Have You Heard Both Sides Before you Formed Your Opinion and Took Sides? It Always Takes Two.

Seems too often in breakups, including divorce and child custody disputes, we hear only person’s side of the breakup and blindly believe that person, especially the woman (I believe this is due to sexism thinking the woman is the weaker one needing greater protection).  During consultations, I tell people I can only access their case based on the facts he or she tells me that day, but as the case unfolds and proofs are had, my legal opinion/analysis may change.  In every break up, there is his story and her story, or his story and his story, or her story and her story, and then the truth that we may never know.  And just because what one person did on the surface may seem horrible, does not mean the other person was without fault.  Let’s look at a few hypothetical situations (this does not include all situations and there are always exceptions, “ifs,” “ands” and “buts”):

One person cheats on the other person.  There is no excuse.  But, why did that person cheat? There have been so many different reasons. Boredom, loneliness, depression, drugs, alcohol, etc.  But let’s say there is a couple that always did everything together, cuddled in front of TV, went to concerts and shows together, ate all meals together, discussed everything. Then, slowly, one of them withdraws, and starts spending more and more time in the bedroom alone on facebook and the phone.  The other one keeps asking the withdrawing partner to do things together, i.e., sit with and cuddle him/her while watching TV, and can watch whatever the withdrawing one wants to watch.  The withdrawing partner rarely does, and when he/she does, is constantly on the phone on facebook.  So the other partner feels ignored, unappreciated, unloved, and all alone.  Suddenly someone appreciates that partner and makes that partner feels good about him or herself.  Boom, an affair.  Does not make it right, but does make it understandable.

Why might the first partner began to withdraw from the relationship? Well there are those who while striving to obtain a partner, loses him or herself in the person he or she found and claims to not watch TV so whatever the other one wants to watch is fine as long as they are together. The same approach to going out to dinner, going to a movie, or any other activity.  Then once the partnership is solid, that person says: How come we never watch a TV show I like? Why do we always eat what you want? And so on. Because this is the reality that person created, but is now resentful.  The other party is flabbergasted.  But I bet you only heard how selfish that party is wondering how the other one stayed so long.

One partner claims his or her partner is always drinking and or doing drugs, but leaves out they always did it together but the complaining partner gave it up after marriage and/or children and thought the other one would too. Sadly, without drugs and alcohol, they have nothing in common to maintain the bond, even if they both give up the drugs and alcohol.

Then there is the couple that did not drink or do drugs, but after marriage and children, one partner does develop a drug and/or alcohol dependency.  The other partner vilifies the one who developed a drug and/or alcohol problem.  But in truth, the sober partner was a control freak, and the other partner could never do anything right in the other partner’s eyes.  The first partner did