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  • Writer's pictureMaria Schwartz


My retirement aged client (who works 7 days a week and runs a business) sat in front of me, head shaking with eyes welling.  "I still can't believe this," he began to say.  I took a deep breath, and my normal, in your face, harsh telling truth talker softened.  If this normally happy-go-lucky, bigger than life giant did not sit so humbled in my chair, I would have quickly given him my usual dose of "reality 101."  I tried to soften the blow, and said "Let's look at this divorce another way.  Let's take your wife out of it for a moment, and pretend instead it was your business partner. I want you to imagine that you have a partner at the office. Imagine that you go in every morning and have a plan for the day.  You have scheduled a staff meeting and a couple of appointments.  You plan on meeting with some investors and architects who are going to review plans for your expansion.  Now imagine that your partner comes in and has a totally different plan.  He cancels the staff meeting, re-schedules the appointments and decides that rather than expand the business, he thinks it's time to down size."  I now had his full attention and so I asked, "How does that sound?" He told me of course that it sounded awful and that someone like that would destroy his business.  "Exactly," I replied.  I then asked him if he could put a "price" on getting rid of a partner like that, and we both agreed, that whatever the price, it would be worth it because eventually his business would be dead.   "Your wife is killing your life and your business, and so I ask you, what is the price you put on your peace of mind and quality of life? The payment you make to your wife is about YOU, not her." He made a note in his journal, smiled and said "I'll get back to you."    

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