If You’re In My Office It’s Already Too Late


I heard about the divorce lawyer James Sexton from a couple of podcasts by The Financial Diet [VIDEO 1:04:09] and Soft White Underbelly [VIDEO 1:02:04] and he seemed interesting. I decided to get his book If You’re In My Office It’s Already Too Late. I forgot about it until I wanted to read another book and realized that Apple insists on removing downloaded books even if you have plenty of space. As James’ book was the most recent, I decided to read it even though I’m not in a relationship nor plan to be in one soon. I’m glad I did because despite the irony of getting relationship advice from a lawyer, he had a lot of good advice. Here’s some of it:

  • Snow why you wanna get married. You could typically get the perks without marriage and historically it was rarely for love.
  • Be radically honest with one another and if something bothers you about them, let them know in an email and “hit send now”1.
  • You can be right or be happy. Typically this means that arguing isn’t worth it, but other times compromising because it’s the right thing to do won’t necessarily make you happy.
  • Sex is very important, especially if you want to be in a relationship where you’ll (ideally) fuck one person for the rest of your life. Hit send now if you have strange fetishes or you’ll either “go without or go elsewhere”.
  • Be your own person. Marriage and parenting can make you lose yourself—which might disappoint the person who initially loved you. It’s also good for you, particularly if the relationship ends either by death or divorce.
  • Parent like you’re divorced (dedicate particular times to your kids). Helps you be your own person and it can deepen your connection.
  • Don’t monopolize a responsibility. Sure, someone might be good at managing money and the other handling the home but; one, the party might fuck secretly until you find out and two, the less experienced partner might have an insight you’d miss.
  • Manipulate your partner to get what you want. Uncharitable interpretation, but that’s what he suggests. For instance, if you dangle sex when a guy does what you want, they’ll form a Pavlovian response and keep doing it. Less erotic, but you can praise it when the partner does something you like. This is better than criticism which can be ignored and make them feel like shit.
  • When you marry, you marry their family and friends too.
  • Mine, yours and ours is a good way to an age marital finances.

There’s a lot of good stuff in the book and it can get contradictory at times, but I guess that’s because we’re human 🙃.

The book features a lot of stories from his divorce lay practice and he even markets it a few times. I’ll probably read this again when I get in a relationship, but if you are, I highly recommend giving this book a read.

  1. at first I thought it was a lawyer thing, but he says that an email is something that lets you think about it rather than a text that needs immediacy. My aunt did this when I lived with her though it was by text so she got pissed if I didn’t reply. ↩︎