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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Marriage Advice: Don't Let the Sun Go Down While You're Still Angry

"In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry," Ephesians 4:26

The Bible is my GPS to life. But even if you don't subscribe to my beliefs, you can't really argue with pop culture!

Don't let the sun go down on you angry.

This means, don't hold a grudge.

This does not mean that miraculously, you and your spouse will always reach a full agreement on all issues before you go to sleep (that's bordering boring!). But it does mean that before you go to sleep, you both have reached a stage whereby you are comfortable with the concept that whatever you are arguing about does not supercede your commitment to each other.

If you are Type A and argumentative like me, this is a very difficult thing to perfect.

I refer you to my other blog post - and advise you to start hammering some nails into fences. It will get you closer to the goal.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Marriage Advice: Watch your mouth


Just as a doctor can diagnose a physical ailment by examining your mouth, so can you examine your own well-being by what is coming out of your mouth.

I've been a divorce lawyer for 10 years. I know why marriages end. I will be so bold as to claim 100% of them end due to someone's tongue.

A recent client of mine came in. She wanted to end her marriage. Her husband was gainfully employed. He had never cheated on her. He has never hit her. He is a good man, by all definitions, she said.

Then why?

She said to me, "The verbal abuse was too much." "It is not ok to say the things he said, and I can't take it anymore.

This upcoming year, make a real effort to guard your mouth. If I can do it, you can do it.

I will conclude by sharing a wonderful story my father sent me years ago.


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him
a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must
hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had
driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned
to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually
dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to
drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He
told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out
one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father
that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led
him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the
holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say
things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put
a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you
say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Just one more thing...

Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in your fence!

~ author unknown ~

Monday, December 21, 2009

In re Marriage of Woods and Nordegren

Tiger Woods - Elin Nordegren divorce news update: Nordegren consulting Sorrell Trope, star lawyer
BY Nancy Dillon and Corky Siemaszko DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren are reportedly headed for divorce. Elin Nordegren has hired divorce lawyer Sorrell Trope.

Tiger Woods' wife reportedly has the dean of Tinseltown's divorce lawyers on her side as she and the golfing great head for Splitsville.

Nobody has more experience at tearing celebrity marriages asunder than Sorrell Trope, who hung his shingle in 1949 and whose star clients span the generations from Cary Grant and Rod Steiger to Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage, Hugh Grant and Britney Spears.

While Trope is no expert on the law in Florida, which is where Elin Nordegren lives, admiring lawyers say he is a hard-nosed negotiator who goes to the mat for whoever can afford him.
Nordegren reportedly signed a prenuptial agreement before she married Tiger, so Trope would most likely be enlisted to hammer out a postnup to give her a bigger piece of Woods' wealth, they said.

"There is just one Sorrell Trope," said Manhattan divorce lawyer Robert Wallack. "He's the dean of the California matrimonial bar.

"He's in a class of maybe 12 or 15 lawyers that handles very high-asset, high-income divorces with contentious custody cases," said Beverly Hills-based family law arbitrator Alexandra Leichter.

Woods, 33, who cheated on his Swedish spouse with a bevy of women, has reportedly offered her millions to stop her from walking away - and taking their two kids.

Wallack said it is not unusual for spurned celebrity spouses to bring in a "big gun" to press their case for more dough - and to walk away richer if they were treated especially badly.
"She might have brought him in to lead the charge," said Wallack, who has represented celebrities like Christie Brinkley and Damon Dash.

Trope, who is 82 and one of the best-paid lawyers in Los Angeles, did not return a call about his reported entry into the Woods saga.

In an earlier interview, the Albany-born lawyer said he got into lawyering because it seemed like a glamorous profession.

"When I was a little boy, on a Saturday you always went to the movies and you saw a double feature and a cartoon," he said.

"And there were some wonderful lawyer movies, and the lawyers were always dressed up and they looked wonderful."

Nordegren, 29, who has stayed silent as the sex scandal swamped her husband, fanned speculation they were splitting up when she appeared in public without her wedding ring - and after she bought an island getaway in her homeland.

The Daily News reported on Wednesday that she was taking the kids with her to spend Christmas in Sweden - and that Woods was staying behind to hang with his buddies.
A day later, People magazine broke the story that Nordegren wanted out of her five-year marriage and several Los Angeles TV stations reported she was consulting Trope.
Nordegren's divorce plans emerged on the same day The Associated Press selected the scandal-scarred golfer as the Athlete of the Decade.

Woods received over a third of the votes cast by AP member editors, who focused on his jaw-dropping exploits on the links - not in the sack.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

California to Ban Divorce?!

Movement under way in California to ban divorce
By JUDY LIN, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In a movement that seems ripped from the pages of Comedy Channel writers, John Marcotte wants to put a measure on the ballot next year to ban divorce in California.

The effort is meant to be a satirical statement after California voters outlawed gay marriage in 2008, largely on the argument that a ban is needed to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage. If that's the case, then Marcotte reasons voters should have no problem banning divorce.

"Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more," the 38-year-old married father of two said.

Marcotte said he has collected dozens of signatures, including one from his wife of seven years. The initiative's Facebook fans have swelled to more than 11,000. Volunteers that include gay activists and members of a local comedy troupe have signed on to help.

Marcotte is looking into whether he can gather signatures online, as proponents are doing for another proposed 2010 initiative to repeal the gay marriage ban. But the odds are stacked against a campaign funded primarily by the sale of $12 T-shirts featuring bride and groom stick figures chained at the wrists.

Marcotte needs 694,354 valid signatures by March 22, a high hurdle in a state where the typical petition drive costs millions of dollars. Even if his proposed constitutional amendment made next year's ballot, it's not clear how voters would react.

Nationwide, about half of all marriages end in divorce.

Not surprisingly, Marcotte's campaign to make divorce in California illegal has divided those involved in last year's campaign for and against Proposition 8.

As much as everyone would like to see fewer divorces, making it illegal would be "impractical," said Ron Prentice, the executive director of the California Family Council who led a coalition of religious and conservative groups to qualify Proposition 8.

No other state bans divorce, and only a few countries, including the Philippines and Malta, do. The Roman Catholic Church also prohibits divorce but allows annulments. The California proposal would amend the state constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced while allowing married couples to seek an annulment.

Prentice said proponents of traditional marriage only seek to strengthen the one man-one woman union.

"That's where our intention begins and ends," he said.

Jeffrey Taylor, a spokesman for Restore Equality 2010, a coalition of same-sex marriage activists seeking to repeal Proposition 8, said the coalition supports Marcotte's message but has no plans to join forces with him.

"We find it quite hilarious," Taylor said of the initiative.

Marcotte, who runs the comedy site BadMouth.net in his spare time, said he has received support from across the political spectrum. In addition to encouragement from gay marriage advocates, he has been interviewed by American Family Association, a Mississippi-based organization that contributed to last year's Yes on 8 campaign.

He was mentioned by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown" during his "World's Best Persons" segment for giving supporters of Proposition 8 their "comeuppance in California."
Marcotte, who is Catholic and voted against Proposition 8, views himself as an accidental activist. A registered Democrat, he led a "ban divorce" rally recently at the state Capitol in Sacramento to launch his effort and was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. About 50 people showed up, some holding signs that read, "You too can vote to take away civil rights from someone."
Marcotte stopped dozens of people during another signature drive in downtown Sacramento. Among them was Ryan Platt, 32, who said he signed the petition in support of his lesbian sister, even though he thinks it would be overturned if voters approved it.

"Even if by some miracle this did pass, it would never stand up to the federal government," Platt said. "And if it did, there's something really wrong with America."

Other petition signers said they were motivated by a sincere interest to preserve marriages. One was Ervin Hulton, a 47-year-old dishwasher who said he believes in making it harder for couples to separate.

"The way I feel, why go out and spend all these tons of money for marriage, the photography and all that? And along down the line, it's going to shatter," said Hulton, who is single.
The U.S. divorce rate is 47.9 percent, according to data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics reports. That figure, however, does not include California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana and Minnesota because those six states no longer report their divorce rates to the center.

California stopped because of budget problems, said Ralph Montano, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health.

While most people would not support banning divorce, it does make sense for couples to be educated about the financial and emotional commitments of marriage, said Dan Couvrette, chief executive and publisher of Toronto-based Divorce Magazine. The publication has a circulation of 140,000, including a regional edition in Southern California.

"It's a worthwhile conversation to have," said Couvrette, who started the magazine in 1996 after going through his own divorce. "I don't think it's just a frivolous thought."
On the Net:
2010 California Marriage Protection Act: http://www.rescuemarriage.org
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/11/30/national/a111733S84.DTL#ixzz0ZsEYifJzRead more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/11/30/national/a111733S84.DTL#ixzz0ZsEYifJz