Lessons from the Ostrich in Divorce

Ostriches are incredibly large, strong, and fast birds, but they are not known for their wisdom. In fact, 300 pounds of sinew, muscle, and claws are controlled by a brain the size of a walnut. They react rather than reason when dealing with challenges in life.

If a situation comes up that ostriches don’t want to face, they either panic and run or–according to legend–hide their heads in the sand so the problem is out of sight and out of mind. This can leave them trapped in a very dangerous situation in a position where they are unable to help themselves.

A Common Divorce Problem

Divorce lawyers see far too many clients act like ostriches during the process of ending their marriages. They may start with determination as they investigate options and start to formulate a plan. But then an issue arises that they don’t want to deal with, and their reason shuts down.

They simply stop. The time and money they have invested are wasted, and they remain trapped in a relationship that can be dangerous emotionally and even physically.

The Need to Overcome Inertia

We all know that avoiding a problem does not make it go away. That’s one reason we laugh at the image of an ostrich contentedly burying its head in the sand, oblivious to predators all around.

But if you’re the ostrich, chances are you don’t see it that way. You can’t figure out what to do, whether the problem is how to handle your house, or what to do about custody of the kids. Rather than make a hard choice, it’s easier to look away and focus on other aspects of your life. Instead of moving forward and developing a separation plan, all progress ceases.

The Need to Overcome Fear

One reason so many people stop moving toward the finish of their divorce is that they are afraid of making the wrong decision. What if I allow my spouse to share custody and the kids are disrupted trying to live in two separate homes? What if I decide to keep the house but can’t afford repairs?

In this respect, it is good to behave like an ostrich. These birds drink water with their beaks almost as if they are biting the liquid. Because their nostrils are placed low, if they immerse their beaks too far into the water, they can drown themselves while drinking. Yet if they didn’t drink, they would quickly perish from dehydration. They must get past any fear of drowning to stay alive.

In divorce, you need to get past the fear of making the wrong decision, because by choosing not to act, you have made an even worse choice. Your attorney can help you weigh your options, make selections, and move forward away from the damaging relationship and into a better life.

Let Your Divorce Lawyer Guide You

We know this is hard, but we have helped hundreds of other clients overcome inertia and move toward brighter futures for themselves. Our legal team and the talented divorce professionals we work with can help you move things forward when you feel incapable of doing it yourself. If you feel like your divorce has stalled, we invite you to talk to us to discuss ways we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.