Doing the right thing…

October 6, 2015

“Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same thing.”  (The Fray)  – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words Blog.

That line is from the song “All at Once”. One might think (or hope) that it would be easy to do the right thing. Most of the time I believe that we make it hard on ourselves, because the “right thing to do” isn’t always the popular or “in” thing. We don’t stop to really examine our motivation for doing something that we may know in our hearts is not the right thing to do. Instead we temporarily put aside our values and better judgement and make the choices that we think will make us more decisionspopular, more attractive, or maybe more powerful. Sometimes the decisions may involve wealth and we may believe that with more money we will be able to make things right later – only later never comes.

I guess that, getting back to the values upon which we should be basing our decisions, one of our core values should be that we will not abandon our values for convenience sake or for temporary gains. If we say to ourselves that we know right from wrong, then what possible argument can we make to choose wrong? How can we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I know this is wrong, but I choose to do it anyway”? Situations come and go, but values like ethics and integrity and honesty stay with us, or at least they should. I’ve posted here before about people who seem to employ “institutional ethics”- ethics that change with the situation. For these people, there is no right or wrong, no black and white, only shades of gray which they get to conveniently define as the situation requires. Convincing yourself that what was right was right for this situation, but perhaps not for another is a slippery slope that you do not want to step out onto.
loving coupleSo, getting this back to a more personal level, sometimes it’s hard to end a relationship, even when you know  in your heart that it’s the right thing to do. Perhaps that “friend” is doing things that you know aren’t right and you don’t want to follow him/her down that path. Maybe that boyfriend or girlfriend has not turned out to be the person that you thought they were and you can’t see a future for the relationship. Perhaps it is even within the context of a marriage and you can now see that your partner has turned out to be someone that you do not want to spend the rest of your life with. That is especially true in abusive relationships. The right thing in each case may be to end the relationship and that is quite often the hardest thing to do.

In those situations; before you consider delivering the old “it isn’t you; it’s me” speech or the old sawangry couple “this just isn’t working out”, stop and take some thoughtful time to examine what your role has been and what efforts you have put into the relationship. No one ever said that relationships were always going to be easy. Marriages especially take work and commitment and compromise from both parties. Perhaps the most honest assessment of a failed relationship could be that you or your partner just weren’t ready to play the expected role.

Maybe you or your partner weren’t mature enough yet to make the commitments and compromises that were required. Perhaps one or both of you allowed certain aspects of the relationship, maybe physical aspects, to overwhelm your better judgement or cloud your perception of the other party and mask their faults. Maybe you even masked your own faults from them in order to get the divorcerelationship going. Over time the fog of “love” clears away and the mascaraed cannot be maintained. When you get to the point of “what you see is what you get”, there needs to be a foundation built on something better than just good sex or good looks or some other superficial thing. If there is no foundation for a future together, then the right thing to do may be to find a way out, even if it is the hardest things to do.

The bottom line for life and relationships is to always try to do the right thing, not necessarily the easiest thing. You will sleep better at night and save the waste of time of having to look over your shoulder to see if some wrong is catching up with you. So; do the right thing, even if it is the hardest thing.

Crying time will pass…

August 23, 2014

I was ask the rhetorical question “Will I ever stop crying?” recently by a client going through a divorce. It may asremorseful
well have been someone who had just experienced the loss of a life-mate. The obvious answer was yes, but at that moment more was needed. A hug was needed. Sometimes a good cry is a wonderful thing. It lets out the tension. It drains away some of the emotion and frustration of the moment. It is cathartic.

Unfortunately, many seem to use crying as an entrance into the realm of being a victim or worse as the slide into depression. Those are doors best left closed. You are not a victim unless you let yourself become one. Read or re-read my post on “Be a victor, not the victim” and/or “Make happy memories today.” But, eventually one must end the crying and get on with life.

Sometimes things change so fast in our lives that it can make our heads swim and become overwhelming. The person who used to do so many of the shared tasks of living is no longer there and all of a sudden it is your responsibility to think of everything, to do everything to be responsible for everything. For people whose long-term life mate is suddenly no longer there, even simple things like paying the bills or the taxes or cleaning the gutters or preparing meals or hundreds of other day-to-day tasks can suddenly start piling up.  In times like that it caringis often the help of a friend or relative that gets you through. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Many times you will find that there were people just waiting and wanting to help, but they didn’t want to offend you by “butting in.”

So, go ahead and have a good cry; but, when crying time has passed, put away the Kleenex, put on your big girl/boy pants and get on with life. I’ve posted several posts about that – facing reality and finding a way to survive and then thrive. The point of all of them is that life goes on, no matter what we may think or feel for a short while; and we must find a way to go on, too. Keep in mind, too, that there are people in your life who are standing ready to help. Ask them to help, accept their help and then thank them for their help. You’ll feel better and they will, too. Crying time will pass. Life will go on and so will you.

You’re divorced…don’t waste your time on the past

June 23, 2014

“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.” –  Shannon L. Alder

I found that quote when I went looking for quotes about divorce. I get involved in quite a few real estate transactions that are being driven by divorces. Usually the point at which I’m brought in is still in the early stages of the total process. Emotions and feelings are running high, wounds are still fresh and enough time has not passed for logic to kick back in. One side or the other probably hates me at first, since I’m usually brought in by one side or by a lawyer representing one side of the divorce. So, sometimes I bear the brunt of anger and frustration that has nowhere else to go. That’s OK (well, not OK but expected) and I try to maintain a calming influence, if I’m allowed the opportunity. So, today’s quote is sort of my throw-in bit of advice for those trying to cope with this big, emotionally charged event in their lives.

dissapointed ladyThis little saying doesn’t have to apply only to divorce. Especially in our younger years we seem to give ourselves ample opportunity to be hurt in affairs of the heart; so this could apply to all of the lost loves that you suffer through on our way to maturity. There is a natural tendency to have those little thoughts of revenge in the back of your mind, if you believe that you have been wronged. The quicker you can put them back out of your mind and get on with life the better. They serve no useful purpose. If you must find a way to make it a win for yourself, think of it this way – you are of such little consequence to me that I no longer even think of you. There- you win!

I found another quote that at least starts to take the approach of letting you be the victor, rather than the victim –

“Everything can change in a heartbeat; it can slip away in an instant. Everything you trust, and treasure, whatever brings you comfort, comes at a terrible cost. Health is temporary; money disappears. Safety is nothing big an illusion. So when the moment comes, and everything you depend upon changes, or perhaps someone you love disappears, or no longer loves you, must disaster follow? Or will you-somehow-adapt?”  –  Margaret Overton

I wrote about being the victor in an earlier post in my three little words series.  It is those moments of disaster that many people find their true strength as a person. There’s nothing  wrong with having woman boxera good cry, too. That can be a very cleansing thing and it releases the stress. The important thing is what you do after the cry. Don’t curl up in a fetal position and admit defeat. Stand up and say out loud, “Well, that felt good; now let’s get on with life. What’s next?”

Finally, here’s at least a partially positive quote to end this post –

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” –  Jennifer Weiner, Fly Away Home

The point of today’s quote is not to let yourself wallow in the “poor me” syndrome of wasting time wishing ill to others for what you may believe that they did to you. What makes them worth that waste of time in your life? You have more important things to do – new challenges to take on, new people to meet, new relationships to build. Your life is not about the past anymore, it’s about your future and you just don’t have time to waste on things that didn’t work out in the past. You’re divorced. So, what? Nobody died. Move on. You’ve got things to do.

Divorce and real estate – it takes a team

January 30, 2014


When things go south in a marriage and divorce seems to be the only way out, the people involved may think of calling their priest or pastor and they may call friend s to commiserate; they may even have already called a lawyer; but, they seldom think of calling a Realtor® and they should.

Divorce is an extremely emotional process, filled with remorse, doubts, regrets and sometime (maybe too often) distrust and hate. It is a time of great vulnerability for all parties involved and a time when there are many decisions to be made, none of which should be made in haste or in hate and without professional advice.

While it may not be top of mind at the time, making good decisions about the single largest asset that most married couple have – their home – is critical for the future of both parties. Make bad or hasty and ill-advised decisions and they might haunt you for years, as you try to rebuild your life.

There is so much complexity surrounding the real estate (and other assets) that may be involved in a divorce that you really need to assemble a team to help you and your Realtor can be the person who does that for you. On the team, you’ll need a good divorce lawyer, your Realtor, your insurance agent,  a tax/financial adviser, an appraiser and a mortgage adviser. Your Realtor can probably make recommendations or assemble the rest of this team.

Why all of those folks? Well, each one will either be providing you with advice about products that you already have (insurance, for instance) or products that you will need to get (a new mortgage) in order to move on with life. You need to understand your current homeowners policy – who’s listed as the policy owner (s) and who as the beneficiaries? What happens to that insurance when the divorce is final? Who needs to be listed then and who will be paying for it? As for the tax adviser or financial adviser (it probably will take two people for this), you need to understand the tax consequences of the divorce and make sure that you can file for your fair share of things after the final decree. You may need a good value appraisal if the family home is to be sold as part of the decree. You also need to understand the consequences on any long-term financial plans or policies or shared assets that you had in place. And, when the dust settles, you may need to get a new mortgage, in order to move on with life. How will this divorce leave you in terms of qualifying on your own for a mortgage? Can you do anything until your name is off the old mortgage or that mortgage has been discharged? Where will you go may be an easier question to answer than how will I afford it?

So, why I’m I writing about this? Because I care, for one, and because I have the team members already in mind to be able to help, from one of best family and divorce lawyers that I know, to a great insurance person, to a very thorough financial adviser and a great tax accountant and a mortgage rep that can make it possible for you to move on in life. These are people that I’ve worked with and trust to advise you on the aspects that go beyond my real estate capabilities. More importantly they are people that I trust with your fragile emotional state during this very trying time. I can introduce you to a team of professionals that will work with you through this process in a caring, respectful and empathetic way that will lift a lot of burdens from your shoulders and let you start the healing process.

So let’s start off by agreeing that divorce sucks and try to go forward from there the best way that we can, with a caring professional team of people on your side who can make sure that you make the right decisions during the process to come out whole on the other side. Call me and put my team to work for you. If you already have some people for some of these roles, great; let’s just add them to the team. If you don’t even know where to start; call me quickly so that you don’t spend another day by yourself in this process.