An open letter to the lady who wants to leave


date published

7th May 2016

written by

Emma Heptonstall Image

date published

7th May 2016

An Open Letter To The Lady Who Wants to Leave


Dear Lady who wants to leave,

Dear Lady who wants to leave, its not easy is it? In fact, its damned hard. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are or what money you have. Leaving is scary and it hurts like hell.

As those of you who receive my news letter will know, I’ve been on an amazing 4 week holiday in Vietnam and Malaysia, staying with one of my BFFs in the world ever!

As I write to you, it’s 5:55am in Dubai and I’m half way home.

Whilst I’ve been away, I’ve been answering your emails and chatting with some of you over Skype. Yes, the world gets smaller all the time!

The thing is, when I looked, I found ladies just like you in the sunshine of Asia where it’s a constant 35c and it’s cheap to live. Where most expats have a very comfortable life with a pool, a driver and plenty of disposable income.

And do you know what?

Some of them are miserable. They want to leave their husbands.

Just like you.

They love the ‘trappings’ of the expat life. The villa, the driver, the pool, the holidays and shopping trips.

Ironic that phrase ‘trappings’ isn’t it?

They feel trapped. Living thousands of miles from close family and their oldest friends, they feel trapped.

I spent some of my holiday supporting a client to see that she can leave. We looked at her values – what’s important to her. She’s had a ‘nice’ expat life. A ‘nice’ life with a husband who shows her no affection. A husband who criticizes her and tells her in Vietnam she is nothing.

I’ll call this lady Penny (that’s not her real name). Penny is a smart lady. She has experience of a corporate consulting job. She hasn’t ‘worked’ for 8 years.

What she has done is support her husband and children to move several times to several continents. Organising, supporting, sacrificing, getting her children settled into new schools. She’s resilient, tenacious and courageous. She needs support to get her job skills up to date. And then? What employer wouldn’t want a woman who’s smart, tenacious courageous who has lived all over the world working for them?

It’ll be tough for Penny. She’s not English, she has cultural pressures too. But she’s doing it. Penny wants more than the ‘trappings’ of the expat life.

“I want to be me again” she said.

You see ultimately, houses, money status don’t make you happy. Only you can do that by being true to yourself.

Spend time with your BFF when you can. Take a break. It doesn’t have to be far, but getting away from your ‘normal’ helps to change your state and get perspective.

It’ll help you see both yourself and your situation differently.

Ask your BFF what your greatest strengths and qualities are. Be prepared to be surprised to hear just how fantastic you really are.

I bet, like Penny, you forgot.

I know it’ll be hard.

I also know it’ll be worth it.


I know you can do it.

Love Emma x

I’m Emma The Divorce Alchemist. I support ladies who leave make smart emotional and financial decisions on divorce. If you have got your copy yet, you can download your free copy of The Smart woman’s Divorce Guide by putting your details in the box below. As well as the Guide, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter from me with support and advice on how to get through your divorce both emotionally and financially. I share practical tips, explain the divorce process and often offer my paid for services at reduced rates for subscribers. You can unsubscribe at any time.  If you’d like to know more about me, you can visit my website at or find me on Facebook at

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  1. Alex

    Your open letter touched me deeply, thank you for all your help! I am happy to report that your alchemy is working! You are truly unique in many ways and you are exactly what every women needs when facing divorce.

    Singing away : )


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