How to be a Lady Who Leaves


date published

21st September 2017

written by

Emma Heptonstall Image

date published

21st September 2017

How to be a Lady Who Leaves

How to be a Lady Who Leaves is that question you’ve asked yourself many times? The truth is that divorce is scary, even if it’s your idea. Even when you know with all your heart that it’s time to call it a day. One of the biggest challenges any woman face is knowing what to do first and then, what to do next. It can be overwhelming and confusing. So what happens? You do nothing. Sound familiar? Well, don’t panic and you can stop feeling guilty right now. Because How to be a Lady Who Leaves  officially launched on Amazon on 13th September 2017 and became an Amazon Best Seller.

How to be a Lady Who Leaves is for you if you’re thinking of leaving or have left your husband and you want support with ensuring you’ve made the right decision, how to deal with divorce if you’re experiencing domestic abuse, understanding the legal process, support with understanding how to separate your finances, understanding how divorce impacts your children, how to look after yourself  and life post divorce.

Making smart emotional and financial decisions on your divorce will save you time, money and your sanity! So how do you do it? 

Recognising domestic abuse

Many women don’t recognise when they’re in an abusive relationship. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can be difficult recognising that a course of behaviour is ‘abusive’ because abuse is something that happens to other people – not you. Secondly their husband has always behaved this way often before marriage so its become ‘normal’. In How to be a Lady Who Leaves, you’ll meet ‘Katie’. Katie was one such woman. Katie didn’t want to consider that her husband was abusive, but he was. Throughout their marriage, Katie’s husband was emotionally abusive. Rarely supportive of her, at times he would belittle and mock her and by the time Katie and I began working together, her confidence was at rock bottom. Recognising that her husband’s behaviour was abusive enabled Katie to see him differently and to stop making excuses for his poor behaviour. 

At first do nothing

How to be a Lady Who Leaves encourages you to take the right steps at the right time for you. What’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for the next woman. You are unique and so is your divorce journey. It’s important that you make a decision that’s right for you so that you move forward without looking back. Doing nothing at first gives you the opportunity to take stock, ready to create a plan.

Creating a plan

Creating a plan to leave your man is just smart. It’s not underhand deceitful or wrong unless youre planning on taking all his money and removing the children without telling him (unless you have to for self protection). If what youre doing is educating yourself about what you want, need and what the family finances are so you can begin to get a sense of what you may be entitled to, its a sensible way to start the divorce process.

Getting support

The legal process

One of the biggest concerns that women have is about the legal process and how much it will all cost. The truth is, what it costs will always vary based on things such as geography and complexity. You do not need to find the most expensive lawyer you can afford. You need to find a lawyer who understands what you want from the divorce and also that you like them. Beware of lawyers who have their own agendas – their agenda should be your agenda. In order for this to happen, you must take responsibility ahead of instructing them. You take responsibility by understanding your financial situation and your values. Understanding an overview of the legal process will also help you to feel calmer. The process itself isn’t that complicated – it’s what we put on it emotionally that creates the challenges.


Managing your money on divorce is vitally important. It can be one of the most scary parts of the whole divorce process. Whether you’re the woman who has been the career girl and perhaps the biggest earner, or you’ve been a stay at home mum for a few years, what will happen to the family finances is an issue that you need to get to grips with, and understand as soon as you can. Perhaps you are that woman who doesn’t know how much her husband earns and you feel a bit embarrassed about that – know that you are not alone. There are hundreds of women just like you who have no idea what money comes into the family coffers and what the costs of running the home are, over and above the Waitrose bill and clothing the children (for which you might get an ‘allowance’).

But, if you are thinking about divorce, you must get up to speed with these numbers as quickly as you can in a lawful way. Start learning and getting an understanding of what these numbers are as you will need these numbers. If it’s easier, start with your own numbers – what do you have coming in each month and what do you spend? Perhaps start by simply tracking what money goes out of your purse for yourself. Things such as hair appointments, nails, coffee, magazine’s. What money do you spend on the children? How much do you spend in the supermarket? This starting point will get you familiar with looking at money.


When divorce seems daunting, it’s easy to hide behind your children and say that you will stay for their sake. Sound familiar? It’s a myth that parents who stay together for the sake of their children nurture children who are more secure and happy. Research shows that the majority of adult children of parents who were unhappy but didn’t divorce say that thy wished that they had. Your children are smart. Smarter than you think. Even if you and your husband have never argued in front of them, even if you ‘pretend’ that all is well, they know the truth and probably started thinking about your divorce before you did. Remember that it’s your job as a parent to be great role models for your children. Staying in an unhappy marriage teaches them that staying is what you ‘should’ do. Would you want your children to stay in a relationship that makes them feel as unhappy, lonely or as miserable as you do right now? Exactly. So leaving is leadership – it shows your children that we are each responsible for our own lives and our own happiness.


The Lady Who Leaves – that’s you. Your own health and happiness is important. If you aren’t happy, your children won’t be either. When you’re about to embark on, and go through divorce, it’s important that you look after yourself. That means putting your emotional and physical needs as a priority. It may feel counter intuitive because you feel that you need to focus on your children, but your children need you to be physically and emotionally strong. So, keep routine for the children as best you can and put them to bed on time. You need to rest and relax too. Accept offers of help, and if none are forthcoming, ASK. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, its the sign of an emotionally intelligent woman who recognises that she can’t do everything herself.

I’m Emma Heptonstall – The Divorce Alchemist, author of  the #1 Amazon Best Seller How to be a Lady Who Leaves. I support ladies like you to make smart emotional and financial decisions on divorce. 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts:

Pin It on Pinterest