Yesterday, while in the Collin County courthouse from sun-up to sun-down, I passed by the portrait of retired judge Nathan White several times. Seeing his picture reminded me of a case I handled in the late nineties or early aughts in which I had a client in his early twenties who was sick of his short marriage.
This guy and his wife had a son who was less than a year old when he filed for divorce. At the final proceeding, the wife was sobbing in open court and begging for us to agree to put the case on hold and allow the parties to get some counseling.
Judge White, who had not appeared to be particularly moved by the wife’s tears, asked my client what grievances he had with his wife, and my client maintained that his wife was a good woman but that he just wasn’t in love with her anymore. The judge, who also presides over felony criminal cases, proceeded to tell my client about the lengthy jail sentences that he had handed down in the previous months, and then he said, “Son, every one of those men that I sentenced to jail would be happy to trade places with you right now. There are a lot of things in this world that are worse than the love of a good woman.”
My client stared down at the floor, took a few deliberate breaths, and began to tear up. He then looked up at the judge and said, “Let’s proceed.”
There’s no particular point to the story other than to remind you to look before you leap. Before you dissolve your marriage because you have a boring life and boring wife, first remind yourself that there are things in this world that are worse than the love of a good woman. Then remind yourself that, once you’re divorced, you’re not going to find yourself in a pile of Victoria’s Secret models that have been anxiously waiting for you to divorce. Finally, remember that before you find the bigger, better deal, someone else will probably end up appreciating the love of that good woman you just left.