Why Being “Brutally Honest” Is So Important During Divorce


Divorce routinely falls into the top five lists of the most stressful events in life, alongside death and serious illnesses. Questions like, “What’s going to happen next?” and “How am I going to provide for my family?” add to the inherent anxiety of a divorce. How do you deal with this lack of clarity? One way is to adopt a technique that Jim Collins famously described in Good to Great as “the Stockdale Paradox.”

When Admiral Jim Stockdale was a young naval officer, he became a prisoner during the Vietnam War. He was imprisoned for seven years, and he was tortured more than 20 times. However, he always believed that he would ultimately survive his capture. In fact, he felt it would make him a stronger and better person.

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He explained to Collins that those who were broken by the experience were those who were over-optimistic: Their survival was dependent on wishful thinking of rescue, and they couldn’t bear it when their wishes didn’t come true.

“You must never ever ever confuse, on the one hand, the need for absolute, unwavering faith that you can prevail despite those constraints with, on the other hand, the need for the discipline to begin by confronting the brutal facts, whatever they are,” said Stockdale.

That became known as the Stockdale Paradox—when you brutally acknowledge and accept all you must overcome to succeed, while never doubting that you will eventually succeed.

For me, it calls to mind when Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Once we see the situation for what it is, we can move forward.

It may be natural during uncertainty—like divorce—to simply reassure ourselves that “Everything will be just fine.” However, the overly-optimistic in divorce aren’t prepared if they don’t get the financial support they were banking on. They don’t consider implications of a custody dispute. They skip over the pain divorce may cause them and others. And they do all of that, to their detriment.

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That’s why we at LaMonaca Law have adopted our system that we call “Brutally Honest.”

We know that you will ultimately come out of a divorce as a better, stronger person. We never doubt that.

But we will also be frank with you about the issues and obstacles that currently stand in your way.

Our attorneys will give you a honest assessment of the facts and law, and you’ll know exactly the strengths and weaknesses of your case. We’ll address your legal options with candor—whether about custody, child support, division of property or financial security.

So contact us today. Because together, we will come up with the disciplined legal strategies and personal plans that alleviate your uncertainty and put you on the path to real success.

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LaMonaca Law
341 W State St
Media, PA 19063, USA

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