Is divorce the end of love?
You’d think that divorce is the anti-love story, but it’s not. As a divorce lawyer, you meet people who may not have been the initiator of the divorce, and therefore their love of the other person is still there—and sometimes it’s never going to end.
What is a common reason for divorce?
Infidelity is a common reason, but it doesn’t always mean that people don’t love each other. People’s sexual predilections have nothing to do with love. Infidelity is so scorned by society that it often makes it difficult for people when there’s been a transgression in the marriage to not feel so humiliated. Once they share their story, people press them to not stay in the relationship. Very few people say, “Let’s see what you might do to figure out whether or not you still want to stay in this relationship”—but I do that.
So you’re a divorce lawyer, but you encourage people to not follow through on their desire to split up?
It’s actually part of a divorce lawyer’s obligation to not encourage people to get a divorce, but to see if they might repair or resolve the marriage. As their lawyer, you want to inquire to see if they’ve seen a good mental-health professional and explored whether they really want to stay and work on the relationship or whether they would be better off apart.
What are your thoughts on living together before marriage?
I’ve often thought young people who live together don’t necessarily have to have the dialogue about things that are most of the irritants in marriage. For example, they often keep their finances separate, they keep their families separate; sometimes they have common friendships, but they keep their separate friendships. Not that someone can’t do that in a long marriage, but those are things that people argue about—money, family, sometimes their sexual relationship—and people often avoid this friction in a living-together situation. You need to give it time to make sure you love this person before you marry—or maybe you never marry.
Why do people fall out of love?
I don’t think people fall out of love. I think maybe they never fell into love. Sometimes it’s because the person who said they fell out of love hasn’t really evaluated whether they do or don’t have the capacity to have that kind of relationship. Some people get married and stay married and have children, but they never develop a relationship of concern and caring and sharing with the other person.
How have you come to define the word “love”?
Love is caring about somebody just as much as you care about yourself, and they are the first person in your thoughts.