Written by Attorney Laura Wasser, Founder & C.E.O. It's Over Easy
'All’s fair in love and war' is a proverb attributed to John Lyly (1553-1606). It is often used to describe a situation in which people do not follow the usual rules of behavior and do things which are normally considered unfair. In my 25 years of practicing Family Law I often have to remind people that their expectations that things will be fair when dealing with matters of the heart is unrealistic.
We named our new podcast All’s Fair to embody the notion that today’s modern families and the current nature and evolution of romantic, platonic and sexual relationships are ripe for interesting discussions.
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.”
- Hugh Grant voice over, opening monologue - Love Actually, 2003
Do you remember the opening (and closing ) scene from the film Love Actually? It starts with all of the characters from the ensemble cast of the film at the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. Then the camera pans out to random reunions, couples, parents and children, friends, siblings, families, old and young, all races and skin tones and sizes – that scene gets me every time. I actually tear up. Things are rough out there these days; lots of hate and anger. I live in the eye of that storm, often on the most personal of levels when a marriage is devolving. It is almost crucial to be able to recognize the good, the love and the happiness of which we, as humans, are capable.
All's Fair in Love and War
I have been a practicing Family Law attorney for 25 years now. You’d think I’d be a bit tougher, or at least more jaded, but part of the reason I do what I do is for the realizations and reflections working with clients allows me to have regarding love – in all if its forms.
I love my job. The problem solving, the conflict resolution, the new beginnings. Many people see the field in which my colleagues and I practice as depressing, frustrating, toxic. Not me. Beyond the sense of fulfillment that I feel (and I think I speak for many of us) helping families transition from a difficult time into their next chapters, Family Law is a fascinating study in human nature and relationships; loss, fear, pain, anger, healing, compassion, humor, hope – LOVE.
The 16th Century proverb, all’s fair in love and war speaks volumes about human relationships. So often I counsel clients not to expect normal behavior. During this time of transition and upheaval everything is fair and frankly, nothing is fair. Divorce is the great equalizer and whoever you are and whatever your story you are anxious, to say the least, about what the future holds.
The Evolution of Dissolution
When we launched the Divorce Sucks! podcast last year, it was to educate people who were going through or about to go through the dissolution process. As a compliment to the It’s Over Easy online divorce website, the content on Divorce Sucks! helped begin a discussion about a situation which statistically will befall about half of the couples who marry in the United States and will have effects on nearly every family in the country. We interviewed professionals in the field of Family Law; attorneys from different states, financial experts, mental health practitioners. We spoke with celebrities and heard their stories of separating, co-parenting and navigating prenuptial agreements. During the process of compiling a catalogue of interesting episodes, it occurred to me that our discussions were really going beyond divorce-related issues. Relationships between not just couples but friends and siblings and partners are rife with anecdotes and wisdom and laughter and tears. These too, are worth exploring and sharing and limiting ourselves to divorce was well….limiting.
So, with our new partners at iHeart Radio we reshaped and expanded our topic reach and our prospective guest list and we are extremely excited to launch All’s Fair with Laura Wasser in February of this year. Right in time for Valentine’s Day. We will still discuss and explore and educate people with regard to matters of divorce and what we have deemed The Evolution of Dissolution, a healthier approach to divorce, but we will go beyond to matters of the heart in general, how to maintain a healthier partnership, communication tools to employ in a relationships, legal, financial and emotional tips, new beginnings and next chapters.
One of the things I enjoy about the practice of Family Law is the opportunity to learn so much about so many. Because of the nature of the attorney client relationship we are given a window into the psyche and soul of our clients which is more intimate and informative than you would immediately imagine. It starts with the surface, what is this person’s story? What do they do for a living? Their sexual orientation, race, religion, culture etc. I have had clients who are entertainers, athletes, executives, academics, homemakers, writers, directors, financial professionals, mental health care providers etc. I make it a point to learn about what they do and how they believe so that I can understand where they are coming from. Some insist upon it, like the Scientologist client I had who, while completely acknowledging that I am Jewish with no plans to convert, wanted me to study a few books about getting clear in order that I could have a better understanding of why his belief in the church was essential to him. Some are not even aware; I had a client who was a Rolfer by profession. (If you are not familiar with the practice of Rolfing, I wasn’t, it is a form of alternative medicine which integrates a system of soft tissue manipulation and movement organization. It is sometimes confused with massage - which it is not and it is rumored to be quite painful.) I went for some Rolfing treatments, not with my client, hoping to relate to what it was that my client did with her days. It was painful.
All's Fair with Laura Wasser Podcast
What is the nature of the relationship at issue and where is the conflict? May people ask me if after so many years of practice in this field, I have seen it all? I have sure seen a lot but I know I have not seen it all. Every case brings surprises; sometimes disappointment and sometimes delight as to how people conduct themselves. How the relationship has broken down to the point of being irremediable and if it actually is or whether reconciliation is possible.
On All’s Fair we will explore any and all topics which regard human nature and relationships;
Cyber or emotional infidelity, how and why to people conduct office or on line relationships which involve no actual physical intimacy but the sharing of something perhaps much stronger and more necessary to us as humans.
Crimes of passion the examples of things people do out of hurt and rage; setting your ex’s car on fire (metaphorically speaking of course - do not try this at home), cutting one arm or leg off of every item of clothing in his or her closet, completely inappropriate social media postings and more.
Social media in general and how it is shaping the way we conduct our relationships.
Why does time heal all wounds? Does time heal all wounds? When?
How does infidelity affect relationships and can you come back from it?
How do we define family in the 21st Century?
Family structures, fertility, sperm donors, surrogacy, adoption and the foster care system.
Couples, throuples, same sex unions, LGTBQ+ issues as they pertain to families and relationships.
Co-parenting, in laws, the best friend dilemma, dating in the 21st century
Inter race, gender, religion, cultural partners and more. If you want to hear about it we want to address it. So take a listen and have a think and let us know what floats your boat because….All’s Fair.
About Laura Wasser
As a mom of two kids successfully co-parenting with their fathers, and an attorney who has been practicing Family Law for over 20 years, Laura Wasser has made it her life’s work to take the mystery and misery out of divorce for people of all backgrounds. She is the founder of It’s Over Easy, which picks up where she left off in her best-selling book It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself – a digital platform that can reach more people and assist them through every stage of the divorce process.