Parties: Lorenzo Di Lombardi (50) Widower (see P.2)
Christine O’Hara (43) Divorced. (see P.3)
Lorenzo and Christine met at PWP five months ago and started dating shortly after. The relationship has developed into a very close one and Lorenzo has proposed marriage. He proposes also that Christine should sell her house and invest the money in his successful greengrocer’s business. His own house is large and can accommodate three of Christine’s children (the fourth and eldest shares a flat with a girlfriend). Lorenzo’s two children are both married.
Issues for Lorenzo
– to persuade Christine that his intentions are both honourable and practical. He approached the FMC in the hope that mediation might overcome what he describes as Christine’s irrational fears.
Issues for Christine
– Christine has many grave doubts about Lorenzo’s proposition. Her husband, Pat O’Hara, left her for another woman whom he married. He divorced Christine after the required twelve-month separation. Christine now owns her house outright and has a good job as a senior receptionist for a famous surgeon.
Her major objections are as follows:-
- Religious. She would want to be married in the Catholic Church. Although she was divorced against her will and is single again in the eyes of the law, the Church does not recognise divorce. She has come to terms with her “Adultery” which she confesses regularly but feels that a civil ceremony would cause trouble, not only with her relatives but with Lorenzo’s large family whom she feels do not like her.
- Monetary. Having had one marriage fail she is apprehensive about the future. She feels that she will be taking all the risks. If she sells her house, her only major asset, what would happen if her second marriage were to fail?
- Practical. She likes her job and doesn’t want to give it up to work in a greengrocer’s shop, even as a partner.
Notes for Lorenzo
You are fifty years old and have been a widower for two years. You have been in Australia since the age of ten. You are the eldest son and have two brothers and three sisters. Your parents are now in their seventies and you fear that your relations expect you to take responsibility for them. You are living alone in a very large house.
You are sincerely in love with Christine and are puzzled why she hasn’t immediately accepted your offer of marriage. You are offering not only your heart and home but also a sound business opportunity. To you Business is Family Business. You and your late wife worked happily and successfully together for twenty- five years and you miss the sense of shared purpose. Your son Gino is a successful young lawyer and your daughter Maria is married to the son of your best friend and now works in his shop. You are lonely. When Christine marries you, she and her children will be able to work together to make it a fine family business again.
Despite the Recession you feel that your business is sound, people must always eat, but the cost of your daughter’s wedding, followed so closely by your wife’s very expensive funeral, reduced your savings. Soon you will need a new truck. With Christine’s input at least $100,000 both of you are assured of a rosy future and you feel disappointed and somewhat offended that she cannot see this.
Notes for Christine
You are forty-three years old. Your husband, Pat O’Hara, left you four years ago and divorced you as soon as possible to marry the other woman. You have four children. Liam, 20, is ‘living in sin’ with his Vietnamese girlfriend (at least she’s a Catholic!), Bridget, 19, is at uni but living with you. Michael, 16, and Kevin, 6, are still at school. You own your own house and are very settled there with your family. You enjoy your job.
You met Lorenzo five months ago and since then your life has changed completely. For the first time in your life, you are truly ‘in love’. It was never like this with Pat. Lorenzo is kind and thoughtful but he is also exciting, and very passionate! When you are with him you are a different, daring, person. He has made you feel emotions and sensations you didn’t know you were capable of.
It is afterwards, when you are alone, back in your own house, in your own bedroom, that the doubts arise – and the guilt!
What if he is just after my money?
What if he should get tired of me like Pat did?
What if God should punish me for being a lewd sinner? (though my friend Mary says it’s just Continental and everyone does it nowadays) .
What about Lorenzo’s horde of relatives all talking about me in Italian? I don’t think they like me, and they are bound to disapprove of Liam and Ngoc.
You have your doubts about Mediation too but you are willing to try. You don’t want to lose Lorenzo.