Manely Firm - February 2021

Al l fami ly law. Al l around Georgia. Al l around the wor ld.

F ebruary 2021

B reak O ut of Y our R ut Draw Your Line in the Sand

to say, “As soon as they do X, that is when you should divorce them.” However, my answer to them is always the same: They need to decide where their line is. I want to be clear: These aren’t the kind of situations where a spouse is beating my client. In those cases, I strongly urge that as soon as they raise a fist to them, they should leave for their safety and that of their children, if children are involved. Inevitably, when they ask me when they should divorce their partner, I always recommend that they find a quiet moment to themselves and really think about where that line in the sand is for them. Moments of mental and emotional quiet are when you should decide what that breaking point is. No decision should be made in moments of high emotion. Anger usually leads someone to pick something that normally wouldn’t be a breaking point. No one can trust themselves when they’re angry because at some point, that anger will fade and any decision made while angry will seem like a bad one. Likewise, people can’t trust themselves when they’re happy because, if a spouse were to cross the line, their partner is likely to be too generous and let it slide. In a quiet moment, a person will be at peace and unruffled by whatever is happening around them. That is the best time to decide what that line in the sand will be. No one can tell someone who is facing that question what that event is. Only that person can decide what will free them from the cycle. Once they commit to a decision, the seemingly unending rut stops. Until you identify that moment, though, your Groundhog Day will continue, until death do you part.

O ne holiday I’m sure everyone knows, though many people pay no particular mind to, is Groundhog Day. Some look forward to the holiday as a time to celebrate the end or extension of winter; some even celebrate it by watching the film, “Groundhog Day.” The movie, interestingly enough, relates to the work we do right here at the Manely Law Firm. Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, repeats his day over and over, which is something our clients can relate to in their everyday lives. This is a frequent circumstance we work with because many people who come to us feel stuck in a rut and trapped in whatever situation is causing them grief. Phil Connors is able to break his loop by accepting the situation he finds himself in, but also by committing to

“At what point do you have an honest conversation with yourself about it?We call this moment drawing the line in the sand.”

make a change. I believe that is the answer to situations many people are living with. At what point do you have an honest conversation with yourself about it? We call this moment drawing the line in the sand. Often, when I do a consultation with someone, they ask me when they should take the next step and get a divorce. What my clients are looking for is for me

–Michael Manely


Cal l for a Consul tat ion: ( 866) 687-8561

S hare the L ove T his M onth 4 Ways to Support Your Loved Ones This Valent ine’s Day

Every Valentine’s Day, people want to find the best ways to show their partner or even a close friend how much they care. It is easy to get sucked into thinking you have to give them the most expensive or elaborate present you can find, but sometimes, the most meaningful gifts are the simplest. Here are four easy ways to show your loved ones how much you care this February. A TEXT A DAY Knowing someone has your back throughout the year, no matter how difficult things can get, is a great source of support and love. In addition to the usual communication you share with your loved one, add in a supportive text each day, whether it’s simply letting them know you’re thinking of them or wishing them luck on a presentation or interview. The best part about these texts is that they can be sent year-round. A MORNING MESSAGE BOARD Whiteboards are fun to draw on and make great calendars, but they can also be used to share heartfelt messages with your roommates or spouse. Writing positive messages like, “I hope you have a wonderful day!” or “You matter!” can make all the difference. Waking up to a loving note from someone they care about could mean the world to them and shift their entire mood for the day. A DAILY JOURNAL ENTRY February and March are usually when New Year’s resolutions begin to falter. To encourage yourself and your loved one, consider starting a daily journal. Leave a journal where you both have access to it and write positive messages inside for the

other person. This acknowledgment of hard work is exactly what you both need to continue pursuing your goals this year.

RANDOM GIFTS You don’t have to wait for a birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day to give your loved one a gift. Buying small gifts lets your friend or spouse know you’ve been thinking about them. Whether it’s a treat they enjoy, a book, or even a small gift card, these thoughtful gestures are sure to make them smile.

M eet K aren M oreland Accounts Receivable Special ist and Accountant

Every team member at The Manely Firm, P.C. has a hand in the success we create for our clients. From the time a client first calls our office through the conclusion of their case, The Manely Firm team is there to guide them with strategic excellence, empathy, and experience. Karen Moreland is a shining example of this and her contributions to the overall success of our firm are key to the positive experience we provide to each client.

Karen’s passion has always been about helping people. Before she found accounting, her career focus was in nursing. Karen became a certified nursing assistant and worked in that field for a couple of years before she moved into the accounting world. At first, she trained in accounts payable where she learned how to keep track of a company’s expenses. However, she soon realized that working as an accounts receivable clerk was far better for her because she was able to work with people far more often. Nearly three years ago, Karen accepted a position here at The Manely Firm, P.C. At first, it was a challenge for her to acclimate to our line of work. Though she had worked in law firms previously, family law is a demanding law field. “It’s definitely not something that is made for everyone because seeing families and individuals go through some of the hardest times in their lives is challenging.” Karen adds, “It’s hard not to build a rapport with our clients. Family is important, especially now.” Though difficulties still come her way, Karen enjoys her work and working with our clients. “It’s been a challenge,” she says thinking back over the years. “Some days aren’t enjoyable but many others are. Working with our clients to find a solution is definitely the best part of what I do. Having the chance to talk with our clients and help them decipher a bill or set up a payment plan for them when they’re a little strapped for cash is great. I really enjoy being able to help them in that way.” At home, Karen likes to relax by getting into the kitchen and practicing her favorite pastime: baking. She loves baking cupcakes and cakes for her family and special events, though she especially enjoys making Key lime cake.

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I t ’ s T ime to B reak F ree

Substance Abuse Issues in Marr iage

One issue our firm handles is substance abuse within marriage. Unfortunately, because the pandemic kept people inside for long periods of time, we have seen an increase of cases where substance abuse is present. Often, one party is a functioning substance abuser. An example of this would be a high-functioning successful executive who, upon coming home every evening, drinks until they black out. It becomes a habit for them to put away as much alcohol as possible when they come home from their work. In other cases, it involves drug use, even marijuana. We’re not referring to the occasional smoke but, instead, someone who can’t function outside of work without lighting up a joint. People have had to endure this situation within their homes even more because of COVID-19. In the case of the high-functioning executive, before the pandemic, they would start throwing back liquor after work. Post-pandemic, they now don’t have to go into work and are home all the time. Instead of drinking only in the evenings, they could be drinking heavily throughout the day. Yet, despite their heavy drinking, they continue to bring in income, which makes the family feel trapped. Regardless of the financial support they receive, the family is still suffering because of the family member’s substance abuse. If you find yourself stuck in a similar situation, now is the time to escape it. Yet, one concern we have is that too many folks have gone too far down this road to pull themselves out on their own. In the event that you and your family need someone neutral to talk to as you move forward, the Manely Law Firm team can help your family get in touch with reliable counselors you and your children can talk to. Our hope is that any family who is suffering in this situation will put their foot down. Now is the time to make the effort to break free from that dreadful circumstance and start living your life anew.

“S pread love everywhere you go . L et no one ever come to you without leaving happier .” —M other T eresa

Z ucchini N oodles W ith T urkey B olognese

Inspired by

I ngredients

• • • • • •

3 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 tbsp garlic, minced 1/2 cup onions, diced small

• • • • •

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp sugar

1 lb ground turkey

3 medium zucchini

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

Parmesan cheese, for garnish

2 tbsp tomato paste

D irections


Using a spiralizer, mandolin, or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into noodles. In another large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add remaining olive oil and zucchini noodles, tossing constantly for 2 minutes until slightly wilted. Plate the zucchini noodles, top with the turkey Bolognese, and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


In a large sauté pan over medium- low heat, warm 2 tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and onions and stir constantly until garlic is golden and onions are translucent. Increase heat to medium and add ground turkey, break apart, and cook thoroughly. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and sugar. Reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally.







Cal l for a Consul tat ion: ( 866) 687-8561

211 Roswell St. NE Marietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561


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It’s Time to Break the Loop

A Month of Love and Support Shining the Spotlight on Karen!

What Does High-Functioning Substance Abuse Mean? Zucchini Noodles With Turkey Bolognese

Kick Loneliness to the Curb This Valentine’s Day

L onely on V alentine ’ s D ay ? Try These 3 Tricks to Improve Your Mindset

If you feel like the “before” actor in a Match. com commercial right now, you’re not the only one. Valentine’s Day causes an epidemic of loneliness. But contrary to those cheesy commercials, the feeling isn’t exclusive to people struggling to find a date — and it won’t necessarily be solved by one. WHAT IS LONELINESS, REALLY? Psychology Today defines loneliness as “the state of distress or discomfort that results when one perceives a gap between one’s desires for social connection and actual experiences of it.” That means you can get lonely any time you crave a deeper connection to someone, even if you’re married and have 500 Facebook friends. If COVID-19 lockdowns and canceled holiday celebrations have left you frustrated and sad, you’ve caught the loneliness bug.

have to commit to your social life just like you would to an exercise routine. To do this, try blocking off time in your calendar to call your friends or loved ones, or join an online group with regular Zoom meetings you’re committed to showing up for. • Add more art into your social life. Researcher Jeremy Nobel, the head of The UnLonely Project, says that getting creative with other people could help reverse loneliness. If you’re feeling disconnected, try collaborating with your sibling, roommate, friend, spouse, or child on something artistic. You can paint together, have a jam session, take photos, or write a poem. Whatever you choose, getting creative will bring you closer. • Find and fix your negative behaviors. Does scrolling through social media make you feel like you’re missing out on all the fun or leave you feeling like a zombie? If so, it’s probably time for a hiatus. As you go about your day or week, keep a notebook with you and write down what you’re doing when you feel loneliness creep in. By identifying those negative behaviors and swapping them with positive ones, you can turn your thoughts around. Loneliness is serious: It’s a predictor of premature death, and one leading researcher compared its health impacts to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. If you’re coping with loneliness, try the tips above, and if you continue to struggle, reach out to a counselor near you.

HOW CAN YOU FIGHT THE FEELING? • Work out your social muscles. If you don’t push yourself to connect with others regularly, it’s easy to fall into the trap of loneliness and depression. You

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