Why your divorce story is holding you back


date published

27th May 2019

written by

Emma Heptonstall

Emmaheptonstall.com Image

date published

27th May 2019

Why your divorce story is holding you back

Every divorce comes with its own story. It’s just the way it is. In 2017 in England & Wales there were 101,669 divorces of opposite sex couples. That means there are 203,338 divorce stories just from that year alone. That’s a lot of stories right? In this blog, I’m inviting you to consider your divorce story and look at why your divorce story is holding you back. 

What is a divorce story?

A divorce story is the narrative that a divorcing person creates around their divorce. It’s influenced by many things including age, sex, social status, level of self-awareness and levels of contentment during marriage before its ending. A divorce story is often influenced by the mental health of either spouse.

Divorce stories are powerful. They are the beliefs and values that a person holds about the situation they are in. Divorce stories have the power to influence the steps you do and don’t take in your divorce. Divorce stories are real to the author of the story.

What’s your divorce story?

So. What’s your story? Think about it. What’s the story you tell if someone asks you about your marital status or about your separation or divorce? That which you say first, unconsciously without thinking about it, is your story. It’s the thing that’s true for you.

Why your divorce story is holding you back

Your divorce story is holding you back because you repeat it so often that not only do you think it’s true for you, you think it’s real, meaning that another perspective isn’t useful. It means you cling to your version of reality as if you were dangling over a precipice by your finger nails. It can be incredibly difficult to let go because your story defines you. You believe it’s keeping you safe.

Your divorce story can stop you from having to take responsibility – it’s all “his fault”. It can keep you stuck “he has all the money”. Your divorce story can get you lots of attention and sympathy, particularly if you’re the “wronged”party. This feels great if you’ve been ignored or belittled for a long time. You can read more about this on my blog Am I in a high conflict divorce? The thing is, these stories don’t help you move forward, even if they are true for you.

Changing the script

Changing the script means  considering your situation differently. Not because you are ‘wrong’. What you feel is always true for you. Because changing the script allows you the flexibility to do something different. To feel something different. It might mean forgiveness of him and it’s just as likely to mean forgiveness or yourself. Forgiveness for your part in this or forgiveness for allowing yourself to stay in this position for so long. Changing the script means you are open to possibility. The possibility of being supported to actually start taking positive action. To leave behind any victimhood that you may be holding on to.

Being coachable

Not everyone is coachable. How about you? To be coachable you have to be willing to let go of old beliefs and values that no longer serve you.  A great coach will encourage you to strengthen your connections to the beliefs and values that do. A great coach moves you from feeling powerless and stuck to feeling like you are in charge of you again, and will gently and firmly call you out on those parts of your divorce story that are holding you back. They will listen with empathy and keep you focus on the outcome you want, not rehashing the past. 

You’ll know if you’re coachable by your emotional response to this post 😉 

Ready to change your divorce story?


That’s okay – you’ll be ready when you’re ready.

If now is your time, get in touch. I can help.

message Emma


The Divorce Alchemist

Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is 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 practising family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self study and group programmes. Emma is featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

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

Related Posts:

Pin It on Pinterest