Breaking up is good to do
Divorce and marriage counsellor isn’t afraid to tell someone when to throw in the towel
by CHRIS BARRY (The Mirror, 2008)
Name: Sharon Shenker, Age: 53 (now 55!)
Occupation: Divorce coach/marriage counsellor
Has she ever found herself advising a couple to split because one of them is pretty well a monster whom nobody should ever have to suffer a relationship with? “Yes, unfortunately I’ve had to do this a few times. Once was when a woman admitted to me that she was having an affair with her husband’s best friend and was only staying with him for the money. Morally, I just couldn’t play along with this lie. I told her she had three weeks to make the decision to either stop seeing this other guy and start working on repairing her marriage or tell her husband their marriage was over. Not to tell him about the boyfriend necessarily, but to do one of those two things. That was the only way I could continue working with them. In the end, they split up and were both happy with the decision.”
Which gender is more likely to be getting a little action on the side? “It’s pretty well even. But these days women might be cheating a little more.”
Something she says most people don’t realize: How many men are emotionally abused by their spouses. “It would be nice if there were more resources for them. I see so many of these poor nice guys who’ve been totally torn apart and brought down as a result of these relationships.”
How often are ALL the problems in a relationship just one person’s fault? “Never.”
Is it not family law practitioners and their talent for conspiring to financially rape everyone involved the premier cause of serious grief on the divorce beat? “Those lawyers already hate me, you know. I once had a lawyer come straight up to me saying, ‘Why would I ever send you a client? All you do is take my money away from me.’ So I asked him, ‘Wouldn’t you prefer the reputation of being a lawyer who genuinely cares about the families you represent?’ And this man just looked at me incredulously and said, ‘No, I’d much rather have their money.’”
Musical preferences: James Taylor, James Blunt, Xavier Rudd.
Last book read: The Complete Superfoods Cookbook, by Michael van Straten.
Words of wisdom:
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times—always with the same person.”
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