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Gingrich & Marianne: A Divorce Lawyer's Insights

I've been loath to examine Newt Gingrich too closely, but I'm always glad to see someone who really understands marriage and divorce examining those areas of his storied past, so I don't have to.

 of Charleston, South Carolina says he's only been involved in family law for about two years, but he has many of the same observations about divorce clients that I and even more experienced family lawyers have, and he brings them to bear very insightfully on the latest news about Newt Gingrich's past, the interview with ex-wife #2, Marianne, in "A South Carolina Divorce Attorney’s Perspective on Newt & Marianne Gingrich." He seems to be a conservative, but not a pro-Gingrich partisan: he seems to have approached his study of Gingrich in a spirit of genuine curiosity. (Though like many lawyers and judges, once he decides what's most likely to be the truth, he gets awfully sure of himself.) Excerpts:

I was curious about the circumstances ... in looking for information on those things ... what struck me most were not so much anything in particular about those terms or circumstances, but rather the way in which Marianne Gingrich has conducted herself and the tenor, tone and nature of everything said in the years since the divorce was made final. ...

Some people never get over it.  Some people are so vindictive that they continue to wish ill will upon their ex-spouses for decades — even after remarriage, even after building a new family, even after moving on in nearly every other aspect of their lives, and more often than not without rhyme, reason or rationale. 

Many bemoan any and all success and happiness enjoyed by their former spouse.  Many feel as though they continue to have an equitable interest in successes enjoyed by their ex-husbands or ex-wives years after their marital relationship came to fruition. 

... The wide disparity between Gingrich’s account and his ex-wife’s account of even simple things... is not uncommon in what we do; I continuously find it amazing that two people can have two fundamentally different accounts of a given event, whether it be an argument, a reconciliation, or anything in between.

 Comments by Marianne Gingrich about how, in Richardson’s words, she “began to entertain fears about his fundamental decency,” or in her own words about how Newt “sold out” for an “opulent” lifestyle and became a “whore” in his quest to be treated like someone of import, about how he became a “dead weight” when his political career crumbled around him, or about how his conversion to Catholicism “has no meaning” — these are not the comments of someone interested in moving forward in their life, but rather stand as examples of the sort of vindictive bomb-throwing exhibited by those who simply are unhappy with not only their circumstances but with themselves as well. ... People like Marianne Gingrich cannot let go, and will do anything in their power to prevent their ex-spouse from doing so.  We see it fairly often. 

... This is a woman, after all, who seems shattered by how the former House Speaker called her at her mother’s home to inform her that he wanted a divorce, and yet according to the Associated Press, she did the very same thing to him roughly six years before — on his birthday, no less.   This is a woman who, in 1987, moved everything but a television and a guest bed out of the parties’ marital home and yet, during their eventual divorce, moved to obtain an Order of the Court enjoining the former House Speaker from transferring, concealing or otherwise disposing of marital assets.

What I see is a confused, bitter woman.  And she has every right to be, as the dissolution of marriage is an emotional experience.  What is not right however, is that publications such as Esquire and purportedly objective news organizations such as ABC News disseminate Ms. Gingrich’s statements as unequivocal truth ...


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