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Dr. Jane Greer Headshot

Keep Your Eye On The Ball So You Don't Lose Out Anymore

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Eva Longoria, the actress who plays Gabrielle Solis on ABC's Desperate Housewives, apparently didn't see it coming: the betrayal that led to the end of her marriage to Tony Parker, NBA star point guard for the San Antonio Spurs. While usually there are signs, they are easily missed because often trust is blind. That is the only way her husband could allegedly wind up cheating with one of Eva's good friends, who was the wife of his teammate. While infidelity is, of course, not the only factor that leads to divorce, it is not uncommon for people to ignore whatever the problem might be in their marriage to avoid dealing with it as long as they can. It is surprisingly easy for people to miss what is right in front of them, and often that is amplified by handling a divorce that has left them thrown off balance or depleted and emotionally worn out.

In reading the articles about Eva's financial struggles, namely that Beso, the restaurant she co-owns, has fallen into bankruptcy, I was not surprised because it is typical for the loss you have already been through with your separation or divorce to replicate itself in other parts of your life. Often, people end up experiencing loss in a panoramic sense-- it finds its way into everything, taking over even more than their love and home life. Eva is so down, so caught off guard by the discovery of her husband's affair and the breakup of her marriage, as anyone would be, that she has become highly susceptible to further loss. But it doesn't have to be that way, for Eva, or for you if you find yourself in a similar situation. Don't let yourself turn a blind eye to other corners of your life that need your attention, places where you can still make a difference.

If I could talk to her, I would tell her to be aware and take care by paying attention to everything around her so that this doesn't happen. For some people, it might be as simple as keeping track of your wallet and cell phone. For others, it might mean being careful to nurture friendships that if left unattended might be lost. If, for example, people in your life such as your family, friends and professionals help in one way or another, make sure that ultimately you are the one calling the shots, that you are involved in the choices made, instead of simply trusting that they have your best interest at heart as you may have done in your marriage. At this point, it is important to step up and take charge. Given what is taking place with Eva's restaurants, I would guess that she trusted, or relied on, the people she is doing business with more than they warranted.

As you go through a divorce and after it is finalized, keep your eye on the ball and hold onto what remains vital and important. Instead of having to make joint decisions as you did in your marriage, you are now the captain of your own ship, for better or worse. It is a time to be particularly vigilant and hands-on, to take control and pay attention to all the details in your life.

There are some things you can't help--there is always some practical and unavoidable loss when you get divorced including property and sometimes even friends. But if there is any lesson here, it is to not drop the ball but instead continue to focus on and sustain the other things you still have in your life, thereby curbing the widespread devastation.