This is a blog I’d love you to print out and stick to your mirror. It’s my 30 divorce mantras you NEED to navigate divorce on your terms all in one place – and then we’ll dive into some of them to set you up with the best possible mindset for divorce. I would love it if you shared this blog with someone who needs it please! Everything you do in divorce is easier if you can absorb these mantras into your bloodstream.
First off, here are all the mantras together. Feel free to print this off and put it where you’ll see it several times a day! (I’ll turn it into a print one of these days).
- It is okay to put myself first
- Self-worth is not selfish
- Leaving a toxic relationship is always the right thing
- My children learn about relationships from the example I set
- My children will adapt to change
- When I’m okay my children are okay
- I am the CEO of my divorce
- My happiness is my responsibility
- I choose my divorce support team wisely
- Not everyone’s opinion of my divorce matters
- I am not responsible for my husband
- My spouse’s opinion of me is none of my business
- I do not need to respond to every communication my husband sends me
- I consider my responses carefully
- I’m learning to be a capable money manager
- I never negotiate without knowing my numbers
- My financial and non-financial contributions to the relationship are of equal value
- I never horse-trade my values for physical possessions
- I can create a new safe and loving home
- I can become financially independent
- I accept the legal process is transactional, not emotional
- I choose to focus on the future not the past
- Divorce is a marathon not a sprint
- Divorce won’t get easier, I’ll just get older
- I can trust myself to make good decisions
- It is safe for me to ask for the support of others
- I am far more capable than I believe
- Divorce does not define me
- My own opinions are valid
- I take time to reflect on and acknowledge the progress I am making
Now, let’s get into some of them to understand why they are so important.
It is okay to put myself first
If you’ve been in an unhealthy marriage, it’s likely you’ve suppressed your needs for quite some time. Maybe you’ve stayed together for the children, or been dictated to by your soon-to-be-ex, or simply squashed your feelings in the hope everything will work out.
Divorce signals a change. You only live once, and you may as well do it on purpose! That means focusing on your needs. Placing yourself back at the centre of your life. Now, more than ever, you need to put yourself first.
My children learn about relationships from the example I set
It’s so common for people to stay together ‘for the children’. But, what is this telling your children? They aren’t daft, they can sense when there’s tension at home, even if you think you’re hiding it. When you accept the difficult truth, and move on from a marriage that is no longer working, it shows them that they do not need to spend their life unhappily trapped. That they can make hard choices for the sake of their happiness too.
I am the CEO of my divorce
I’ve written a whole blog on this, but when it comes down to it, being a CEO means you set the vision, and you bring in the support you need. Key lessons? Take time to have your own vision – don’t be dictated to by your ex-spouse, your mum or your solicitor. And, don’t try to do everything yourself. Whether you rope in friends to help with childcare, or venting, a coach to help with strategising or a solicitor to do the paperwork, this is a time to have people around you.
Stepping into the CEO mindset also really helps with Divorce Mantra number 21: I accept the legal process is transactional, not emotional. It’s about getting a process completed to your satisfaction – not about the rights and wrongs of your marriage.
Not everyone’s opinion of my divorce matters
Sure, there will be people whose advice you seek, and need. But, believe me, everyone will have an opinion, and many will want to share it freely! You can’t always tell them to shut up. But you don’t need to take everyone’s opinion on board. You will go round in circles if you do that! Decide in advance who you want to listen to. And don’t be afraid to kindly but firmly tell people to stop!
I am learning to be a capable money manager
Many (not all) of my clients took a step back from money matters in the marriage. Many (not all) of my clients were not the main breadwinner either. This means they often have blocks around their financial capability. Money is something they haven’t paid much attention to, and maybe they’ve developed a sense of shame, guilt or low self-esteem around. Is this you too? If so, I want you to know you can do this. The very first step to being capable around money is giving it the attention it needs. It may well not be as complicated as you feared. And, if it is, there are people who can help you understand your situation.
I can trust myself to make good decisions
If I made the wrong decision to marry, how can I trust myself to make the right decision? If my soon-to-be-ex made all the decisions in our marriage, how do I even know how to make a decision? If I’ve made mistakes in my marriage, how do I know I won’t again?
If you’ve had any of these thoughts, you’re in good company. Everyone I’ve worked with thinks them at some point. And, do you know what? They are smart, capable women, just like you. Everyone gets it wrong sometimes. And the best way to make good decisions is to tune into what you need first (hence mantra number one: it is okay to put myself first)!
I choose to focus on the future, not the past
This one is so important because it covers two vital things: your mental health now, and your future wellbeing. Please don’t get sucked into playing the blame game. I’m not saying you should just roll over and let your soon-to-be-ex treat you badly. But by going over and over all the ways they treated you badly, you keep yourself stuck. And, what’s important now is that you can rebuild your life. This isn’t so much forgive and forget, more look after future you.
It is safe for me to ask for the help of others
If you’ve been in a difficult marriage, you may carry emotional injury. It may not feel safe to trust others and ask for help. Hyper-independence is a response to being hurt by people. But divorce is a big, stressful life experience. You will need help along the way – whether it’s something as simple as a hug and listening ear from a friend, or something as in-depth as therapy, coaching or financial advice. Please ask for it. I offer a free 30 minute chat to women who are considering divorce coaching, and I guarantee that I’ll be honest with you about how I can (or can’t) help.
Divorce does not define me
Let’s close with this one. Divorce might be the first thing that lands in your brain when you wake up, and the last thing you’re going over before you finally drop off to sleep at night. And that’s natural – especially if it’s new, or there’s been a big milestone in your journey. However, you are so much more than your divorce. You’re also the history buff/master baker/laughably terrible baker/pub quiz genius/disco queen… or whatever else that you always were. You are bigger than divorce. And, to survive with your health intact, it is so important to be able to put divorce down for a while. And it feels so much safer and healthier to do that if you know you’re taking the reins with it.
Do divorce your way
You’re not a victim. You’re not a cold hearted bitch. You’re simply a woman who wants to get through divorce with her head held high, and enjoy the rest of your life. I can help you do that. Book a free chat with me here to find out how.
Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is the author of the Amazon best-selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. Emma is also the host of The Six Minute Divorce Podcast. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com