4 things Grand Theft Auto can teach you about divorce
With the release of Grand Theft Auto 5 looming on the horizon, it seems prudent to take a retrospective on the divorce tips learned from Grand Theft Auto.
1. When your car is engulfed in flames, get out.
At first glance this seems like a no brainer. If the car is in flames and there is no way that the fire can be extinguished —get out. Staying in the car will only result in excruciating scars and psychological trauma. But for some people admitting a situation is beyond repair can be difficult. This concept is applicable to marriage. If you have done everything you can to save the marriage but it’s still going down in flames —get out. Being proactive and taking charge of what’s to come can prevent both emotional scars and protect your assets and your rights. Divorce is never easy, but being in control can make the process smoother.
2. Plan for the best, be prepared for the worst
Taking on a fresh mission in GTA, you visualize yourself racing through the streets of Liberty, deftly executing your mission, blasting past gangsters, dodging bullets, all without a single scratch. The reality is, you will probably get hit with a few rocket launchers, jump a curb taking a corner too wide and end up crashing into the side of a building. But because you’re a GTA veteran, you planned ahead. Decked out in body armor with loads of ammo (maybe even a rocket launcher of your own) and a full health bar, you are well equipped to handle whatever comes your way. What would end the game for a lesser player will barely be a blip on your radar because you are prepared for anything.
This same principle can be applied to your divorce (minus the ammo and rocket launcher of course). After you have recognized the marriage is over and your wife has agreed to a divorce, it is common to expect the dissolution of your union will be amicable. In a best-case scenario it will be. Many people expect to remain friends and neatly separate their lives. Unfortunately, the reality is a very different scenario. Both parties in a divorce have different expectations— what starts as a courteous and friendly situation can quickly turn into guerrilla attacks on each other.
Having a strategic defense and body armor is essential if you are facing divorce. It is far better to have everything in writing, a knowledgeable divorce attorney, and a clear course of action at your disposal and not need to bring out the big guns, than fall prey to a vicious attack unprepared.
3. If you want something, it is going to take work
Missions in GTA are designed to be challenging. You start the game with nothing and through hard work and careful maneuvering (and maybe a few explosions) you can accomplish quite a bit.
The same holds true for divorce. Working with a divorce attorney to develop a strategy, you can devise a plan that, through hard work and persistence, will pay off. This concept is particularly poignant if you are facing child custody issues. The level of involvement and engagement displayed by a parent is used by the court to determine custody. Diligently working to remain integrally involved with your kids is essential, if maintaining your relationship is something that you want.
4. Get off the beaten path
One of the great things about Grand Theft Auto is the ability to follow your own path throughout the game. You aren’t constrained to a linear storyline that someone else has written for you.
Getting off the beaten path is paramount for men and fathers facing divorce. Too often men feel like their hands are tied and they are at a disadvantage when it comes to divorce and custody. That doesn’t have to be your storyline. You can blaze your own trail and define the role you play in your child’s life. It might take some hard work (see lesson 3) but fathers are essential to the development and happiness of their children. And, maintaining your relationship can pay off bigger than a mob boss windfall.
Divorce isn’t a simple process and much like GTA it can be filled with unexpected characters, more than a few wrecks, and stuff blowing up in your face if attempted by a novice. You can learn a few tips from the game, but if you are facing divorce the best tip GTA can offer: know when to recruit help. Having a good divorce attorney is like having a grenade launcher and full body armor —they can provide a good defense and a powerful offense.