He can’t possibly keep masturbating and eventually it will lead to a strain in the relationship. Sex is very normal function, if you have kids the doors should be locked and irrespective of their age, they should know they can’t just barge in on whim. And I’m sure you will extend them the same courtesy when they are married and stay at home with you.

2. I have a younger sister who is in love with a guy for five years now. She recently made a new friend and now, she can’t seem to stop talking about the new friend in her life. He’s a guy, too, and better placed than her boyfriend. I think she is attracted to him. Plus, our parents asked me to speak to her and convince her for an arranged match. I don’t know what to do in all of this? She’s all of 22 and much younger than me. 

If she’s 22 it means she met her boyfriend at 17. It’s not unusual to have such young relationships hit the dust because it’s a time of great change and learning. There’s nothing for you to do. Her boyfriend may still be in love with her, she may like another man and your parents may want her to marry someone of their choice. Fact is it’s her life and her decisions to make since she’s an adult now. Long gone are the days of virginity tests, sati, dowry and forced arranged marriages. Don’t meddle, simply support her choices.

3. I am a 50 year old man. I am single and now I feel like getting married but I think my relatives and friends will laugh at me. What should i do?

Even if you were 80 years old they should be happy for you if they care about you and your feelings. I’ve just gotten engaged to a 51 year old man and from experience I can say it’s the best age to find companionship as people in their 50’s are so much more mature and at peace with the world, work and life in general. There is no better time to be married than when you meet the right person, be it 18 or 80! Let them laugh if they must; it’s you who will wake up a happy man every day.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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Dominic Levent Solicitors
Phone: 020 8347 6640
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1345 High Rd
London, London N20 9HR

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