From The Storyteller
July 9, 2018, Advice
Handing my newly-divorced client my business card, I say, “Turn it over.” Written on the back is, “Have fun only for two years.” Their puzzled look warrants an explanation.
With a gentle tone I simply say, “Have the past few months been a pleasant experience?” They sit in silence. “Do you think you want to go through it again?” More silence. “If, during the next two years you’re considering marriage, pull my card from your wallet, read the back, and think about all the fun we just had.”
After years of doing literally hundreds of divorces, and living through two of my own, there is something to be said for experience. The advice being given was simple. Take your time. Let the dust settle. Give yourself time to think through what and why it happened.
I started writing this phrase on the back of my cards after I realized I was beginning to get repeaters (good for business, bad for people). The old saying “If you fall off a horse, the best thing to do is get up, and get right back on that horse” may be true for horses, but it definitely does NOT apply to divorce.
As I write, my bride (Elaine) and I are approaching 35 great years together. I knew her through work for about two years, before we began developing a personal relationship. Note: I liked her as a person well before our first “date.” Yes, life had taught me true relationships can’t be hurried. Imagine me actually taking my own advice.
Writing this story leads me to offer one additional piece of advice. Don’t be afraid to tell stories from your life. Hard-earned experience really does make for good advice.
Moral: Experience is something you get shortly after you need it - share it.