Marriage Advice From Your Favorite Divorce Lawyer, Part 2

Disclaimers: At the time I wrote this, I had been a divorce lawyer for over 15 years, and married for 7 years.  You can see my original post here.

HAHAHAHA!!  I am reading that post now and rolling on the floor laughing.

In summary, I said:

  1.  After children, marriage metamorphosis must happen!  Focus on family first, and the marriage will follow.  Since my first marriage advice post, Scott and I have had 2 children.  (who are 6 and 3).  Man, have our lives changed.  It wasn’t about him and me anymore.  One light bulb moment was during a particularly nasty fight, Scott hurled “I can do without YOU.  But I can’t do without the FOUR of us!” It was an earth-shattering epiphany, insulting and denigrating to the marriage, and yet, the utter breakthrough of marriage metamorphosis.   We were now 4 – doubled in identity, strengthened in bonds.  What’s more powerful than family?   It is so important to undergo this transformation after children.  If BOTH partners are not on the same page during this critical period when children are young, the marriage will not make it.  After my first child, I completely lost focus.  Running a law firm and breastfeeding nonstop – I completely ignored my husband.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was alienating my husband.  Don’t let too many sexless months drive you apart.  Allow the transformation.  Some people say focus on marriage first, then children.  I call that bullshit.  Your 1 year old needs to be fed.  Your 4-year old needs advice on how to make friends at school.  The children are always number 1.  BOTH OF YOU need to understand this, above all.  NEVER have I seen two people who care about their families split up.  Sure, they may say they “care”, but truly, the selfish one ruins the family unit.  Get on the same page, and don’t let go.

2.  Love your routines!!!!!  If you don’t love routines, don’t get married and don’t have kids.  You will fail.  Blame it on the second law of Thermodynamics, the “law of disorder”.  It says this: if you are left to your own devices, you will end up in disorder.  That’s why my home is a complete mess 30 minutes after the maids leave.  Why this blog contains many run-on sentences.  And WHY MANY MARRIAGES FAIL.  You MUST love the routines and fight against the law of disorder.  Every morning, my precious husband brings me a cup of coffee – EVEN if he is mad at me.  Even after our epic “I can do without YOU, but not the 4 of us! fight”, he dutifully brought it.  Begrudgingly.  Every day, we text each other during lunchtime to check in.  And every day, we do our routine with the kids.  WE LOVE IT!!!  Children excel at routines.  Piano on Tuesdays, Soccer on Thursdays.  Dinner prepared every night.  Bath after dinner.  Trust develops from routines.  Avoid marriage entropy.  NEVER fall into the great unwashed “entropy” of life.  Love your routines.

3.  Cherish your status as “eternal lovers, not just friends”.  I already talked about this before.

4.  NEVER throw your spouse under the bus!  According to Wiki, “To throw someone under the bus is an idiomatic phrase meaning to sacrifice a friend for selfish reasons”.  People, it’s SO annoying and it absolutely says everything about your dirty character.  I am SO tired of moms in moms’ group meetings bitching about how “My husband is a selfish asshole who I think is having an affair with his secretary”.  You think??  What about being a selfish asshole who talks about her husband behind his back?  These days, seems like everyone is bitching about their marriage.  I know I have done it.  And I feel like shit.  It tears me apart as a human being, a wife, and a mother.  You stick with your family or your are against them.  If you are badmouthing your husband, you are defecating on your marriage.  (I was going to say, “desecrating”, but really, it’s more than shitting on your marriage than making it unholy).

AND, if you are in a custody battle, it is case-suicide to badmouth the other side!!!!!  In family court, Mother Theresa does not marry Hitler!!  NO NO NO.  Do NOT throw your spouse under the bus.

5.  FIGHT for your marriage!!  Fight fight fight, like gay people do!!!  Marriage is a RIGHT, and to be cherished.

Love, your favorite divorce lawyer.


Kelly Chang Rickert

Kelly Chang Rickert (formerly Kelly Yi-Yi Chang) is the founder of the Law Offices of Kelly Chang, A Professional Law Corporation, a firm dedicated exclusively to Family Law. She has been certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist. She is frequently quoted in the media, and is a legal expert for Style Network, TV Guide and MTV on Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Christie Brinkley and Madonna divorce and custody cases.

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