Local divorce attorney pens book on marriage adviceWritten by Morgan Delp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Years ago, Thomas G. Papps read about a naval maneuver the ancient Greeks used on the Persians in 480 B.C.
No one knew what exactly the maneuver was, but by reading about the defensive tactics the Persians employed, Papps was able to identify the offensive exercise and publish his findings in a naval magazine.
Papps used this same technique of discovering one thing by studying its opposite in his first published book, “The Eight Reasons for Divorce: Why Marriages Fail and How to Ensure That Yours Doesn’t.”
The 81-year-old Papps has handled more than 1,000 divorce cases in his career as an attorney in the Toledo area. But it took an offhand remark from one of Papps’ clients to make him realize that, while he knew enough about divorce to make one dizzy, marriage was a bit of an enigma.
“A girl had just gotten a divorce, and she had a couple kids. When I handed her the papers I told her, ‘Listen, you’ve divorced your husband, but your kids have not divorced their father,’” Papps said. “She said, ‘Thank you, Mr. Papps. You’ve done so many divorces, you must know so much about marriage’.”
It was then that Papps realized he “knew nothing about marriage.” To solve this problem, he turned to the same techniques he used on the naval maneuver puzzle and began to study what he did know.
“I started studying [divorce]. I went back through my files to find out what were the real reasons for the divorce. … I asked myself, ‘What is the real reason?’ and not just what I put down,” Papps said.
Papps found most of the divorce cases fell into eight categories. He shares this information in his book in the hope of preventing more failed marriages and fostering healthy and successful ones.
“Ei8ht Reasons” was published by Kallisti Publishing in Pennsylvania on June 1. The company specializes in personal development and self-help books, owner and publisher Anthony Michalski said.
“It’s our first marriage/relationship book. Compared to others I’ve read, what stands out is his directness and bluntness and reasoning for seeing through the B.S. in relationships. We’ve all read a relationship book or article and there’s often a certain amount of psychobabble that goes on; it’s almost silly,” Michalski said. “Here you have a serious study of the matter. … If I had my wishes after looking at it, I hope it’s a lasting addition to the library.”
Papps’ book is available at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. Kristie Lanzotti, collection development manager for the library system, said four copies of the book are available at the area branches.
“It looked really helpful and like something people would like to check out. We thought, ‘Why not?’ He lives in Ohio and we want to support local authors,” Lanzotti said.
The book is full of real-life divorce case scenarios Papps has witnessed and the reader is able to move quickly through short chapters. Papps’ “tell it like it is” attitude throughout the book is straightforward and gives interesting and valuable insight into the legal process of divorce cases.
Included in the book are two tests that couples are encouraged to take before and during marriage, as tools to highlight problem areas in a relationship, based on Papps’ findings.
John Curtis, author of “The Business of Love,” said he appreciates Papps’ strategic and tactical approach to the subject of marriage.
“It really focuses on what I find is so absent in self-help literature. Models out there say you need romantic attraction and emotional maturity. My book is pretty unromantic, because you can’t read to fall in love. My book is about how not to destroy that attraction, and Papps’ book is similar. It talks about how divorce happens and how to not let it happen,” Curtis said.
One of the concepts Curtis especially agrees with is Papps’ conviction that a marriage needs to be supported by the family, friends and community that surround the marriage.
“Because marriage is part of the community, the stronger the marriage, the stronger the community,” Papps said.
“It’s important to be picky and choose people that reflect the same values,” Curtis said.
Papps is critical of marriage counselors in his book. A whole chapter is dedicated to the topic.
“Marriage counselors are not very effective,” Papps said. “They get information, but then they don’t do anything with that information.”
Curtis said there is some
wisdom in questioning the effectiveness of counselors, especially preventative counseling.
“Even though we’re investing so much in prevention and education, … the rate of marriages declines every year and the divorce rate has been at about 50 percent for a while,” Curtis said.
Kevin J. Grover, co-owner of the Rhode Island Divorce Mediation Center, liked the angle from which Papps approached the topic.
“It’s not just ‘Here’s another divorce lawyer book,’” Grover said. “The majority of what I’ve seen of divorce attorney books are on how to win, dealing with strategy. … I thought it was pretty cool that an attorney tipped it on its ear.”
Papps is in the process of publishing a book about judges, slated to come out in 2013. Also in the works is a short book called “God Wears Glasses,” which will be available as an e-Book this winter. Michalski describes it as “one man’s perspective on God, life and the universe.”
For information on “Ei8ht Reasons” or Papps’s other books, visit www.the8reasonsfordivorce.kallistipublishing.com.