Manely Firm - April 2020

All family law. All around Georgia. All around the world.

A pril 2020

T ake I ntuition to H eart Don’t Get Fooled Again

April Fools’ is a holiday meant for a few friendly jokes between friends and family members, but sometimes when we’re made the fool, the humor isn’t just lost; it can also hurt. We all risk being made the fool or being tricked throughout our lifetimes, even if the warning signs were obvious. It’s very much like watching the movie “The Sixth Sense.” Once we get to the end of the film and (spoiler alert) discover that Bruce Willis’ character has been dead the whole time, it comes as a shock. But when you think back through the movie and replay certain scenes in your head or rewatch the film, you realize that all the evidence proving he was a ghost was right in front of you the whole time. This is often how it works when people are getting fooled in their relationships. The warning signs are there; we just don’t want to see them. “The warning signs are there; we just don’t want to see them.” There can be many reasons why you don’t see the evidence before you. Maybe you don’t want to see those signs because you’re in denial, or maybe you don’t want to think about the unpleasant reality that would unfold once you confront the facts. Maybe you don’t see them because your spouse is good at gaslighting. No matter the

circumstances, by avoiding the truth before you, you’re simply pulling a blanket over your eyes and hiding those truths. One example that comes to mind is a former client’s husband who was keeping a mistress in Manhattan. The amount of money he had sequestered from family funds and spent on this woman was outrageous, somewhere near $1 million, and he had her living in a rather large condo. But he was not the type of person who would typically spend big amounts of money, and his mistress was eventually discovered. When the client unearthed what had been going on, she looked back and admitted that all the signs had been there. The missing money, how he was missing, and the way his conduct and character had changed were all signs that she did not see, although they were obvious after facing the truth of the situation. There were plenty of warning signs she didn’t see until it was too late.

Often, we are placed in a situation where our gut or intuition is telling us one thing, but our heart, or even our brain, is telling us something else. It is so important for you and your happiness to not ignore or brush those feelings away. If you feel like something doesn’t sit right in any one of your relationships, then it usually means you’re right. I once heard a saying that went something like, “Looking at someone with rose-colored glasses means all the red flags just look like flags.” Even though it’s hard to see those red flags, that doesn’t mean they’re not there. While it might be difficult, it’s crucial to ask yourself the hard questions: Why does their behavior bother you? Where are they going for such long periods of time? Why are they so secretive? Where is that money going? The answers might not be what you want, but they are what you need for a better and brighter future. –Michael Manely 1

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