Saturday, November 29, 2014

The End of the Line

The End of the Line

I’ve been struggling with something for a little while. Well actually, ever since I started writing this blog.
I don’t like writing a blog.
I like writing my stories. I like creating characters, adding depth and history to them, and I like putting them in certain settings, and starting a chain of events that turns into a plot.
I’ve loved doing that since I was a kid.
What I don’t like is writing about writing. Or writing editorial-styled pieces about my thoughts or beliefs, or about current-events. I don’t like being tied to having to do one of these pieces at least once a week.
But that’s what I’ve always heard writers are supposed to do. At least once a week, although most sources who promote blogging say even more than that.
But I spoke recently to another indie writer, Rysa Walker, who did not subscribe to that philosophy. Some excerpts:
Most of the successful indie writers I know focus on writing a lot of books – that will earn you more money than diverting effort into your blog in most cases. If you’re trying to attract an agent (that rare, and in my view, increasingly useless creature), then yes, you’ll need a blog and a bazillion twitter followers . . . . I do not run a “writerly” blog – I use Facebook and Twitter to try to “pay back” any fellow writers who invite me to their blog, assuming I actually like the book . . . . The one thing that I do quite often is read blogs about the business of writing – because some of the best information about the industry can be found there and you need that to survive in IndieLand . . . . If you’re hoping to attract an agent, however – they’ll probably want to see that blog.
That first point, focus on writing a lot of books, that’s the main one that resonated with me. I have one book out there, Profile. Its follow-up, Private Messages, is nearly ready to release. I’m 2/3 to 3/4 of the way finished with the third book in the trilogy, Poked. Besides those, I also have three other books completed but, as yet, unpublished. Not to mention the ideas that I have for other stories.
But the time I have to devote weakly weekly to writing something that does not come easily to me is time that could have been spent on writing something that does. My stories.
In asking around, a few others have expressed similar views. And so, because it’s convenient for me, I’m adopting it as my view as well. I know this blog has two or three readers, and they may miss it, but maybe they’ll get to enjoy the next book that much sooner.
This will be the last Grey Matters entry. For now, at least. Who knows what the future holds?
But for now, please excuse me. I have a story trying to get out.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The March of the Lemmings

The March of the Lemmings

Individuality. Think for yourself. Moderation.
These are concepts that America in general seems to have trouble comprehending. Many people talk about them, but seldom do Americans as a whole demonstrate them.
That’s one concept that America has down perfectly!
Now, before you start correcting me, yes I know the characterization of lemmings as “follow-the-crowd-over-the-cliff morons” has been debunked. It’s been shown that even the beloved Disney studios, in their 1958 documentary White Wilderness, purposely threw numerous lemmings off a cliff to their death to continue this misconception in a faked scene of mass lemming suicide.
But I’m not writing a science column. If you know the truth about lemmings, you probably have the intelligence to also comprehend the metaphor that they represent.
Follow-the-crowd-over-the-cliff morons.
America has long demonstrated its follow-the-crowd mentality.
An example is its willingness – nay, eagerness to follow diet fads:
Remember the Atkins diet, originally introduced in 1972, featuring low carbohydrate intake for weight loss? It was followed by a number of copycat diets, all of which Americans gobbled up.
Remember the Pritikin diet, and the book that was released ten years later in 1982, that touted a diet high in unprocessed carbs? Like the Atkins diet which, fundamentally, was its direct opposite, it was followed by a number of copycat diets, which Americans again gobbled up.
The Atkins low carb diet made a comeback in 2002 when Dr. Atkins wrote a second diet book, which again was followed by a number of copycat diets, and Americans, true to their lemming-like ways, followed along and gobbled them up.
This isn’t a critique of the diets. While many fad diets made bold claims unsupported by scientific or nutritional evidence, they obviously had certain things that worked, or they wouldn’t have caught on in the first place. But moderation is what seemed to be missing in so many of their adherents.
I was working as a graphic designer in the labeling industry during the more recent low-carb revolution. During that time, I witnessed how suddenly various food products needed new labeling to draw attention to their carb content, to attract consumers who now viewed carbohydrates as the work of the devil.
A much more recent development in Americans’ march toward the cliff came to mind when I witnessed the latest exposure of professional celebrity and attention whore Kim Kardashian. This week, she posed nude for Paper magazine, a publication that highlights pop culture. Their choice in subject matter this past week demonstrates that their focus is more on pop and very little on culture.
But one of the main things that has been discussed ad nauseam has been the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass. This comes on the heels of Meghan Trainor’s song All About That Bass. Others who have joined the Big Butt Bandwagon include Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez.
Now again, I’m not criticizing the aforementioned people for the size of their ponderous posteriors. I do have issues with the amount of attention that is directed to them, though, both by their owners and by their imitators.
Yes, imitators.
Remember when stick-thin figures were the fashion? Well, while stick-thin is still in in some circles, a lot of people are now trying to develop the bottom-heavy look. Sales of Booty Pop, a padded undergarment designed to increase the size of a woman’s backside, are up about 50% over this time last year.
For those willing to go to a little more work for their fad, gyms, spas and web sites are now featuring exercises designed to build and increase the mass of your ass.
And for those who are extremely devoted to their fad fulfillment, with emphasis on “extreme,” you can now have fat liposucked out of your waist and gut and then injected into your butt. This is only for those willing to pay out the ass, though, as this procedure can cost ten to twenty thousand dollars.
I’m not advocating the idea that people should not do things to enhance their appearance. My regular readers, all two of you, may remember my post of three weeks ago in which I expressed my opinion that if Renée Zellweger wants to have an elective cosmetic procedure done, she should be able to without criticism. (What I actually said was, ‘so the hell what?!’) And I extend this attitude toward anybody else with the desire and the means to do so.
But whatever you’re considering doing, do it for yourself. Do it because it’s what you want, not because it’s the latest trend. Trends have a way of passing, making way for something else, often the opposite of previous trends.
Then what are you left with? A really expensive seat cushion.
You can pick one up at Target for about twenty bucks.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Grief, Depression and Other Fun Stuff

Grief, Depression and Other Fun Stuff!

I’ve experienced my share of grief over the years, and I’m sure you have too. I lost my son in a car accident twelve years ago. I lost my family and friends in a tragic religious mishap almost four years ago. I’ve been through three wives and various other breakups.

And it never gets any easier.

According to, grief is “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.”

Those words are accurate, really descriptive of the intensity of the feeling.

In short, grief sucks!

Why am I talking about this? For one thing, it’s on my mind as the anniversary of my son’s death approaches. After twelve years, the pain has dulled a bit, but it’s never gone away.

Secondly, it’s dealt with extensively in my upcoming novel, Private Messages (formerly 1684). Previously, I had dealt with depression in Profile, in which Evelyn, Arden Chase’s wife, was depressed, although whether it can be tied to actual grief may be up for discussion. Also, her depression is expressed in a different way than what usually comes to mind.

But in Private Messages, several characters are dealing with actual grief, to varying degrees of proficiency. A few weeks ago, I wrote about depression, and about two of the characters in Private Messages who had suffered loss and were still working on coming to terms with it.

First is Hunter Sage, a private detective whose wife was killed by a serial killer a few years before. He’s functional and back on the job, but afflicted with occasional suicidal tendencies.

Second is Lily Sage, Hunter’s sister-in-law and best friend of his late wife. She’s less functional and pretty much home-bound. And who can blame her? Not only was her best friend gruesomely murdered, but Lily actually saw it happen.

Other characters, though, also experience different degrees of grief. Kenzie Stewart is grieved by her unhappy marriage to a controlling, abusive husband. Parker Sage is grieved by his unsatisfying marriage to Lily. As her primary care-giver, he’s exposed to Lily’s depression almost constantly, and anybody who spends time around a depressed person knows how contagious it can be.

Finally, there’s the killer himself. Having suffered unhappiness and great loss, his “acting out” is partly a result of his grief.

Private Messages is still probably a couple of months away from release. (I’m still not quite finished getting Profile out there, after a sudden turn of events necessitated my self-publishing it.)

We’ve all heard of the five stages of grief, although there are certain problems with these ‘stages.’ First introduced in 1969 by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, the stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. These stages can be confusing to some because they don’t represent an actual timeline experienced by a grieving person. As the theory says, the stages are not necessarily experienced in the stated order, and in fact, not everybody experiences every stage.

The fact is, these stages have been misapplied over the years, since Kübler-Ross’ theory is based on the experiences of those who were dying, not the survivors. But regardless of the problems with the theory and its application, it has helped the general public to gradually come to an understanding of grief and of the need for sensitivity when dealing with those experiencing it.

Although admittedly there are still an alarming number who think a depressed person should just ‘snap out of it.’

Wikipedia, though, presents a concise outline of the process of grieving in this way:

Shock and Denial
Shock is the initial reaction to loss. Shock is the person’s emotional protection from being too suddenly overwhelmed by the loss. The person may not yet be willing or able to believe what their mind knows to be true. This stage normally lasts two or three months.

Intense Concern
Intense concern often manifests by being unable to think of anything else. Even during daily tasks, thoughts of the loss keep coming to mind. Conversations with one at this stage always turn to the loss as well. This period may last from six months to a year.

Despair and Depression
Despair and depression is a long period of grief, the most painful and protracted stage for the griever (during which the person gradually comes to terms with the reality of the loss). The process typically involves a wide range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Many behaviors may be irrational. Depression can include feelings of anger, guilt, sadness and anxiety.

The goal of grieving is not the elimination of all the pain or the memories of the loss. In this stage, one shows a new interest in daily activities and begins to function normally day to day. The goal is to reorganize one’s life, so the loss is an important part of life rather than its center.

Whether it’s any more or less accurate than Kübler-Ross’ theory, in my own experience, this model seems quite accurate.

Your mileage may vary.

The fact is grief is something that is impossible to quantify. It will be different with each person who experiences it. One thing that can be stated with certainty, though, is that sensitivity to the person experiencing it always helps, even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time.

As stated above, Private Messages, book 2 in the Facebook trilogy, is coming within the next month or two. But as of this morning, Profile is now available in its new and improved form. If you like your books backlit, you can get it for your Kindle here. If, like me, you like pages you can actually turn, the paperback format is for you.

And of course, books make great gifts!

Get it now, so you’ll be ready to receive Private Messages

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What a Difference a Week Makes

This week’s edition is going to be short and sweet.

Last week I was disgruntled, and struggling to get regruntled. My disgruntlization had to do with three topics: One about politics, one about the entertainment industry, and one about the loss of my publisher and the fact that Profile was now an orphan.

I can’t do anything about the first two, but the third I’m cool with now. In fact, I’m stoked! I’ve decided to adopt!

That’s right, I’m working on self-publishing Profile, as well as Private Messages, the second book in what is now a trilogy. (I’m still working on the third book, but that has slowed a bit with these latest developments. I hope to immerse myself in writing it again once the publication issues are settled.)

One thing I mentioned in last week’s installment of Grey Matters had to do with starting a street team. I mentioned that I had never had anything to do with a street team before, so it’s all new to me. But now that I’m going this route, I’m interested. Anybody who wants to be part of my street team, Grey’s Stokers, let me know! Send me an e-mail describing your past experience in street teams, your level of schooling, political affiliations, any family history involving literary pursuits, any ideas for stories that I might be able to plunder, suggestions for character names, enemies you’d like to see killed in a story, your thoughts about Renée Zellweger's face, general gossip, etc.

Okay, scratch that. Just let me know you’re interested.

I’m also kind of stoked about the name, Grey’s Stokers. I think it’s cool that it makes not one, not two, but three literary references. Even though it has nothing to do with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan (Lord Greystoke). Just me, Haydn Grey.

Okay, it’s flimsy, but I still think it’s cool.

Anyway, if you’re interested in helping me on the road to unparalleled fame and fortune, send me an e-mail. Who knows? I might have some stuff for you along the way, too.

Gotta go now. This book ain’t gonna format itself!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


This week found me disgruntled for a number of reasons. One thing that helped me to feel a little better, at least temporarily, was when I realized that I was, in fact, disgruntled. I’ve always liked that word. It’s one of those words that doesn’t really make sense when you think about its structure. Was I gruntled before I became disgruntled? Will I become gruntled once again when this feeling passes? No, because that’s not a word.

But I digress. There were at least three reasons for my disgruntledness (?).

First, my publisher is going out of business. Which means that Profile is now an orphan. I’m in the process of shopping for a new home for my writing, which means that my current writing is being delayed.

I’m considering the possibility of self-publishing. I can write, I can design covers, I can format pages, but having attempted a self-published title last year, I know I suck at the promotion part of the business.

One thing that several people have suggested is having a street team. That’s new to me, as I’ve never been involved in a street team, on either end of it. But I am looking into the options. (Anybody interested in being on my street team, should I choose to go that route, drop me a line at

And lest I sound like I’m thinking only about myself, I do wish the best of luck to my former publisher.

The second point of my disgruntletude has to do with politics in the news media. I’m not talking about folks like Fox ‘News.’ Most people already know what to expect from them. I’m talking about real news providers. Like Reuters, the giant press syndicate established back in 1851. According to Wikipedia, “Reuters has a strict policy toward upholding journalistic objectivity . . . . Their policy is ‘to avoid the use of emotional terms and not make value judgments concerning the facts we attempt to report accurately and fairly’.”

Well, they definitely dropped the ball last Sunday, October 19. That was when they ran a story with the title: “Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early.”

The “news” story said:

President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland [Lt. Governor Anthony Brown], but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus picked up on this and tweeted: “Hugely unpopular Obama made campaign trail appearance… people leave early.” And somebody else responded, “I heard that. They were jamming the doors to get out.”

Sure sounds bad. Only problem is this isn’t what happened. According to witnesses who were actually there, Obama delivered his speech to a packed auditorium. In fact, it was so packed that there was even a crowd outside that couldn’t get in. The atmosphere in the auditorium, a sold out crowd of 8,000, was compared to that at a concert, complete with screaming fans. But yes, there was a handful of people in the press who filed out after having gotten the photographs they were there for.

Now I’m not going to use this platform to air my politics. I have mine, you have yours, and we’re both entitled to them. What really gets my panties in a twist is the blatant lying that takes place, in the attack ads that litter commercial breaks, and now even in the ‘accurate and fair’ media. As a result, elections are corrupted, not only by the opposition, but also by those who may honestly and innocently believe their propaganda. Please check the facts before casting a vote!

There are a number of independent fact checker websites where research can be done. Yes, it takes a little time and work, but if you’re voting for people to serve your country, shouldn’t you know what you’re voting for?

My point is if you don’t like Obama (or anybody else, for that matter), that’s fine. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. Just make sure your dislike is based on facts instead of on the opposition’s spin and propaganda.

My third point of disgruntlosity concerns the flurry of “news” that happened on Wednesday about actress Renée Zellweger. I’ll admit I’ve never been that much of a fan. I don’t dislike her at all. She’s a fine actress, she just never really did it for me. But what happened this past week would have been beyond stupid no matter who it was about. After being out of the public eye for about three years, the actress made an appearance at Elle's Women in Hollywood celebration in Beverly Hills.

And Twitter didn’t rest! The media in general had a field day. “News” stories were filed. People were carrying on all day long about how different she looked, some even calling her unrecognizable. Plastic surgeons were consulted and interviewed about what may or may not have been done to her.

In the side-by-side photos that were posted of her, yes her eyes looked different, she looked leaner, and a little older. She’s been out of the spotlight for a few years, so that’s bound to happen. But overall, she looked great.

I’m not going to speculate about whether she had work done or not. Because what difference does it make? I am so completely done with people who put so much emphasis on looks. Particularly other people’s looks, as if they themselves are perfect. I thought this “news” was ridiculous when I first saw it on Wednesday morning, and it only got worse. Whether it was time that changed her or cosmetic procedures, who cares? And if she did decide to have some cosmetic surgery done, so the hell what?!

“I’m glad folks think I look different,” she responded. “I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” She handled it very graciously, without name calling or cursing.

In other words, better than I would have.

Well, that about does it for my disgruntality. I feel a little better now. Sorry if it rubbed off and now you’re pissed.

Maybe you can write a blog post. It’s a great way of getting rid of disgruntlization.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Me and My Great Ideas

Ideas are funny things. Especially comic ideas. But that’s not what I meant. All ideas are pretty interesting. The way they happen, I mean.
First there’s nothing, then in the space where there used to be nothing, there now sits an idea. It could be an abstract thought that just occurred to me, or an idea for a new story.
What makes that idea appear? It could be a number of different things. Our senses contribute a lot. Something we see, hear, read, whatever, reminds us of something else, and a connection is made. Maybe something wonderful or traumatic that happens to us makes enough of an impression that we think, “I need to write about that!” And now that we have the experience, we can write about it with authority.
Or maybe something that we experience makes us think of something completely different, or think of something in a different way. As an example, I was watching an episode of Castle a while back. In a scene after a murder, the characters were exchanging information about the victim. A very serious and sober scene, but something clicked in my head about a really awesome way this scene could be made funny.
Okay, obviously not what was called for in the show, but it found its way into my latest novel, Poked, still in progress. (You’ll just have to wait to see how that turned out.)
Speaking of ideas in writing (or other forms of artistic expression), copyright law has a limited application. According to Wikipedia:

In some cases, authors can be granted limited legal monopolies on the manner in which certain works are expressed. This is known colloquially as copyright, although the term intellectual property is used mistakenly in place of copyright. Copyright law regulating the aforementioned monopolies generally does not cover the actual ideas. The law does not bestow the legal status of property upon ideas per se. Instead, laws purport to regulate events related to the usage, copying, production, sale and other forms of exploitation of the fundamental expression of a work, that may or may not carry ideas.
This is why, for example, similar movies may be released at approximately the same time. Two examples come to mind: In September of 2006, The Illusionist was released, a movie about a Victorian-era European magician, and the jealousy and obsession of a monarch over how his trick is done. It was followed the very next month by The Prestige, a story about rival magicians in Victorian-era Europe, and one’s jealousy and obsession over how the other’s trick is done. Very similar ideas, but quite different applications.
In an even more dramatic example, in May of 1998, Deep Impact was released, a movie about a comet on a collision course with earth, and the launch of a space mission in an attempt to destroy it by planting nuclear devices inside the comet. Relatively few people remember Deep Impact, though, because it was eclipsed by Armageddon which was released in July, a movie about an asteroid on a collision course with earth, and the launch of a space mission in an attempt to destroy it by planting nuclear devices inside the asteroid.
In this example, the ideas for both movies are identical. If you read the description alone, without the title, you wouldn’t be able to determine which movie was being referenced. The idea is not covered by copyright law. The execution of it, though, in the form of a screenplay, and the movie itself, is protected.
One could easily imagine ideas being thrown around in a Hollywood studio in a pitch for a movie. If it doesn’t pan out, the pitch man could have moved on to a different studio, pitching the same idea. The idea, though, since it’s not protected by copyright, could take root in two different minds, and could end up being implemented by two different studios without any danger of infringement.
For this reason, I tend to be somewhat secretive about my ideas until I’m ready to release them. I don’t claim to be completely unique and original since, like every writer, I’m influenced to some extent by other writers and other ideas. But I like to think that my stories do display some originality of application and expression.
Incidentally, the idea for Profile actually came from the jealous suspicions of my wife at the time. I spent a fair amount of time on Facebook, and my ex who was not on Facebook saw our declining relationship and developed the idea that perhaps I was involved with somebody else, if not in person, then an emotional relationship with someone online.
She warned me that people online might not be who I think they are. Her suspicions were entirely unfounded, but I was left with the idea of a person misrepresenting himself on Facebook, suffering some consequences as a result of his actions, but eventually finding love.
And Profile was born. That idea developed into a complete story fairly easily, pouring out in a flood faster than anything I had written before.
Due to be release next month, 1684 was a very different story, literally. The idea presented itself while I was still working on Profile. But it took longer to develop and I came up against a number of blocks while working on it. And since it’s not out yet, I’m still being somewhat protective of the idea and storyline.
The current book I’m working on, Poked, began with a simple concept. But the idea seemed almost like the premise of a science fiction story, which I didn’t want it to be. So it’s taken a lot more research and finesse to make (and keep) it plausible in the real world, and the number of blocks I’ve come up against has already exceeded those in 1684, and I’m less than half done with it.

But it’s a good idea, so I’m confident it will work out.

Back to my web site

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Does a Broken Home Equal Broken Kids?

In my novel Profile (yeah, you knew I’d get back to that eventually, huh?), the idea of unhappily married people staying together for the kids is brought up. Arden, my protagonist, has the following exchange with his grown daughter:

“I didn’t want you to be raised in a broken home.”
“Well that sucks, Dad. Parents shouldn’t put that on their kids. I mean I know divorce is hard on children, but so is living in a home with unhappy parents who can’t stand each other.”
“Wouldn’t it have been harder to be shuttled back and forth between two homes?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t live through that scenario, so I couldn’t say if it would have been harder. But I remember a lot of times, sitting there at breakfast during the cold silence. I remember seeing the anger and hatred flashing back and forth between you. I remember hearing your loudly whispered arguments. And I remember how uncomfortable all of that was for me.”
“I thought we were shielding you from that.”
“You know what they say about kids being perceptive. You can’t really hide something that pervasive from them.”

His daughter, Lanelle, was a particularly bright, well-adjusted girl, who took after me – I mean him. But what does the research show for the general population in this situation?

To be honest, I didn’t really research the topic when I was writing Profile. Lanelle’s response seemed to make sense, and it worked with the story, so that’s what I went with. But now, as I research the topic for this blog, I’m finding that I must be a particularly bright, well-adjusted man, who apparently knows a great deal about psychological and emotional well-being.

Because the research overwhelmingly supports what Lanelle said. That’s not to say that a happy, balanced home life with two cooperative parents still isn’t the best atmosphere for kids. But if the parents are not getting along, perhaps the love has died, and couples counseling and other attempts to save the marriage have failed, is staying together still better for the kids?

Here are some things to think about:

In one study of over 1400 families, nearly 80% of children with divorced parents grow up to be as well-adjusted and happy as children whose families remained intact. “The other 20 percent developed some kind of psychological, emotional, or academic problem, compared to 10 percent of the non-divorced group.” (For Better or Worse: Divorce Reconsidered – E. Mavis Hetherington, Ph.D., and John Kelly)

On the website, Jeff Palitz, MFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), made the following observation:

There is no reason to believe that staying together at any cost is better for children than divorcing. In fact, when parents who are unhappy together and engage in unhealthy relationship habits stay together “for the kids” it can often do more harm than good. The behaviors you display in your home will set the stage for how your children will behave as adults. They learn what it means to be married, how to be a husband or wife and how to effectively (or ineffectively) deal with conflict in a relationship.
We’ve all heard the analogy that kids are like sponges. They absorb what they are immersed in. So when they are constantly exposed to the antagonism of their unhappy parents, or even just their coldness in the aftermath, that’s what forms a pattern in their minds. Palitz continues:

Over the course of day-in/day-out, year after year, these messages accumulate, and take root, increasing the likelihood that your kids will repeat the very same patterns they have seen in their home growing up.  The good news is that when couples do decide to get divorced and they handle their divorce in a mature and collaborative way, there is plenty of reason to believe that the children can be just fine in the long run.  In other words, it is not necessarily divorce itself that determines whether or not your kids will be ok, but rather how each adult behaves during and after the divorce.
As might be expected, there were some reports of psychological scars on children of divorce. As an example, one study followed 59 divorced families over the course of 25 years and found that the majority of children of divorce grow up with some amount of doubt about their own ability to have a long-lasting happy relationship.

That certainly doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless for them. Some form of therapy might be necessary, and certainly a supportive spouse or partner could help a lot. But it also doesn’t mean that all children of intact families grow up completely psychologically and emotionally sound. However where the children of divorce are concerned, “growing into adulthood was definitely harder for them.” (The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce – Judith Wallerstein, Ph.D.)

We all know that divorce isn’t easy on anybody involved, so this really isn’t surprising. But the amount of information I found discouraging staying together “for the kids” was fairly overwhelming.

Again, if the marriage can be saved, that would obviously be best for all involved. But if it’s beyond repair, there’s no need to “tough it out” and stay together for the kids.

Take it from me. No, I’m not a psychologist. I’m better: I’m a writer.