divorce360.com provides help, advice and community for people
contemplating, going through or recovering from divorce and the issues around it,
including separation, divorce laws, spousal support and emotional issues.

help  :: advice

Re-Read Moby Dick When Divorcing

Re-Read Moby Dick When Divorcing

Moby Dick Holds The Secret To A Friendly Divorce


"Reality outran apprehension"
    - Herman Melville, Moby Dick   

    Divorce attorneys aren't going to like this as one of them wryly said to me that his favorite client was someone who was "rich, angry and wrong."  I recently sat down with a friend who is very clear, wise, thoughtful and close friends and even works with her ex. 

I asked her how she accomplished that. She said, "Reality outran apprehension."

I said, "What?"

She said, "Yes, reality outran apprehension. It's a quote from Moby Dick. It means that we realized that when we first met we wanted the same things, a kid, a house, start a career, etc. Then as the years passed we discovered we were very different people who saw the world differently and enjoyed completely different things. At first we fought, but realized the reality was that neither of us were wrong, we had just grown apart to become the individuals each of us was meant to be. We decided that it made no sense to make the person wrong, just because they were different. And it made even less sense to tear down what was really good before we grew apart."

"What we also realized is that we got into conflict when what felt like the other person saying he or she was right, was in reality feeling that the other was telling them that they were completely wrong. So being protective and defensive and thinking: "I am not stupid and I am not always wrong" came across as, "I'm right and you're wrong."

She continued: "As soon as we realized this, all the animosity and need to be unfair to retaliate against feeling we were being treated that way lifted. As such, we realized we were too different to be in an intimate relationship, but we liked each other to stay good friends. After all a good friend is someone who accepts you for who you are and do the same in return."

Realizing you can each be different and yourself and not be wrong takes the worry out of being close…friends. 

Mark Goulston, M.D., is a well-known psychiatrist, speaker, business trainer and coach as well as author of "Get Out of Your Own Way," "Just Listen," and "The 6 Secrets of a Lasting Relationship."  He writes a regular column, "Getting through to Anybody," for divorce360. He can be reached at mgoulston@markgoulston.com.

divorce New this week::

Transition Institute: Telling Your Spouse You want to Split - Mental Health: The Dos, Don'ts of Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce


Your Kid Wants To Live With Ex - Tips On How To Cope If Your Child Wants To Change Homes


Living with a Habitual Liar? - Relationships: Four Ways You Can Tell if Your Spouse is Telling You a Whopper


divorce Community::
popular blogs
get/give answers
expert Q&As
Faith Therapy : Does a Separation Work?
My Husband and I Are Having Trouble. Is It a Good Idea for Us to Separate?...read more 

Stress Relief: Tips to Help after Separation
Mental Health: Overwhelmed by Changes in Household Routine. What Should I do?...read more 

About Law: Do Divorce Kits Work?
Legal: What You Should Consider When You Think About Divorcing Using a Kit...read more 

expand information center
divorce360.com's ecards

Find divorce professionals in your area

Find lawyers
Find financial professionals
Find coaches
divorce focused content ::
divorce most popular ::
1. They Won't Leave? Now What?
You Want a Divorce, but Your Spouse Won’t Leave. Here’s How to Get 'em out

2. Eager To Check Those Texts?
Think your Spouse is Cheating? Professionals Can Check Text Messages

3. Are You Reading Your Spouses Text Messages?
Stop! It May Be Illegal & May Hurt Your Case

4. Beginning Checklist: Planning to File for Divorce
12 Steps to Consider if You or Your Partner Have Decided to File for Divorce

5. 8 Things No One Ever Tells You about Divorce
Number Three May Surprise You