Should I divorce? Should I stay for the kids? How will I survive?

Browse Articles on the topic of Contemplating Divorce

Woman on the couch ignoring divorce advice for women

Divorce Advice for Women: Get Off the Couch

Despite the never-ending amount of divorce advice out there, the end of a marriage is hard.  Divorce is scary, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting through it. Divorce means the start of a new phase of your life—one that you never planned for.

When understanding takes on a new meaning

My parents were divorced, and I was a second-wife and stepmother for 14 years. On top of that, I have been a family law attorney for 21 years. But even so, none of that prepared me for the roller coaster of emotions that came along with my own divorce. I thought I knew what to expect, and I thought I was prepared. Hadn’t I been dishing out divorce advice to clients for years? Surely if there was an expert, I was it. I was so wrong.

When your marriage splits up, you need to redefine your future, your path, and yourself.  In a marriage, you sacrifice so much of yourself, especially toward the end when all your efforts seem to be failing and you do everything you can to desperately try to save your relationship. In the midst of all that, it’s possible to lose sight of who you are—who you truly are, deep inside.

What makes you happy? What are the things you used to do just for yourself—not for your kids, your husband, or your job but just for you? Is it easy to come up with this list? Can you even remember?

My best divorce advice

My best divorce advice for women is to tell you it is time to focus on you now—to get back to your authentic self. Figure out what makes you happy and where you want your life to go. You have unlimited opportunities now. You have choices. Sure, the path you are on now is not the path that you were on before and it is not the one you expected, but you can redefine your future and you can make it better than before.

Yes, the changes to your finances are scary.  Yes, getting back into the dating world can also another kind of terrifying.  But you can do it.  You are strong, you are fabulous, and you need to get out there and show the world if you ever expect to get anywhere or meet anyone new (friends or lovers).

So, as simple as it sounds: Put away the tissues, and get off the couch. You are amazing, and you have a beautiful, bright future ahead, if only you are brave enough to stop listening to and reading divorce advice and go out there and act on it.

Daryl Weinman is a family law attorney, practicing in the Austin, Texas, area for twenty-one years. A child of divorce, a stepmother for fourteen years, a mother of two teenage boys, and divorced now herself for the past four years, Daryl has seen divorce from most every angle and can truly relate to the emotional struggles of her clients and divorced friends. To leverage her insights and smart, savvy takeaways, read her new book, Post Divorce Journey Back to Yourself available at Barnes & Noble or Or if you are in the Austin area, or a resident of Texas and would like to consult with Daryl for legal divorce advice, visit here for details.

Although SAS periodically features links to and writing by other professionals on the SAS website, SAS for Women™ is not responsible for the accuracy or content of that information. As for what is best for you and your future, SAS always recommends you speak to a professional to discuss the particulars of your situation.

Divorce on the upper east side

What’s Different About Divorce on the Upper East Side?

Wealth, luxury, affluence . . . these are words that often come to mind when thinking about Manhattan’s UES.  A unique neighborhood with a culture all it’s own, everything is different — or so some people think — when you reside here.  Christopher Cameron of Luxury Listings Magazine asks SAS if divorce on the Upper East Side is different for women, too. And while we think divorce is hard no matter where you call home, for a peek into how things can go particularly “imperfectly” in 10028, read our interview.

For more information on SAS for Women™ and our divorce coaching program, or how to divorce and lesson the pain for you and your children, visit our divorce coaching page or schedule your free consultation.

How I Faked It Through My Divorce

“You have such a beautiful life,” a friend once said to me.

I almost congratulated myself.  She didn’t know. I had done such a good job of faking, this friend did not know how dark and deep down desperate I was.

For I had all the tchotchkes, the frequent flyer miles, the beautiful homes, but for years, I had only been going through the motions: role playing the part of a certain type of wife, a particular kind of mother, all the while wondering, when was this going to flip? When was life going to become real, so when I wake up, I like myself?

I’d been embattled in my marriage, over thinking, pondering, and seeing no way out.  My life appeared enviable, gilded, but I was actually living in a tiny gray space with a grim view of life and what was possible.  Living within this tiny space with me, making it all the more suffocating, was this desperate need to Break Free, to be relieved of the hurt and confusion of everyday; and also, this incredible sense of Shame. I couldn’t get over myself. How dare I think I deserved more?  Break Free and Shame dialogued but mostly fought inside my head.

Colliding feelings coupled with conflicting thoughts . . . it’s what happens to us sometimes, especially in relationships. We see no way out. The emotional pits against the intellectual, the psychological against the practical, and you talk yourself out of a decision, only to repeat, reverse, and over think issues that are rarely ever resolved. Break Free and Shame fought until these conversations erupted and I could no longer delude myself that no one else saw.  A storm that had only been on the horizon, brewing I thought, was suddenly rocking the babies in the treetop. My daughters were in this squall and it wasn’t their fault.

Whatever I had been telling myself, self-justifying for years was one thing, I realized, a separate thing, something I would, or at least should investigate deeply at some point; but right now, on a different front . . .  I had to slap myself in the face! I had to put on battle gear, make up. I had to pretend. I wasn’t crazy about who I was. I wasn’t loving what I had done to my children, or the implications that maybe I had failed with my life, failed as a wife, failed at the labels I abhorred but wore. I had to fake it in an entirely different way. I had to pretend I could create something different . . . .

Divorce coaching

Often in divorce coaching, a client arrives at a place where she has grown acutely aware — not only of her weaknesses, her fears, her wrenching limitations — but also paradoxically, she is beginning to uncover her strengths. These strengths might be behaviors or attitudes that have critically served or even saved her in the past; but they are always a result of something deeper and more profound: her most deep-seated values. Her strengths make sense with something that is fundamentally true to her and how she envisions her life should be. When our client arrives here we are excited to be with her for we can literally see feelings clicking with ideas and her body changing. She shifts. She is starting to self-connect. She is learning:

1) She would not be alive and kicking today were it not for these intrinsic strengths — these skills, attitudes or behaviors —  that have allowed her to pick things up and breathe . . . to survive until now.

2) She is discovering that if these strengths have truly served her, then by some measure she has ALREADY faced and overcome obstacles in her past.

3) She realizes that if this is true, then she is not as helpless as she fears. She has a track record of overcoming adversity and harnessing these strengths now can help her do it again.

But make no mistake about it; doing it again can give you vertigo! Taking that brave step requires confidence. And almost in a vicious circle again, it becomes clear that projecting confidence when you feel your worst, as when you are getting divorced, sounds impossible. And truthfully it is. For a long time, a lot of us have to fake it.

How to fake it

The way I chose to start over with my life was to rely on a strength I knew worked. It was to take my apparent, incredible ability to fake and play act, and to turn it on its head. I had to pretend I was confident when I started visiting lawyers. I had to pretend I could speak about the “unspeakable” — divorce.  Later, when it seemed the theater would never end, I had to pretend I was confident in learning to . . . pay my bills, parallel park a car, and apply for my first job since I was a kid. I reminded myself that hadn’t I faked everybody out before? And as I began to move forward, inch by inch,“Hey, I got this,” is what I literally said to myself.

Based on her 30 years of research studying human evolution, mating, and psychology, Cultural Anthropologist Helen Fisher recommends that people “project confidence” when they are going out into the world.  In particular, Fisher is counseling us about dating. But her words make sense for anyone starting over.  “Positive attracts positive,” Fisher says. But she acknowledges that confidence is hard, especially if you can’t find anything about yourself that’s likable:

“And if you don’t like yourself, suggests Fisher, “act as if” you do. “Better yet, create a phrase that you can repeat to yourself in the shower, in the car or anywhere else, something like “I love being myself because I am ____________. Find something you honestly like about yourself and repeat it. Make sure this recitation puts a smile on your face, a lilt in your voice and confidence in your step (Why Him, Why Her, page 207)

We like Fisher’s suggestion, not only because it’s grounded in science and how humans have learned to adapt to change, survive and grow, but because it syncs with what we know happens in successful coaching. Once a client has grown self aware and can identify a core strength in herself, we can explore and test it with her, and then help her develop a mantra, a code, or a phrase to help remind her of it.

“Hey, YOU got this.”

Reminding yourself of your power and strength by uttering a phrase and pushing your way through, even if you are faking it, helps your brain to develop a mindset of positivity and “can-doism.” It’s like pulling out a crib sheet or flash card to remind yourself: you have vanquished dragons in the past, and behold!  You will slay again!

For our client Millie, a forty-something mother to three and CEO of her own company, reminding her of her “leather pants” as she faces various bumps and twists along her divorce road is the subtle cue that suddenly shifts her into a different gear, a different mindset where she can access her brilliant, problem-solving capabilities. Millie starts tearing apart an issue differently when she feels in control. “Leather pants,” stops her car so to speak, and leaves her “Wavering Self” by the side of the road.

For you to try

Read Fisher’s words again and remind yourself of something you like about yourself, a strength. Think about where you last displayed this strength and what the outcome was. Now frame this story and give the strength or story a name so when you are next challenged and your stress starts climbing, you can pull this strength out and raise it in the air. Just mentally touching this sword without removing it from your sheath might be enough for you to say, “En garde!”

We’re unblushing fans of Dr. Helen Fisher for all that she can teach you about yourself and how — going forward — you can connect more meaningfully with others who are, or who are not like you. Catch my business partner, SAS Co-founder, Kimberly Mishkin in this recent video with Dr. Helen Fisher and Your Tango Relationship Experts, as they discuss another angle, if opposites can really attract? And if they can, what things must you be mindful of to not only maintain but also nurture these quirky relationships.

For more divorce support, connect with SAS for 6 free months of coaching via your inbox.

Finding light in your divorce story

New York Times: “How to Divorce” is Changing for Women

The “newspaper of record,” the New York Times is shedding light on how to divorce and how it’s changing. Women are no longer navigating it alone in a desperate, anxiety-ridden journey. Allying themselves with a partner, a team, a tribe, women are moving through this major life-challenge differently.

Read about SAS — but what’s more — our friend Elise Pettus, founder of UNtied (— the women’s divorce-support community you should definitely join if you live in the NYC area) in Penelope Green’s NYTimes piece, A New Cadre of Experts Helps Women Navigate Their Divorces.

For more information on SAS for Women™ and our divorce coaching program, or how to divorce and mitigate the pain for you and your children, visit our divorce coaching page or schedule your free consultation.



Thinking About Divorce? Important Steps to Be Prepared

Divorce or separation tends to be one of those situations that women don’t plan for because, well, we don’t want to assume the worst. We operate under the assumption that everything will be fine. It’s when things suddenly aren’t fine and we start thinking about divorce that we realize, in hindsight of course, that we could have taken some simple measures that would have saved us a lot of time, energy, and anxiety.

If you are thinking about divorce, or are unsure of the state of your relationship, understand that nowadays, it’s really recommended that you connect with someone who can go through the process with you.

But if you are not there yet — you are not ready to confide in someone like a therapist or a divorce coach — there are solo steps you can take that will make you feel better.  One step (or series of steps) is to organize certain items you should have readily available (regardless of the state of your relationship).

Using the checklist below, gather documents related to finances, the household and the children now. Make note of account numbers in a small notebook and you’ll have an easier time accessing the information you need when and if you need it.

Important Documents
❒ Bank and credit card statements/account numbers
❒ Retirement account numbers
❒ Investment account numbers
❒ Loan account numbers
❒ Recent pay stubs, W2’s,or 1099’s
❒ Copy of deeds/mortgage/property title
❒ Employee benefit package info
❒ Wills and/or trusts
❒ Insurance policies
❒ Tax returns from the last 3-5 years
❒ Vehicle registration
❒ Airline frequent flier numbers

Other important records to have access to/copies of:

❒ Health insurance and identification cards
❒ Birth certificates
❒ Social security cards
❒ Passport/Green card
❒ Medical records
❒ School records
❒ Immunization records
❒ Baptismal/religious records
❒ Credentials (teaching certificate, licenses, etc.)
❒ Pet records
❒ Marriage certificate
❒ Divorce decree
❒ Contact info — accountants, relatives, good friends, etc.

If you are fairly certain that you want a divorce and you are wondering what additional things you should be thinking about, consider taking these steps:

❒ Estimate what your need to live for several months, and if you haven’t already, begin setting aside that money immediately

❒ Inform all parties with a financial interest, such as banks, financial professionals and creditors of the probability of the divorce

❒ Obtain a temporary order for spousal and child support if needed

❒ Take a household inventory (including pictures) of rooms and items

❒ Put items that are personal and that you want to take with you, such as diplomas and yearbooks, in a safe place (your office, a friends house)

❒ Make a copy of house keys and car keys

❒ Write a background, a picture of your married life including a description of your time and money contributions to the marriage while it’s fresh in your mind.

If abuse is part of the picture, your safety is the most important thing.
Think about:

❒ How to get out of your home safely, and practice ways to get out

❒ Three places you could go if you must leave your home

❒ People who might help you if you left. Is there someone who might keep a bag for you? Someone who might lend you money or let you stay with them?

❒ If you have children, teach them how to dial 911

❒ Print out your address book and give it to friends, your boss, or a family member

❒ Put together a “Go Bag” and put it somewhere you can get to it quickly. Include, in addition to the important papers in your file, items like:

❒ Money
❒ Keys to car, house, and work
❒ Prescription medicine
❒ Childcare supplies
❒ Extra clothes
❒ Extra phone charger
❒ Extra prescription eyeglasses, hearing aid, or other vital personal items
❒ Pictures, jewelry, anything that means a lot to you

There’s no harm in making a few copies of important papers or putting a few items away for safekeeping. If you don’t need them, great! If you do, you’ll be very glad you took the time now. Our divorce advice for women? Why not be prepared for whatever comes your way?


Whether you are considering a divorce or already navigating the confusing experience, one thing we see making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not do divorce alone. Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of Divorce.
“A successful divorce requires smart steps, taken one at a time.” ~ Liza Caldwell, SAS Cofounder.
Take a step to hear what’s possible for you and schedule your free consultation now.


Poor Little Rich Women?

As a working Upper East Side mother (and for many years before, residing there as stay at home mom) I read with amusement Wednesday Martins’ recent New York Times essay on her culture shock in living among the moneyed mothers of this demographic. I say “amusement” as in the same kind of titillation I derive (but try to deny) watching an episode of “Gossip Girls,” or the “Real Housewives” of any city. We want to believe, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “that the rich are different.”

But let’s be clear, Dr. Martin’s piece — published a week in advance of the release of her new book Primates on Park Avenue — does not advance our conversation on what modern women need to know about marriage, mothering, and attaining self-fulfillment. It’s a distraction, pitting women against women.

Here’s Dr. Martin, a mother and an anthropologist by training, describing “the tribe” she encounters when she moves to Manhattan’s Upper East Side:

 I met the women I came to call the Glam SAHMs, for glamorous-stay-at-home moms, of my new habitat. My culture shock was immediate . . . to discover that the most elite stratum of all is a glittering moneyed backwater.

. . . .The women I met, mainly at playgrounds, playgroups and the nursery school where I took my sons were mostly 30-something with advanced degrees from prestigious universities and business schools. They were married to rich, powerful men, many of whom ran hedge or private equity funds; they often had three or four children under the age of 10. . . .. (A)nd they did not work outside the home.

Instead they toiled in what the sociologist Sharon Hays calls, ‘”intensive mothering,” exhaustively enriching their childrens lives by virtually every measure, then advocating for them anxiously and sometimes ruthlessly in the high-stakes games of social jockeying and school admissions.

Does Dr. Martin mean to imply that all stay at home mothers deserve her contempt, or just the rich ones? Is the decision to “stay at home” inherently sexist?

I thought we women had attained the right to choose here, and in so many other domains — not only for reproductive rights — but how to live and raise our families, if we are lucky to have the choices?

And what makes this tribe different from wealthy women across this country, be they in New York City, rich suburbs, or Silicon Valley? Aren’t they living out the values of our rich, industrialized society?

These women are not poor, as you and I would readily agree. Like you and me, and countless women across this country, they made and continue to make life decisions based on what society tells us is important: getting into the best schools, working hard, and choosing mates for their ability and potential to provide. It’s basic and makes perfect sense from an anthropological viewpoint. The question that arises is does this formula guarantee for happiness and self-fulfillment? Does it make for happy women and men, and grounded, centered children?

I would argue that these thirty-year olds are smart, but still young. They are trying to be good parents, keep up with their peers and do what their social circles expect. It doesn’t mean that they are not individual women who behind closed doors are still wrapping their heads around what their daily lives look like and the compromises they have made. Or that, they are not questioning themselves and what it is to be a modern woman. But for the time being, they are mothers caught up in the values of our system that tells them their kids must excel to thrive; and it’s their job to ensure these goals are successfully attained. Whether their kids will or will not depends very much on the moral compass that exists in that house and the kind of partnership they have with their mate.

The problem with this this “tribe,” or these women, is the same problem that exists everywhere. If the marriages are not a shared partnership, if the wife does not feel respected like an equal partner but an employee, servant, or maid, then the power is not equal and the relationship, regardless of the money, is feudal-based. If ultimately, she feels trapped for being out of the workforce for years, then she might feel imprisoned with an outdated skill set that gives her no way out if her marriage begins to spiral down. Frustrated and stuck, she may become a poor role model for her kids, a self-justifying martyr, a depressive, a drunk, or an angry (for being unheard, unseen) woman. Just like so many of our moms.

What is unique to this tribe is the self-recognition of privilege; the simultaneous investment and compromises one has made to get there and the hidden shame one sometimes feels for having arrived there and not feeling altogether satisfied as a person.

How then to reconcile having so much with feeling so little?

If you’ve spent most of your lifetime investing in what society tells you should be attaining, then to question your decisions and where you are now is to question everything the tribe stands for, it’s tribal-cide. It’s embarrassing, especially when you know there are others in this world who have far less, and mustn’t their lives be so much harder? How dare I complain? These are just a few of the disempowering messages we tell ourselves as women. Shut up, and get over it. Shame, denial, fear of the unknown keeps us spinning for years, or maybe, forever.

As a divorce coach and advisor who assists women from all walks of life, I know the question for all of us is about happiness and self-fulfillment. Forget gender, class, ethnic background, or the social constructs that are used to divide us. It’s about each and every one of us, our basic human right to live a life fully — and authentically.

Staying in an unlived life, playing a small game as dictated by society, limits our impact and shuts down our future. What is truly possible for you, your children, your community, even our shared world, if you were to understand who you are, what your real values consist of, and then unleash that wisdom in the form of your unique, individual power?

Porter Magazine agrees in their current Summer Issue 2015. In a feature entitled “Modern Love,” Porter says that women are increasingly, no longer buying the dictates of society. They are doing things differently from their tribal elders. Educated and Internet adept across the board, women have become skilled in problem solving by sourcing support and advice. Women are finding their mates, seeking out information and experts for sustaining their relationships, and when these relationships begin to unravel, they are turning to others to guide them. Which is how Porter found us.

As cofounders of SAS for Women, Kim and I understand all the hard-learned externalities and personal challenges of changing a life and running against the currents of society. If you are considering upturning the tables and facing the social stigma of divorce, there are all the unknown tactical and logistical decisions to contend with, and also the internal conflicts we have with ourselves. It’s not clear how to proceed, how to breathe, how to get on, how to grapple with the pain, and move through it. This is to say nothing about your fears of how divorce will impact your children.  However, let us remind you, we are modern women. Most of us do have choices — though we might not see them — and there are ways to mitigate the pain for you and your family.

Like the cast from any reality show, the tribe on the Upper East Side can be reduced to superficial stereotypes. What’s more important is to recognize that even now, no matter where you are on the social scale, women are still struggling with achieving equality in the workforce and at home. If your mate supports and respects you, and you have an understanding of how you will achieve mutual fulfillment, whether one of you stays home or you both work, then you stand a good chance of dividing and conquering life’s challenges and raising healthy children. If it falls to women to play second-class citizens, if we continue to not unite across all social constructs of class and color and way of life, then we are destined for these divisive, ongoing, internal, external, and tribal conflicts, these fruitless conversations. We will never get to the root of the problem of inequities and how to redraw them. What is worse, our children are destined to repeat them.


Whether you are considering a divorce or already navigating the confusing experience, one thing we see making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not do divorce alone. Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of Divorce.
Take a step to hear what’s possible for you and schedule your free consultation now.
Liza Caldwell and divorce coaching celebrated in Porter Magazine

Porter Magazine Explores Divorce Coaching and Modern Women

Women today are more educated than ever before in history. Now the majority gender graduating from colleges and universities, many of us — no matter our age — have more access to information than ever in our lives, thanks to the Internet.

But the flip side to this advancement is that we are also, now programmed for instant gratification. We want to understand everything there is to understand – quickly. From analyzing a subject as a whole to breaking it down to subparts, we want our instant takeaways. Because Google says it’s possible, we seek the right formula for the best outcomes so we can move on with our To-do list.


But, when it comes to divorce, and if and how you should do it, is it wise to proceed in all haste? Once you’ve researched it up and down, and read and read, can you seek divorce gratification?

Many women who come through our doors at SAS are smart and edgy. They have done their research. They’ve read about mediation and contested v. uncontested divorce models. They’ve evaluated lawyers’ websites and counted the stars. They’ve listened to friends and their divorce tales. But in their quest to disprove or readily self-apply a recipe, women contacting us have reached an impasse. There is something telling them to double check, to look for critical insight to their own particular story: the way their divorce will or is already impacting their kids, or affecting their job, or their health, and their foundering meaning for living. “Support” is one thing some ladies say they need; while others, bewildered and confused, admit they don’t know what they are looking for: they don’t know what they don’t know.

For all of them, one word rings true. “Guidance.” They are looking for safe and seasoned guidance for their divorce challenge — and for all the other parts of their life that are affected.

As the founders of SAS, Kim and I know, among the most important insights we share is to give our clients a sense of real time and what is possible. Those who harness the courage to connect with us are often on overdrive in a frantic cycle of self-preservation or paralyzed by all the unknowns and fears that surround life-changing decisions. Our job is to slow you down and dispel the fog of information-overload so you understand right now where you are and what real choices you face, so you can see more clearly to take the right step for you and your family. Our job is also to tell you, you can’t know it all.

There are no ready-made answers to divorce. It is a life reckoning that is also an awakening, a process, and there is a learning curve. As for instant-gratification, you cannot digest it in two meetings with a lawyer or multiple sittings in front of a computer. You must travel it. Yes, there are many aspects and milestones that will mark your progress on the road, and knowing exactly where you are helps you prepare for what is potentially ahead. The fact remains, you must still navigate the road, the exact destination of which cannot be fully predicted.

No matter how much you study or cross reference, you cannot have all the answers at once and seeking divorce gratification risks too much. The impact of hasty decisions, “just to be done with it!” may negatively impact your children, increase the threat of litigation and court, and impair your long-term mental, physical, emotional health and your financial well-being; all of which ultimately undermines your ability to live the way you choose once the dust settles.

But knowing what you don’t know is hard.

This is why we are honored to be recognized by Porter Magazine as one of three women influencing the conversation on modern love today. Porter states irrevocably that compared to our predecessors, modern women are doing things differently when it comes to love — and, yes, the resolution of their relationships. Women are not only accessing information (and their mates) through the Internet, they are also seeking professional support for nurturing, and sustaining their relationships. And when things spiral down, women today are thoughtfully seeking professional support for the pain and heartache that comes with it. In their Summer Issue 2015 (pages 194, 197-98), Porter endorses divorce coaching and celebrates SAS for Women as the go-to model for thoughtfully and healthily bringing closure to a relationship.

The message is clear: armed with information and the right guidance, modern women are moving beyond the stigma of divorce and doing it their way. Because they are committed to themselves and their families, they are investing in the here and now for their best future.

Note to Reader: Created by Natalie Massenet, the founder of the 400 million-dollar-a-year online retailer, Net-à-Porter, Porter Magazine is the new, glossy, and revolutionary addition to the fashion magazine scene. Directed and run by smart, empowered women, Porter is doing something new. The quarterly combines the visual concepts of fashion magazine with online-catalogue marketing while also offering great interviews and fascinating stories for and about women. It is digitally-protected, however; which means if you wish to read the Modern Love article and interview with Liza Caldwell of SAS on page 198, you must go-online and purchase the magazine or read the pdf here.


Whether you are considering a divorce or already navigating the confusing experience, one thing we see making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not do divorce alone. Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of Divorce.
Take a step to hear what’s possible for you and schedule your free consultation now.

Should You Divorce? 3 Things to Help You Decide What to Do

Contemplating divorce is hard. Really hard. And deciding whether or not to get divorced in the first place may be the hardest part of all.

Often when we are approaching big decisions, especially life changing decisions, we start by asking ourselves questions. We can meditate and go over it in our mind for days, weeks, months and yes, even years. This struggle is totally and utterly confusing, not to mention exhausting.

You may know something is wrong in your relationship but you don’t know what to do, or how to fix it. Perhaps you feel deeply torn and worry about how divorce will impact your family and your children. You worry that whatever steps you take will be irreversible and that the life you end up with will be way worse than the life you know.

If you feel as if you are spinning endlessly, asking yourself, “Should I or Shouldn’t I?” there are 3 things you can do that will help you to stop that spinning, and gain clarity and momentum toward a resolution:

1. Find a partner

When you are in that place of spinning, you need to talk with someone you can trust. We recommend it be a professional if possible. Whom you share with is important.

What kind of professional?
• The guidance counselor at your kids school
A consultation with a lawyer
• A therapist who will help you focus with the emotional aspects
An advisor, or coach like us, who guides you through the whole process

What if you do not have access to a professional? Ask yourself:
• Whom do I really respect?
• Who will keep my story confidential?
• Who will give me genuine, constructive feedback?
• Who will suspend her/his own vested interests in my life?

2. Educate yourself

The unknown is the scariest part. So it’s important to start gathering information. Armed with information, you will not only make more informed choices, but you’ll feel more in control of the situation.

Find out what divorce laws are in your state
• Ask your friends if they have attorneys they would recommend
• Look for support groups in your area
• Look for free information: Go to workshops and attend webinars, sign up for free eBooks and newsletters and learn everything you can

3. Take a step everyday

Often we stall or avoid things that we really don’t want to do or that are painful for us. However, this results in weeks and months slipping by without any progress. Instead, do one thing each day. Even if it’s very small, take a step:

Open a new bank account of your own
• Start a journal
• Make plans with a friend
• Schedule a meeting with an attorney or accountant
• Start looking online for a new house or apartment
• Reach out to someone you know who has been through a divorce

The key is to get out of your head and make a move, no matter how small. One step will lead to another and you will begin to see and feel things differently. Understand that taking a step does not mean you are necessarily getting a divorce. It means you are finding out about your rights and your choices, and from there you will make the right decision.

Again, the 3 Things You Can Do are 1) find a partner 2) educate yourself, and 3) take a step each day.

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