Get Divorce Ready – how coaching can help you
Get Divorce Ready – how coaching can help you. I’ve been talking a lot about this in the Facebook Group, which if you haven’t joined yet, feel free to do so. In early November, I started a beta programme for ladies who were on the verge of divorce (either they were already separated, or they were thinking of leaving). These ladies all had one thing in common – a desire to understand the divorce process both emotionally and practically.
Get Divorce Ready came at just the right time for them. One lady was about to ‘try again’ to issue her divorce petition, having talked herself out of it, because she didn’t really understand. Frightened about racking up huge legal bills, she wanted to get her head around everything so she can have meaningful conversations with her soon-to-be-ex-husband. The more you can resolve yourself, the quicker, easier and cheaper the process will be. Doing everything through your solicitors is necessary for some people – for others, it’s an expensive luxury that you can avoid, if you’re prepared.
So how do you Get Divorce Ready? Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing how you can get yourself prepared, save time, money and your sanity and start your divorce from a place of calm and quiet confidence that you’ve prepared yourself in the best way possible for you.
Deciding to Divorce
The decision to divorce is huge…. it’s the biggest decision you’ll make aside from having your children. It’s a bigger decision than getting married. Divorce is a decision that will alter your life in ways that you can’t even think of right now. You can’t second guess divorce. Even if your own parents were divorced, even if your BFF got divorced. Neither of these divorces was about you and your marriage.
One of the biggest things you need to be clear with yourself about, and honest, is the reason for your divorce. Is the issue really your marriage? Your husband? Dare I say it – could the issue actually be you? Now remember, that’s a question, not a judgement. Here’s the thing. If the issue is you, you are only going to take yourself with you when you leave. You won’t have your husband or the marriage to blame.
Could it be you?
If you are unhappy with you, that’s not going to change when you leave – in fact, you’re likely to feel worse. If you do recognise that you are unhappy with yourself, what can you do to fix that? Who can you reach out to for support? What steps have you taken to let your husband know how you feel? Has he really heard you?
If your unhappiness stems from your husband’s behaviour or the dynamics within your marriage, what steps have you taken to address this? Have you suggested that you seek relationship counselling? Of course, both of you need to be engaged in wanting the relationship to work. Neither of you can change the other, you can only change yourselves (if you want to). Sometimes, that task is too hard, and sometimes relationships are too damaged that they can no longer be repaired. Sometimes the only option is divorce.
Feeling the feelings
In my online group programme Get Divorce Ready we start with feeling the feelings. Some of the women initially find this frustrating – they want to get into the ‘nitty gritty’ of talking about process, form filling and disclosure! They tell themselves that they’ve dealt with the tears and now it’s time to move forward… what the ladies who have attempted divorce before, but have shied away from it will tell you, starting the process brings up a whole load of emotions that a) they thought they’d dealt with and b) they didn’t know they felt. That’s why we start right here.
Divorce is an emotional journey whether it’s your idea or not. Getting comfortable with the fact that it is uncomfortable makes it easier to keep moving through rather than stopping. It’s easy to think that divorce will get easier the longer you leave it – it just gets harder because you build it into something unmanageable in your mind.
Creating coping strategies
Creating coping strategies at the start of your divorce is like putting your own first aid kit together. The best time to create a first aid kit is when you don’t actually need one. Remember planning your fire escape route from your house with your children? You could think about it logically because you weren’t immediately in danger.
Everyone has different coping strategies – what works for you may not work for someone else. Strategies would include, what activities help you feel calm? Is it yoga, meditation, going for a walk, taking a long bath? Who can you turn to for honest, impartial advice? Who can be a listening ear? Who can help you with the children when you just need a break? Who will help you with paperwork if you struggle? Choose your strategies wisely. They should be the things that will truly support you, not the things that ‘should’ support you. If you know, as much as you love her, your mother will be a nightmare, don’t choose her. If you also know your best friend will take over and start telling you what you ‘should’ do, avoid using her in your support network.
Resilience is everything
Resilience is everything in divorce. You need to know that when you actually start the process, you can keep moving forward without looking back. You’ll be dealing with your emotions all the way through, but spending time working through some of the deeper feelings before you get started will support you to keep going when new ones come flooding in.
Take Alice, for example (not her real name). Alice contacted me tearful because her small daughter was distraught that daddy wasn’t there when she woke up one morning. Alice and her husband had been separated several months although they were living in the family home together awaiting the sale of their house. Alice and her daughter had spent time away from her husband before, but this was the first time he had stayed out overnight. Her daughter’s reaction caused Alice to wobble – another recognition her marriage is over. Her emotion caught her off guard. A quick chat and reframe and Alice was able to get on with her day. Sometimes you’ll notice it’s the things you think you’re fine about are the things that hurt. It’s important to acknowledge those and give yourself some time and space to reflect.
Energy in motion
Emotions are energy in motion. Stuff them down and like a coiled spring, they’ll pop up when you least expect it or when you can least afford it. Always honour the way you feel. Check in with yourself regularly and ask yourself honestly ” How am I doing?” If the answer is, “not great”, don’t ignore it, do something. Reach out, get support and ask those around you to help.
Get Divorce Ready Group
Get Divorce Ready Group programme is running again from 31st January 2019. The group runs online at 8-9:30pm each Thursday for 8 weeks. All the calls are recorded and sent to you so you can watch over as many times as you like – it doesn’t matter if you miss a week because you’ll still be sent the recording and your workbook.
This group is for you if you want to get divorce ready with a group of like-minded ladies to feel less overwhelmed and more confident about your ability to manage the process and your emotions. This group is for you if you want to learn which parts of the divorce you can do yourself, when and how to find a good solicitor who will support you, rather than control the process, how family mediation can help you, learn techniques to ensure you communicate your wants and needs effectively from a place of certainty that you already know what’s financially possible for you.
Here’s what’s included:
- Six coaching calls recorded via Zoom
- Copy of my Amazon Best Seller How to be a Lady Who Leaves
- Pack of Understanding Divorce 30 Daily Lessons flashcards
- Dedicated weekly workbook
- Additional audio and video to support
- Dedicated secret Facebook Group
- VIP Voxer access (free phone app) for an additional fee.
To find out more, visit Get Divorce Ready Group Programme
Feel free to email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m Emma Heptonstall, The divorce Alchemist and author of Amazon Best Seller How to be a Lady Who Leaves. I support ladies like you to make smart emotion and financial decisions on divorce so that they can move forward to their post-divorce life with ease.