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Excerpt for How To Get Divorced Without Really Trying (Ten Essential Keys to End Virtually Any Marriage) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



How to Get Divorced Without Really Trying



Ten Essential Keys to End Virtually Any Marriage



A Memoir and Workbook

By John Fisher



How To Get Divorced Without Really Trying Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2017 John Fisher. All Rights Reserved. Published in the USA by Fisher Media Group

This book is available in paperback at most book retailers.



License Notes

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the express written consent of the author. This book is intended for your personal enjoyment only and may not be resold or copied and given away to others. If you want to give someone a copy, please purchase another copy, thus respecting the work of the author.

Front Cover Design and Photo Credit: Fisher Media Group

Disclaimer #1

Warning: The opinions expressed in this book are solely the author’s attempt to share important, life-changing concepts with a little humor, and are not necessarily politically correct. As it is unlikely that he will ever run for political office, PC is moot for him. The author reserves his right to free speech. If you need politically correct, you may want to pick a different book. Also, although not many, there are a couple of references to God and the Bible in here (only a couple). This book is not an attempt to force religion, or even God on you, so don’t worry. A wise person is open to truth, even if the source is God. But if you are so rigid in your thinking that you are not open to at least read the book first and then make up your own mind, and you want to throw the baby out with the Bible so to speak, then find a different book.

Although this is a memoir of his personal life, the author will, within these hallowed pages, also be poking fun at pretty much everyone and everything. Humor is a coping mechanism. If you have thin skin and can’t take a joke, then you’ll probably be divorced soon anyway, so you don’t need this book. Put it down immediately and go do something dull, something for which no one will be offended or sue you. The rest of us will be busy here getting stuff done.

Further, your individual divorce results may vary. Since the author has no substantive proof that you are not a jackass, he cannot guarantee that you will actually get divorced after reading this book. For some reason, many jackasses actually stay married. Conversely, if you are not a jackass, but are married to one, you will likely have to initiate the divorce proceedings yourself, as most jackasses actually want to stay married. Good luck.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Introduction

Chapter 1 Have the Right Heritage

Chapter 2 Get PTSD

Chapter 3 Participate in Sports

Chapter 4 Be Really Stupid, or Really Smart

Chapter 5 Avoid Relationship Training

Chapter 6 Put Yourself First

Chapter 7 Marry Outside Your "Kind"

Chapter 8 Meet and Marry Quickly

Chapter 9 Marry the Opposite Gender

Chapter 10 Change Your Stars

Chapter 11 Summary

Poem 1

Poem 2

Epilogue

Author’s Bio

Dedication

To my entire family tree, the good, the bad and the ugly, without whom I would not exist in human form. Their gifts of Heritage and Intelligence helped make my divorces possible.

To my parents (both divorced), who also gave me incredible tools for divorce, and to my wives, the ex (obviously divorced), and the current one (also divorced), and for the amazing study in contrast that they are. I’ve learned so much from these two women. The second, I love without ceasing for her goodness and patience, and for all that I have learned from her. The first, I love because she is the mother of my children, and because she is somewhere else.

To all the hundreds of couples and individuals I have had the honor of coaching during their times of marriage or divorce crisis. I learned so much from that amazing bunch of humans. Without this entire illustrious group, I would have had to write a different book.

To Kevin Costner (divorced) and his production team (some doubtless divorced), for making the inspiring film Field of Dreams, a film depiction of faith in action; a film that proves Hollywood actually can make films worth watching. Thanks Kev.

To Tony Robbins (divorced), and the late Jim Rohn (divorced), the dynamic duo, who got me started thinking differently than I was trained to think, and who helped me become a self-actualized divorced person.

Thanks to Alec Baldwin (divorced), for his kind generosity and encouragement so many years ago. You have made a bigger impact than you realize.

To the Warner family: Lloyd, Luanna, (not divorced) and several kids, including sons Mike and Eric, one of the very few families I’ve ever known who modeled successful marriage and family life—in spite of being regular humans. Specifically, to Mike Warner, the best friend of my youth. You set the bar high Mike.

Also, to the tireless engineers at GM (some doubtless divorced), who design their vehicles to break. If my truck had not broken down on the side of the highway that fateful day in July, I would not have stopped driving long enough to start writing this long-needed book. I would still be driving. As it happened, I spent several weeks in a hotel making huge progress on this book. And thanks to Charlie Jackson (divorced), my Good Samaritan that day. God bless you Charlie.

Lastly, to you the reader. I have thought about you often, and for a long time. I hope you enjoy this. I think you and I have a lot in common. I wrote it with you in mind.

Thank you all.

John Fisher 2017

Introduction

Just Right”

It’s tough to know exactly when to write a memoir. If you write it too soon in life, there may not be enough interesting things in it to make it worth the read. And anything you do after that won’t be in the book. Wait too long, and either someone else has to write it for you, in which case it would likely lose some impact, or it never gets written, the stories are lost forever, and that would not be good at all. The fabric of humanity is better off if all the stories are told. Whether happy, sad, good or bad, or a combination thereof, the world needs all the stories. They hold the lessons that we may not have time to experience on our own. Life is short, we can’t personally have every single human experience. That’s what books are for. They connect us with ourselves and with each other. As my cousin C. S. Lewis said, “We read to know we’re not alone.”

For those looking to be as efficient as possible, and to write only one memoir, it’s best to follow the Goldilocks principle, and get it “just right.” I’ve been feeling the nudge for quite some time to write this one. As mentioned, had I not been stuck in a hotel room for weeks on end and compelled to write a huge portion of it at one time, it might have been too late for me. In fact, I think I’m feeling an aneurysm coming on any time now. Like my friend Jim said, things don’t “just happen,” they happen “just right.”

I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life (a good portion of which I brought on myself), and because of my personality, I’ve tried to make sense of what has happened, and whenever possible, assign some higher meaning to the experiences. I look for lessons to be learned, and to figure out which parts of the experiences are worth sharing with others, especially from the tough times—after all, the bad spots are where the best lessons are, if we’re willing to accept them. This book represents my effort to share some of those lessons with you. This is not a comprehensive version of my life, rather I have included only enough personal stories to make my points on the subject, and to invite you to look bravely at your own situation. I am a pretty private person and am rarely interested in sharing my personal life with the general public, as I don’t really need that kind of attention. But there is method to my madness, and so I am willing to share these stories because I am convinced that if you stay with me through this book, and you engage in this journey I’m inviting you to take, your life will be the better for it, whether you get divorced or not. So, my mess becomes my message that can help you learn to help yourself.

I spent some time recently at the “Field of Dreams” baseball diamond in Iowa. As the sun began to set behind the cornfields that evening, it was really fun to be there with my sweetheart, and to run the bases, to think about the message of the film, that if we build (or write) something, healing and miracles can happen, both for one’s own family, and for others. That film has inspired me for decades, even throughout much of the troubled times described in these pages. In case you haven’t seen the film, I recommend it highly.

So, as the sun begins to descend toward the horizon on my own earthly journey, and before it’s too late, here’s my offering to the fabric of humanity, with the hope of healing and miracles for myself and my family, and for you and yours, even if you do get the divorce you say you want. I hope you enjoy the book. And I hope it inspires you to write your story. I would love to read it.

Also, I know that I could have just written the story and left out the “workbook” part of this, but if I can entice you to be actively involved in looking at your personal circumstances and your own choices, and to develop your own Customized Divorce Plan (CDP) for yourself, then your life will be that much better for our combined efforts here, again, whether you get divorced or not. Reading this book and using it effectively will take some effort on your part, so I acknowledge you for your attention to these ideas, and for being willing to at least give it a “look see.”

I’m going to ask you to be active in your own divorce by going to your local store and buying a spiral notebook or notepad and participate with me in the exercises at the end of each chapter, by recording your notes all in one place for later reference. Clearly, I can’t make you do them, but I promise that if you do go “all in” with me by doing the exercises described here, your experience will go from being that of a voyeur who is reading about someone else’s life (mine), to making this about yourself, your marriage(s), and your divorce(s). Besides, isn’t it about time you took some action now and made a change, one way or the other? Don’t worry, I’m not here to judge you, I'm just a fellow traveler on the road of divorce, and, unlike the government, I really am here to help.

What Do You Want?

If you want your marriage to end in divorce, this is your lucky day. What I’ve collected here and will attempt to explain for the first time in recorded history, are the Ten Essential Keys to ensure that you get what you want. When you are finished here, you’ll have all the excuses reasons you need to get divorced. As mentioned, included are illustrative examples from my own life and the lives of others, of each Key in action.

In a perfect world, you would of course, have all Ten Essential Keys yourself. Life is seldom perfect, sadly, and there’s at least a reasonable chance that you are not blessed with all ten. However, if that is your lot, fear not. There is good news for you, and here it is: These Ten Essential Keys are so powerful, so amazing, so far reaching that any single Key, when taken in the proper context, even by itself, has the power to rock a marriage to the core, and has a pretty fair chance to end the marriage all by itself. And, while any single Key is powerful alone, I’m not going to lie. Your chances of achieving the coveted condition of divorce improve dramatically when you have two or more of the Essential Keys in play. Having all ten would be even better. I should know. I guarantee that YOU have at least one or two of these, but if you don’t have all ten, take heart, there are some workarounds I will share with you, so that whether they occur naturally for you or not, you can get as many of these Essential Keys as possible working for you and your divorce.

Finally, if you are among we chosen few who do have all ten, well then, congratulations. Your divorce is virtually guaranteed. You’re welcome. Still, you may want to read on anyway. If you do, I know you will enjoy seeing how intricately each Key is woven into the fabric of your own story (and mine); and how, when all ten are in play, the results are a veritable symphony of divorce.

Let the music begin.

Where are You Today?

We’ve all seen the stats about marriage and divorce. The baseline starts out at fifty-fifty, meaning a first marriage for both partners only has one chance in two of ending in divorce. Too bad. If you’re on your second marriage, lucky you. Your chances of divorce increase to sixty-seven percent; and if on your third, your chances improve to over seventy percent. If you’ve been married more than three times, you probably don’t need this book (although you might still find joyful, or at least find a little humorous vindication herein), because you likely have several of the Essential Keys already in place and well-practiced. So be patient. Another divorce is just a matter of time for you. Reading this book will give you something to do while you wait for the paperwork.

If you are just getting started in your first marriage, keep this book for later, because after the “honeymoon phase” is over, and it will end, you’re going to be glad you kept it. These amazing Keys are, unfortunately, virtually impossible to understand and properly apply when studied through rose colored glasses. If you are still wearing yours, I don’t expect you to understand this book, or to believe anything I’m telling you yet, but someday you will. I promise. Just keep the book in an unmarked bag or box in your closet or basement somewhere. If an e-book, just leave it in a folder marked “for after the honeymoon.” You’ll thank me later. I don’t really have anything else to say to you now. You’re not listening anyway.

If you are lucky enough to find this book as a never-married young person, or better yet, as a child, rejoice! You are doubly blessed, because some of the Keys are best undertaken at a young and tender age (ideally even before birth), so their effects can become as deeply entrenched as early as possible into your life and psyche, before you are even thinking about your future nuptials, much less your divorce(s). If you are one of the chosen ones fortunate enough to get an early start on all Ten Keys, Hallelujah! This will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between you, your family and divorce, likely spanning multiple generations, and affecting hundreds of your progeny in decades to come. I don’t want to give too much away right here, but I will say that I am one of you. Yep, I started early too, so if you are young, I have a special place in my heart for you. I will be paying special attention to you and will have some helpful tips and treats for you throughout these amazing pages. Imagine how fulfilling your adult life will be when you go into it with your own Customized Divorce Plan (CDP). Stay with me, I’m glad you’re here!

But I Don’t Want a Divorce”

If, perchance, you are one of those few, the unnamed, who wants to stay married and avoid divorce, well, I guess you can stay and read too. While this book is not necessarily written with you in mind, I must acknowledge that there is at least an outside chance that studying and understanding these Ten Essential Keys of divorce might empower you to save your marriage. They say that knowledge is power, so it stands to reason that if you or your spouse are dealing with any or all of the Ten Essential Keys, it would behoove you to understand them as well as you can. Even at its best, marriage is tough, so keeping a marriage together is an uphill journey to say the least—and even more so when the metaphorical excrement hits the fan of life. I’m not going to beat around the bush: Unless you and your spouse have had lobotomies, your chances of staying married are lousy. If you think otherwise, you’re either still naïve, you live in a bubble or you’re still wearing the aforementioned rose-colored specs. Nevertheless, I do have to admire your optimistic spunk. I used to feel the way you do, back when I had more hair and more teeth. I said you can stay and read, but there is a caveat: If you know someone who does want to get divorced, you must loan them your copy of this book immediately and let them read it first. You will have to wait. After all, you’re married. By now, you should be used to waiting.

Why Yet Another Relationship Book?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not a licensed divorce counselor. I am a relationship coach, so I help couples either improve, or remove their relationships. I have never caused anyone else’s divorce, nor caused anyone else’s marriage to prosper. Everyone makes their own choices, I merely offer an outside perspective, and help clients identify their options, and perhaps a new way of seeing things, using tools like Strategic Intervention, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Hypnotherapy and a few other skills (like amazing brilliance and insight).

Consequently, reading this book will not guarantee your divorce or your marriage, but is for informational purposes only. What actually happens in your relationship is between you and your spouse. Further, you may be the greatest thing since indoor plumbing, but if your spouse has a mind made up for divorce, there isn’t much you can do about it. Not everyone who is divorced wanted to be, myself included.

Actually, you may be happily married. Hey, it could happen. Further, while not likely, it’s also within the realm of the possible that your spouse is also happily married. That really would be something if you were both happy. If you choose to read this book anyway, you will doubtless discover just how miraculous your happy marriage is. Go you.

Like it or not, for good or ill, the marriage relationship is one of the most impactful things that exist in the lives of human beings, so it seems a subject worth studying. I’ve read dozens of books about marriage, divorce and relationships. Some of them are outstanding. So, why does the world need yet another relationship book? Well, I have never found a book that identifies these Ten Essential Keys to divorce, and how easy it is to get divorced with one or more of these Keys in place. This book will shed new light on mankind’s only true and final frontier: How to get divorced with very little effort. Further, to help explain each Essential Key, as mentioned, I have infused some personal examples from my own life and the lives of others I know or know about. These stories have also never been put into print. So that makes two reasons to write this book. My friend Jim says I only need one reason to do anything, so I’m double covered.

I’ve attended university classes on how to strengthen marriage. I’ve attended lots of marriage counseling, lectures and divorce training. While some was a complete waste of time, some was actually pretty good, though without any focus on these Ten Essential Keys, still lacking. Divorce training, you say? Yes, in some states, including the one I lived in for my divorces, one must attend a training class before being granted a divorce in the courts. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it. People should be trained on, among other things, what to do with all that money they will save once they get divorced.

I’ve been to marriage crisis retreats and workshops lasting from three days to three weeks. I even worked at a marriage crisis intervention store as their Director of Client Services, where I worked with hundreds of folks in either divorce or marriage crisis, helping them make sense of difficult situations, and figure out what to do next. Can you picture that? A twice-divorced guy helping couples in crisis, some of whom were trying to stay married? Well, I enjoyed it, and received lots of positive feedback from clients—even the ones who stayed together. I guess speaking in a no-nonsense way, and from personal experience is helpful to others in trouble. I hope you feel the same way after reading this book.

That’s kind of the point of the book, after all—to help you see your way clear to an action plan for yourself. If you like what you read here and think you would benefit further from getting some relationship coaching from me, we may be able to work together. The kind of clients I take on have three things in common: First, they are open minded enough to hear a new perspective. Second, they are receptive enough to implement suggested ways of thinking and behaving. Third, they are appreciative enough to make it worth my spending energy to assist them. So, if that describes you, I would love to meet you, after you read the book of course.

While looking for marriage enlightenment personally, I read even more books, got even deeper into religion, started doing meditation, yoga, sun-gazing and other ancient rituals. I wrote songs, children’s books and poetry for catharsis. I got into photography, I walked in the woods, in the mountains and on the beach. I listened to subliminal music CDs. I became a workaholic, I even took anti-depressants for years, changed careers (more than once), had another baby (or two), moved several times, and bought new furniture and a boob job (the boobs were not for me, but for the ex, at her repeated request), attended marriage counseling and gave up on my personal dreams, all in the name of keeping a marriage together. And all to no avail.

As of this writing, I am on my third marriage, and second wife (I’ll explain that later), which means I’ve been through two divorces of my own (I did not try to get divorced either time), and if something doesn’t change soon, I’m looking at number three. What’s more, I’m still a fairly young man, so I’ve got time for even more divorces down the road.

I’ve also been intimately aware of, or a party to dozens of divorces, including some eight divorces of my parents alone. Yes, eight. My father only got one divorce, so you can deduce who got the other seven. I also have many friends, family members and coworkers who are divorced, and I have dated more than a few divorced souls. This experience of so much exposure to divorces makes excellent research material and experience for a book about divorce. In fact, there are over a hundred million divorced people in this country alone, and a lot of them want to talk about it, so there is plenty of access to stories and lessons from the Land of Divorce. And, as alluded to earlier, I am one of the rare, chosen few who, besides being twice divorced, also has all Ten Essential Keys for Divorce in myself and my marriages. Clearly, writing a book about these Essential Keys should fall to one of us who has all Ten Keys in place, and so far, none of the other lucky bastards has ponied up. So, I guess the task falls to me.

If you read this whole book, you may have a hard time believing all my stories, but they are all true, and frankly, this ain’t the half of it. My life has compelled me to become a relationship coach and assist others to get what they truly want in their relationships. In a very literal sense, my mess really has become my message. Go me.

See my website to learn more about getting coaching or to book a speaking engagement: coachJohnFisher.com

In sum, I am experienced, qualified, able, willing and available. Besides that, there is nothing worth watching on TV at this hotel. It boils down to this: I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the Ten Essential Keys for divorce. And I’m about to prove it. So, listen up.

Challenge

Before we start, I want you to pull out your new notebook and jot down how committed you are right now to this idea of getting a divorce—if at all. On a scale of 0 to 10, where are you right now? If you are at a zero, that means you have no intention or any interest whatsoever in getting a divorce, and you’re just reading this book for the fun of it, or you lost a bet. If you are at a 10, that means you are ready to file the paperwork, or perhaps it is already filed and you are moving on. Wherever you are right now, jot down that number in your notebook. That will be the reference point for our journey here. I call it your DDQ (Divorce Desire Quotient). We will see if, and how that quotient changes throughout your experience with this book. OK, let’s get started.

Chapter 1

Essential Key #1 Have the Right Heritage

Having the right heritage is Key Number One. Ok, Ok, I can hear some critics already, “We have no control over our heritage!” That is true. Life is not fair. Get over it. I never said you have complete control over all Ten Essential Keys. That’s why we’re starting with Heritage. This is one Key you have little to no control over, so we need to get it out of the way first. If you are lucky enough to have this one in your stable, be grateful. If not, don’t worry, there are some things you can do to overcome the lack of having the right Heritage for divorce, and I can help you. After all, that’s why I wrote this book. But first, let’s get some clarity on what the right Heritage is that will help ensure divorce. This is a broad topic that includes several subjects, but worth looking into closely. Your Heritage is that well of life from which you sprang—your people, your ethnicity, your nationality, your race. It’s also more than that, but let’s start there.

If you are lucky enough to descend from slaves, you have the right Heritage for divorce. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, as color is not the issue. Throughout the ages, slaves have come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Historically, most slaves have been white, but any color will do when it comes to the Heritage of slavery. The fact is, the Heritage of slavery is not in your skin color, it’s in your DNA, and it’s also in your mindset. If you are to have any hope of getting divorced, it is very helpful if you come to earth with the DNA and mindset of one who has been oppressed, put upon, treated unfairly, whipped, beaten, only kept around for what you can produce, and made to eat liver, pig’s feet, collard greens or okra.

This type of Heritage is perfect for ending a marriage, because, no matter what your marriage is really like, with the Heritage of slavery, you will likely perceive that your marriage is yet another arrangement where you are oppressed, put upon, treated unfairly, whipped, beaten, only kept around for what you can produce and made to eat things unspeakable just to survive. See, if you are going to succeed in ending your marriage, reality is not nearly as important as perception. You might actually have a pretty good marriage compared to that of many others, but if you perceive it to be untenable, unfair, oppressive or even abusive, then you, my friend, are on the happy road to divorce. So, you have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?

Perception is so critical to getting divorced, that anything strong enough to influence perception negatively, such as your DNA and mindset, is very helpful, even, and especially if they influence your perception unconsciously. That is the beauty of having the right Heritage—because Heritage has incredible influence over the very way you think, speak, act and respond, even without your being aware of its influence. I’m not making this up. There is plenty of research that proves that Heritage plays a key role in how you respond to threats, danger, intimidation and the like. If you want to know more about the idea, read Malcom Gladwell’s books, David and Goliath, and Outliers. I love Malcom’s books. He is a gifted writer. By the way, he has the Heritage of Slavery, and he’s proud of it. Go Malcom. The Heritage of slavery is a great one for divorce, perhaps one of the best, but there are other great ones too, as you are about to see.

For example, if you hail from the Southern United States, you’re also in luck. This is another outstanding, multifaceted Heritage that promotes divorce. Are you wondering why Southern Heritage is so helpful? Well, think about it. The Southern mindset, generally speaking, can be summed up like this: “Ain’t no one gonna to tell me what to do.” In marriage, you can bet your bottom dollar someone is going to tell you what to do, many, many times. If you can’t take that, you’re a prime candidate for divorce, plain and simple.

If you are from the South, especially the Deep South, besides having indigestion from deep fried foods, you likely also have a “bad ass” attitude, and you “don’t take no crap from no one,” know what I mean? That is a perfect mindset for Friday night fights at the bar, and for Monday morning divorce courts. See, in order to stay married, you have to take a lot of crap from your spouse. Your spouse may not think of it in this way, but if you’re from the South, you do. If you take a lot of crap without dishing it back, I’m sorry, but you will likely not be able to get divorced. To join the big “D” crowd, you have to dish lots of crap without being willing to take it. I can’t stress this one enough. Southerners are great as dishing it back, so they are great at divorce. In fact, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and West Virginia are all in the top ten states with the highest divorce rates.

If you are from the South, your Heritage likely includes either slaves, slave owners, religious zealots or people who were just too stubborn to leave the area, even though there are few places on earth with more spiders, snakes, cicadas and oppressive humidity than the South. It’s also likely that your people were too stubborn to leave town when the “Civil” War started. You know why Tennessee is called “The Volunteer State?” Because those boys were just itching for a fight, and during the War, they didn’t have to leave home to find one, it found them. Volunteering to fight was a no-brainer for them. Literally. But I digress. Ironically, Nashville was the first major Southern city to fall in the Civil War.

Helpful tip:

In life and war, you can be a bad ass, and still get your ass whooped, especially in the war called divorce.

Someone who is too stubborn to leave the homestead when lead starts flying through the neighborhood has the perfect Heritage for divorce. Marriage requires unfailing flexibility, so the Southern Heritage mantra of “I ain’t goin’ nowhere” is a perfect attitude for voiding your vows.

But forget the lead hailstorm of war, just the ninety-five degrees with ninety-five percent humidity alone makes folks in the South crabby enough to get divorced. If you’re from the South, then you and all your people know what it feels like to get out of the shower, dry off, get dressed and then immediately become drenched again in sweat, thanks to high humidity. That alone is enough to piss off even the most genteel of spouses, and to make them (or you) hard to live with. It’s hard to be patient and flexible with your spouse when you’re overheated, dripping sweat and chafing.

Speaking of religious zealotry, this too is very helpful for divorce. By zealotry, I mean any of several sects that go overboard on some principles, while ignoring others—like spending more time promoting hellfire, damnation, guilt, shame and your own unworthiness, than they spend promoting love, peace, charity, forgiveness and getting along. Guilt, shame and feelings of unworthiness or even worthlessness are powerful tools to set you up for divorce—even if they come from your pastor or priest. It’s hard to get divorced if you have a healthy, calm, charitable, serene, peaceful self-concept and relationship with your spouse.

To move toward divorce, it helps if you could feel in yourself, and incite in your spouse, feelings of unforgiveness, guilt and shame, even for your own existence, or better yet, for someone else’s sins. It also helps tremendously if you can hold grudges and keep score. Of course, committing terrible deeds and blaming your spouse for your actions is also helpful.

If you have the good fortune to have Texas ancestry, then you have hit the Divorce Heritage Mother Lode. Texas is like the Deep South on steroids. Take all the good, divorce promoting things about the South: Bull headed inflexibility, high humidity, deafening summertime cicadas, deep fried foods and a death wish for battle. Then add the arrogance required to tell the whole United States of America to kiss off so you can go start your own Republic, and you have Texas Heritage. Everything is big in Texas, especially egos and the “chip on the shoulder” mentality. These are absolutely perfect diamonds of divorce. They say there are two kinds of people in the world: Texans, and everyone else. That about sums it up. Ironically however, a Texan will fight another Texan as quickly as he’ll fight someone not from Texas, so there really isn’t any discernable “loyalty” between Texans. Skills in logic are not an absolute requirement to be born in Texas, alas. But frankly, arrogance, the fighting gene, and a lack of logic are all quite helpful if you’re pining for divorce. Texas wins this particular trifecta. Hook ‘em Horns.

Marriage requires letting go of ego and the utter refusal to look for, or respond negatively to a fight, even if you are “right” and your spouse is “wrong.” (Unless you are both perfect, some fights are going to happen, but how you fight is the key factor here.) Yes, I know. Texas Heritage virtually guarantees you have a big ego and are willing to fight at the drop of a hat. The only way to ensure you are on the divorce trail is to hang on to these Masters of Malfeasance to the bitter end. There is a lot more to the Texas Heritage, such as a tendency to exaggerate your side of the story in your favor, having disdain for anyone who is not from Texas, and other Cognitive Distortions, but the rest of that story will have to wait for another book. I’m just scratching the surface here, I’m not writing War and Peace. Come to think of it, maybe I am writing about war and peace, but it won’t be as long as the original.

Now, I realize that there are plenty of other places with high humidity, pesky wildlife, and the Heritage of arrogance and inflexibility that are not in Texas, or even in the South. I don’t have room in this book to give you all the possible Divorce Heritage scenarios. I’m just focusing on a few examples. If none of them fits you personally, then simply take a few minutes to think about what it is in your own Heritage that promotes a divorce mindset. Here are a few more to get the wheels turning toward the big “D,” and I don't mean Dallas:

Are your people from California? Then you probably have ADHD and you therefore have great Divorce Heritage. Think about it. The West, especially California, was settled by people who could not sit still. Ohio wasn’t good enough for them, so they had to keep moving west. If your people were not happy with Connecticut, but were content to stay in Nevada, then you probably have some ADHD, and you have decent Divorce Heritage, though not quite as good as those who kept moving West until they got to the ocean and had no choice but to stop or get in a boat. Yep California is about as ADD as it gets. Staying married is tough when you can’t focus long enough to keep a job. Way to go, surfer dude.

On the other hand, perhaps you and yours are diehard Yankees, with generation after generation too stubborn to go anywhere else, in spite of the nasty winters and hot, humid summers of the Eastern Seaboard. Stubbornness, as mentioned earlier, is a great asset for divorce, whether it’s the Southern or the Northern variety. People that stay married have to be flexible and “go with the flow” from time to time. The more stubborn you are, the better your chances of divorce.

Perhaps your ancestry is from some country where one spouse is “owned” by the other, and you have no problem with physically beating your spouse, making him or her walk behind you in public, or otherwise living a double standard in marriage. If so, then you have perfect Divorce Heritage. Since the ideal marriage that lasts is between two spouses that treat each other as equals, the whole “Double Standard” Heritage is great for divorce.

Is your family from the Pacific Northwest? Awesome! It is well documented that all that rain, and all those 300 days a year of clouds, gray and gloom in Washington and Oregon breed high incidence of depression, and make no mistake, depression is an outstanding Divorce Heritage. Were your ancestors poor? Oh, Happy Day! Having DNA and/or a mindset peppered with the perception of poverty is an outstanding way to get on the divorce trail. Hard to stay married if you can’t buy food, and you get evicted. Again.

I’m not saying that poverty is the only yellow brick road to divorce. Lest we forget the other end of the financial Heritage spectrum, the arrogance of the wealthy is also great for divorce. The yellow gold brick road can be just as helpful in nixing nuptials. There is nothing like a prenuptial agreement to say, “Let’s plan ahead for our divorce dear, just in case.”

Lots of wealthy folks think they can do anything and get away with it, especially when it comes to behaviors that lead to divorce. Sometimes they do get away with it for a while, but it seems to always come back around to bite them in the wallet, or somewhere near the wallet, in the end.

Is there a history of divorce in your genealogy? If so, you are one lucky sumbitch. The Heritage of divorce is, bar none, one of the absolute best types of Heritage. What more powerful tool could there be on earth than the joy of having parents or grandparents who led the way by getting divorced themselves. Talk about perfect role models. You can’t buy that kind of good fortune. Katie bar the door and call the lawyer.

Humans learn how to behave by watching how other humans behave, whether in person, in the movies or on TV, so an up-close divorce example by your parents is golden. Beyond sheer example, a study recently came out saying that divorce may actually be genetic. I’m not joking. In a 2017 joint research study between the Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden, Jessica Salvatore, Ph.D., says,

Across a series of designs using Swedish national registry data, we found consistent evidence that genetic factors primarily explained the intergenerational transmission of divorce.”

Are there criminals in your family tree? Outstanding! A heritage that includes outlaws, especially smart ones, preferably those who robbed, cheated, stole from, and killed innocent bystanders, is a shoe-in for getting through the divorce door. It’s pretty tough to stay married if you do any of those bad things well, so if these skills are your stock and trade, or those of your people, you’re likely headed for the big “D.” Way to go!

See? This first key thing about having the right Heritage looks intimidating right off the bat, but it’s really not that hard. Just spend a little time looking into your family tree, and thinking about what traditions, beliefs and culture are embedded in your DNA, and I’m confident that you will soon realize you have Heritage on your side in your quest for divorce. If you have tried, but just can’t find any Divorce Heritage whatsoever in your family tree, you are probably an AI robot. Even so, take heart, little tin creature. Divorce can still be yours. The workarounds are coming up next.

Workarounds for Essential Key #1

If you weren’t blessed with the right Heritage for divorce, this part is for you. The workarounds are simple, really. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling: Just move to somewhere with high humidity or a good cicada population. If you’ve ever been surrounded by cicadas in the summertime trees of Tennessee or Georgia, and heard their deafening “music,” then you know that divorce (and insanity) can be just a few minutes away. It’s hard to be patient with spouse and children if you can’t even hear yourself think. If you live in Hawaii, then take advantage of the coqui frog invasion. In large enough numbers, they can be as deafening as cicadas. If you can’t see your way clear to move into cicada or high humidity country, then at least get to a place with millions of mosquitos, like Illinois or Arkansas. Nothing says divorce like watching your young offspring be carried away by buzzard-size mosquitos. And life in Arkansas has an added benefit: That’s the state with the second highest rate of divorce, so your chances just got better. Lucky you. Go Hogs.

Or, find a place with oppressive, unbearable heat, like Arizona with its scorpions—human and otherwise. Heat and scorpions have a way of sapping your energy and making you want to just give up on life in general, to say nothing of the effort required to work through marriage issues. Or, find a place with lots of snakes or at least poison ivy, chiggers, or ticks. Living with these gems may be enough to put you over the edge.

Or, get near people who do have the right Heritage for divorce. After all, who you are around does affect you. Neighbors and acquaintances can sway your thinking and get you down the yellow brick road to divorce in a flash. I know you can find a workable solution here. Try this: Live next door to a family from Oklahoma or Alabama, or live and work among those with slave Heritage, White Supremacy folks, or at least some Democrats.

You could fairly easily just move to Missouri. Research indicates that three out of five Missouri residents have a “bad ass” attitude, so if you move there, you’re chances of rubbing shoulders with one like that are pretty good. The state motto, “Show Me” even proves the pervasive “baditude.” Their behaviors, mindset and responses to being attacked will soon rub off onto you, and before long, you too will be an arrogant, inflexible turd who’s looking for a fight. And we all know that there is no better key to divorce than being an arrogant, inflexible turd who’s looking for a fight.

Here’s another example of how you can borrow someone else’s Heritage if necessary. You know all those ancient burial mounds scattered around in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Michigan, Missouri and Illinois? Well, they’re scattered throughout the entire Ohio River Valley actually. Just go live near one of those ancient mounds. You know good and well those burial spots have the energy of war, death and depression. Those ancient inhabitants of this continent disappeared off the face of the earth for some reason, and it was probably because they were doing bad things to each other, and to the neighbors and possibly to the neighbor’s pets. Doubtless some of those bad things are hidden under those mounds. If you could live next to a burial mound, then you’d get the benefit of their negative energy without actually having to be an ancient “American.” Easy, right? Pay attention when you’re driving around, and you’ll see the mounds. There are hundreds of them. Maybe thousands. They’ve even turned some of them into state parks, like Cahokia Mounds in Illinois. There are lots in West Virginia and Tennessee also. There are many just sitting out in corn fields. I know you can find one.

If you have so much stuff that you can’t move to the Ohio River Valley, or say, if you already live in St. Louis or Paducah, then just go have picnics by the mounds for a few weekends; or lay on top of one for thirty minutes a day for a couple of weeks. That’s probably all it would take for their bad juju to rub off on you, and you’ll be thinking about divorce before you know it. See how little effort that takes? Adopting the energy of death, depression and nefarious deeds are all excellent ways to get divorced. And laying on a mound doesn’t really take much energy. You could even nap while doing it. Isn’t this fun? Admit it. This is easier than you thought it would be. I know, and you’re welcome.

Your Heritage is not just your DNA, it is your mindset. Yes, I know I said that already, but it bears repeating, and is technically another workaround. Like living next to someone from Louisiana, or the ancient burial mound example, this means that it’s possible to incorporate a Divorce Heritage mindset, even if you didn’t have it in your family tree.

If you can’t move to Texas or Kentucky, then a simple alternative I like to use here is to just join a gang in your local city. Now I’m not saying you have to go out and shoot someone in order to get divorced, although you may have to buy some gang wardrobe and possibly some bling. I don’t think gangs in Boston require bling, they are fairly sophisticated now, so if you are a Boston resident, you can save some money there. If you’re in New York, you’re screwed on the bling thing. All gangs in New York now require bling.

Sorry.

Disclaimer #2:

There are some gangs that do require you to shoot someone in order to join, so if you happen into one like that, perhaps you could just shoot your victim in the leg or somewhere non-lethal (unless death row is your preferred way to get a divorce. To that I would have to say that unless your marriage is like my first two, while certainly effective, death row would probably be considered an over-achieving method to get a divorce).

The up-side of joining a gang is that it’s kind of like a family (especially the gangs in Chicago, or any gang really, that wears nice suits), and since it’s hard to be in two families at once (unless you’re skilled at being two faced and deceptive, which I will cover in Chapter 6), you can just jettison your marriage altogether, in favor of joining the gang fam. I’m not trying to make this complicated. I think joining a gang is a good option. I’m trying to help you see the big picture here. Do you even own a nice suit? Check your wardrobe before deciding whether to move forward on the gang option.

If that one doesn’t work for you, or if you can’t find a local gang that needs new recruits, then you could just become a Complainer. Complaining to and about, Criticizing and Condemning your spouse is a simple and great workaround to the Divorce Heritage mindset. Known as the three “Cs,” these bad boys are outstanding tools for ending a relationship. It’s pretty tough to stay married if either or both of you are carrying around the “Three C’s,” so this is an excellent addition to the mindset of divorce. If you are new to the “Three C’s,” or you still don’t understand how effective they can be, then just to this little exercise for thirty seconds: Think about how much you dislike it when someone Complains about, or to you, Criticizes or Condemns you—even if you do deserve it. Can you remember a specific time when that happened? Go there again for a minute. Picture what that sounds like, and how it makes you feel. Pause a minute and just experience the feeling.

Got it? Now, see how much you hate that? Imagine what life would be like with that feeling all day, every day, especially coming from the one person on earth who should be your safe place. Alright, now you can see why it’s such a good tool for divorce. This book has already been worth the price of admission, hasn’t it? You’re welcome.

There are plenty of other workarounds, I’ve just given you a few ideas to get you started. If you are unable, or more importantly, unwilling to employ any of these fairly easy workarounds, or to come up with something similar on your own, then you may want to reconsider just how committed you are to getting a divorce in the first place. I can lead you to the fountain, but I cannot make you drink.

Real Life Examples

I confess, this is one of only about ten places in the book where I can really gloat. Here goes: I seriously hit the Divorce Heritage jackpot. My parents and I, my grandparents and most of my great grandparents were all born in Texas. Yippee! So, for all the aforementioned reasons and more than I have time to explain, I was blessed before I was born. What’s more, prior to the more than ample Texas ancestry, my people were from several Counties in Tennessee and no, my people had nothing to do with the KKK. I swear. Still, KKK roots would be great Divorce Heritage. Just Sayin.’

Most, though not all, of my people living in Tennessee at the time of the Civil War had the sense to get out of town when the lead started flying. That’s when they headed to Texas. Not that they were running from a fight. Quite the contrary. They had egos so big, they wanted to find a bigger fight. So, they went to Texas, naturally. By that time, the war with Mexico was already over, but perhaps they wanted to fight the whole USA, not just the Damn Yankees. Texans, even our women, will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime, for any reason. Trust me. Excellent divorce skill.

Before Tennessee, the family tree branches stretched from North and South Carolina and Virginia!! I know, it’s pretty unbelievable. If you’ve ever had the great fortune to either be or be near a bratty debutante from Virginia or the Carolinas, then you know how easy it would be to get divorced. They (or you, if the slipper fits) are damn hard to please and hard to get along with, both high marks for the big “D” quotient. There’s really no getting around it: If you are easy going, easy to get along with, and not at all bratty, you are going to have to look somewhere else for Divorce Heritage. Those pleasant qualities are really going to hinder your ability to get divorced, and if I could make a suggestion here, you need to stop all that nice behavior immediately.

Seriously, how can you expect your marriage to end if you are still being nice to your spouse? Dude. Get real. On the other hand, being bratty is pretty easy. You can practice bratty by yourself in front of the mirror. Just remember what it was like to be a three-year-old. Go on, get to it. Do you want a divorce, or don’t you?

I have to mention this next one, because it is such a boon to divorce. My Heritage also includes the mentality of poverty. Yep, my father’s parents were dirt poor peanut farmers in Texas during the Great Depression. They were actually scraping their living out of the ground. My father remembers plastering the inside walls of their old farmhouse with newspapers, in an effort to keep the dusty wind from blowing into the house through the gaps between the outside planks. They were literally dirt poor. Some people say tough times makes couples stick together. Yeah, maybe. But you string enough tough times together, and everyone eventually gets to their breaking point. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the arena of chronic financial lack, which is generally brought on by the mindset of poverty. For those with this lovely Heritage, the Great Depression is still alive and well. Welcome to Hell.

Being “temporarily low on cash” is not the same thing as having a chronic mindset of poverty, which can sound something like this: “God wants us to be humble,” or, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Some of my people thought they were not “worthy of financial success.” The truth is, God is richer than anybody, and He’s humble. Further, it is possible to be poor and still be arrogant. I don’t think God approves of that either. That’s like coveting stuff you don’t have. He says He will give us everything He has if we give up (among other things) our arrogance. That means we will eventually be humble and rich. Cool.

I once saw a bumper sticker in Texas that said, “I’m Poor, but I’m Proud.” That is the arrogant version of the poverty mentality in living color. They say you can’t fix stupid. Pretty tough to fix a mindset of poverty as well, arrogant or no. My people have that in spades, and they gave it to me. Thanks Grandpa. You’re my divorce hero! That’s my real life “peanut gallery” story. Divorce Central. Oh, baby.

Speaking of the wealthy side of the spectrum, I have a friend who inherited one hundred million dollars. Now just by itself, that’s an excellent divorce heritage if ever there was one. He and I have chatted about the amazing phenomenon that, as long as he is spending big, he has lots of friends, but when he stops throwing cash around, the “friends” are nowhere to be found. He once got a flat tire on his Corvette while he was cruising about town. He called eight different friends, and none had time to stop what they were doing to give him a hand, so he had to call a tow truck. He says he sometimes wishes he didn’t have money, because of the trouble it causes with wives and friends. Since I’ve spent most of my life financially strapped, I admit that it’s a little hard to hear a wealthy guy complain about having too much money. I wouldn’t mind being rich while pretending to be poor, so I wasn’t taken advantage of. So, while I personally would rather have money than not, I can still feel for the guy. It does sound like a terrible, terrible burden. I don’t know how he handles it really. I kind of feel sorry for him. Really. He is divorced, by the way.

I also have a billionaire friend who’s had three wives and counting. His current wife is fifteen years younger than he is. We’ll talk about Age Gap marriages in Chapter 7. I have spent lots of time in his home, enough to see how things go in his marriage, and I am more convinced than ever that having lots of money does not guarantee a good marriage, so when it comes right down to it, both ends of the financial spectrum are great for divorce. I’ve heard it said that having lots of money just makes you more of what you already are, so if you’re a turd and you have lots of money, you should be a shoe-in for divorce, just hang on a little while longer.


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