When love turns around

LAS VEGAS: On a hot, dry day in May, the whole city was breathing and heaving like a tired beast.  On the strip that controlled all the luxurious hotels, cursing motorists are melting down encased in a steeled impotence, trapped in a horrendous gridlock. But come hell or high water, people flock here to untie the knot.

Here, divorce is simply about the villain and the victim. It is who got cheated and who got left, the agony of the dumped.  It will always be a conundrum of how dramatically love can go into a turn around.

In this city of quickie divorces, layers of emotional smog pollutes the atmosphere of any the divorce lawyer’s office.  The time a divorcing couple spends in a court room is brief.  After the judge denies alimony, the main action on a mediation session is done in crowded hallways — where offers and counter offers are tendered, while some cry out and lament “extortion.” Not exactly the most special place for dramatic partings. The corridor minuet is simply all about pay off or some equivalent symbol of revenge, like a demand that the mate burn in hell for eternity, if such a request was possible.

Divorce is a real life-altering event.  Couples argue over custody, division of estates, whose value depends on who is counting or hiding assets. Some try  but fail miserably to keep as much mud off their public images (especially tabloid fodder celebrities), but there are only two emotions that people feel in a divorce case:  anger and guilt, played by gladiators in a melodrama of greed, hurt, outrage, shock and disbelief.  Believe me, gentle readers I know what I’m rattling about.

It is said that the freedom to luxuriate in self pity is one of the consolations of a marriage gone wrong.  Whether it is ending a longstanding marriage or a shorter relationship, one needs time to grieve — time and space to heal hurts.

People can choose the wrong mate, cheat on them because they’re bored or begin to loathe the spouses they once adored.  They lie, trick and obfuscate especially when all that are at stake is half their net worth and their emotional equilibrium.

The soon-to-be former wife is surely saddling him with tremendous legal bills. The scorned woman will use whatever she can and subscribe to such strategy as well, when it is expedient and sometimes bordering on what is considered ethical.

The catalogue of fear and insecurity that bedevils these disgruntled and miserable uncoupling couples are as deep as the Grand Canyon and just as hard to fill up. “I’ll be financially ruined and no woman wants to date a pauper.”  “I’ll become a bag lady.  I’ll lose contact with my children and they’ll never forgive me.” “ He will get off easy because he has hidden money in off shore accounts.” “She will skip town and run away with my kids.” “He will marry an obnoxious bimbo who’ll be a bad influence on my children.”  All these fears are enormous, but the deadliest is, I’ll be alone and die!”

On the other hand, no one can ever discount the possibility that people can be positively transformed by the crucible of divorce.  That woman who has never had a control of finances and can’t even balance a check book, much less, manage investments, will somehow learn to become her own person.  Women that start out scared eventually become both psychologically and financially stable at the end.

But for the Moonlighter and the late Mr. de Leon, during decades of an almost blissful marriage, we’ve had our countless spars and yet divorce was never considered. Murder maybe (and oh many times), but to divorce was definitely out of the question!


E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com

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