1. Love has no rules

When their son turned one year old, he informed her that he did not love her anymore and wanted a divorce. She wept and pleaded but But he was aloof and indifferent, and from the outside seemed to be as impenetrable as a brick wall. The pain that flowed out of her eyes did not penetrate his heart. After two weeks she found out that she was pregnant. He did not believe her. He thought she was making it up to stay with him and was persuaded only when she got him a doctor's note. He explained to her that even that pregnancy would not make him stay with her and that it was her choice to whether be a single mother of one or two children. After crying for three days, she realized that she did not have the strength to go through pregnancy in her state and set a date for abortion, begging him up until the last minute to stay with her. It did not help. His cold-heartedness was apparent throughout the divorce negotiation as well and he dictated a discriminatory divorce agreement, which she managed to resist with the last of her strength. At this stage he started “World War III” and filed a divorce petition with the Rabbinical Court. To his surprise, the rabbinical judges were more inclined to sympathize with her than with him and each favorable decision strengthened a link in her spine. Slowly, the more he fought her, the more she stood erect. At the same time, 3 years of legal world war left them both battered, tired and dying to end the nightmare of getting divorced.

When it came to their son, who reached the age of 4, they were able to come to quick understandings. After his birthday party in nursery school, they both slipped outside for a smoke in the sandbox and started talking. For the first time after years of war, they looked at each other with their hearts and talked with their eyes. The next day she called me, he called his lawyer and together they dropped the bomb. They decided to get back together, for the sake of their son, to leave everything behind and to rekindle the flames of love that, to everyone’s surprise, were not extinguished. We were all of little faith, convinced that there was no chance for that relationship and that someone was having an ulterior motive. This week when we met at the party for their newborn daughter and we saw them hugging and happy, we had to admit that love had no rules.

The moral of the story: Not everyone knows but only for the lucky few, if love exists, it will win every war even when there seems to be no chance. ️

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2. Denial

After 13 years of marriage she decided to divorce him when she caught and recorded a text he sent to his mistress on Saturday – "miss you with every bone of my body, can’t stand her anymore." For years she’s been suspecting, in fact knowing, that he was cheating on her, but he has always denied it and made a scene acting insulted, stopped talking to her for three days and called her crazy and paranoid. Over the years, he perfected his denials to a level of art and managed to convince her that she was in fact crazy and paranoid. That text, that was sent by him and in the mistake of a moment was not immediately erased, was undeniable, although of course he tried to deny it.

This time she went with it all the way, hired a tough lawyer and refused to talk to him or negotiate. Claims, foreclosures and injunctions soon followed and he got nervous. "Look how crazy she is," he told me as he read in her statement a description of severe mental abuse, denying her allegations as always. He was in a catch-22. On one hand, the injunction order she motioned for interfered with the business moves he had planned. On the other hand, he essentially was not willing to pay attorney's fees. It seemed a total waste of money to him. Our ways separated.

This week he sent me a text – “I chose wrong, I signed a bad contract, I want to come for a meeting to see if I can fix it.” When he arrived at the meeting I saw a shell of a man in front of me. It turns out that he conducted negotiations with her tough lawyer all by himself, as he considered himself a slick businessman with impressive persuasive abilities. The remarkable combination of a desire to save on attorney's fees, optimism about the future and pressure from his lover who was already waiting to start a new life with him, led him to agree to NIS 5,000 for every child up to the age of 21. A young lawyer he asked to examine the agreement tried to feebly explain to him that the agreement might be too generous. However, he did not listen. Confident in himself and his ability to abide by the agreement, he signed it and moved immediately to live with his lover.

He had three young sons and he was a good father, spending a lot of time with them, paying their mother NIS 15,000 a month and receiving long emails from her with demands for additional payments for education and health expenses. The lover he “missed with every bone of his body” when he was still married was making his life miserable since he couldn’t provide her with the standard of living she expected and also since she knew all his manipulations and did not let him paint her as crazy and paranoid as well. Yes, he cheated on her too, obviously. Naturally the pressure he lived under was not good for his business and he had to take loans to survive. This time he was willing to pay any attorney’s fees to work on canceling the agreement.

The moral of the story:

Do not let anyone paint you as crazy. If it sounds like cheating, looks like it and repeats itself again and again – you're probably right.

Do not sign a divorce agreement for the wrong considerations. You are causing yourself irreversible damage.

Saving on attorney’s fees can cost you dearly.

Karma is a bitch, but that you already know.

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3. Feminism

For 15 years their marriage was one of full equality. They both had jobs in the high-tech industry, similar salaries and demanding careers and a shared desire to live the best life possible. Both of their careers necessitated many trips abroad and they always coordinated for one of them to stay in Israel to be with the children. She was a strong independent woman and all these years it was clear to both of them that her career was no less important than his own and that she would not give up any trip or workday for him.

It turns out that on these trips she discovered her attraction to women and used those trips to have casual affairs with them. He, too, did not abstain in his travels. They both shared the love of women, the desire to preserve the family unit and the belief that “what happens abroad stays abroad.” For years this arrangement worked for them, until he had what he called a "work accident." He fell in love with a colleague and decided to divorce.

In the mediation process that they entered into, her feminism disappeared. Despite the equal salaries and equal parenting, she demanded high child support and alimony, which he rightly did not agree to pay. Obviously, they ended up in court and of course she insisted on receiving high child support and alimony, completely forgetting her passionate belief in equality, claiming that he was earning more than she did, that she had reached her glass ceiling while he was advancing with his career and that she was the primary caretaker of the children.

At the beginning, the judge accommodated her, trying to persuade him to pay even though recent court ruling canceled the mandatory child support to the mother. However, when it came to making a decision on the case, there was no escape – Joint custody and zero child support and alimony.

The moral of the story: If you're an independent woman who earns a similar salary to that of your husband, do not wage an alimony war. that war will cost you more than the alimony you would get.