The Emotional Side of Divorce
Have you ever been the person dialing an old friend to whine into the phone about how sad, lonely, depressed you are?
Have you ever called that person repeatedly, just needing to talk one more time?
We all get needy at times, when things seem urgent in this very moment, and we must have someone to listen to us, to quiet our fears, to calm our concerns, to remind us we are not alone.
As a family law attorney, I often receive calls, texts and urgent emails from clients who need to talk to me right this very moment. It can be 2 in the morning or the middle of a quiet weekend.
But when it gets quiet – at night, on the weekends – that’s when our mind starts talking. It’s when we think about the worst possible scenarios, the what-ifs, and our fears start to take shape.
We can see them. Feel them. Hear them.
In those moments, we need support. I understand it completely. As a human, I’ve been there, when it’s quiet, in that needy place.
As a divorce attorney, I have to be very careful to set parameters for my business hours – there must be time when I don’t work. I know that my clients need me when they are in the throes of the most difficult time of their lives, and I seem to be the savior who can help them through it.
But it may not be the best decision to contact the divorce attorney.
That’s where friends, family, therapists and the neighbor over the back fence come in.
So many times when I’ve been in a needy stance, I’ve written a desperate email but saved it to send later.
In these moments, it’s about getting through the darkness and knowing you’ll emerge just fine. Sometimes I respond to clients in their hour of need and sometimes I wait until Monday morning, when I am back in the office.
I don’t want to neglect my clients or disappoint them or myself. And yet, I know from my own experience that what feels urgent to us in a moment, may not be truly urgent at all. And we all need boundaries that protect us from taking on other people’s sadness.