Browse Articles on the topic of Life After Divorce

Thinking over divorce advice

Divorce Advice from a Woman of a Certain Age

After my divorce, I needed advice, strategies, and moral support to get through the relationship mess that I was living in. I needed to move on but felt I needed divorce advice and support to get there—someone not young but not quite old, from someone like me: a woman of a certain age.

I began the search by looking for a self-help book that would offer me relief. Visiting more than one bookstore, searching online, and checking out the ever-present Saturday morning yard sale for discarded but useful books (I don’t know why I like that genre), I was astounded to find nothing that offered help for the middle-aged woman.

Why is it that no books existed for the middle-aged woman experiencing un-engagement, separation, or divorce? Do writers think that women like us will just muddle through it and move on without any support?

True, middle-aged women are strong, resilient, and feisty, but, as in many other areas of our personal and professional lives, we are often ignored. I had enough. So I decided to write my own story full of tips, strategies, success stories, and divorce advice from middle-aged women who have lived through their own relationship trials and who have come through the experience with their sense of joy and self. These women have survived divorce and healed through their divorce recovery, and are now in a better state than they ever imagined they could be.

How did they do it? Here are a few teasers from my book, The Feisty Woman’s Guide to Surviving Mr. Wonderful: Moving on with Humor, Laughter, and Chutzpah!

Since you seem to ache and feel awful from head to toe, seek out as much divorce advice and as many, varied (no matter how weird that they may sound) types of help that you can stand. You will know when enough is enough.

Seek out a professional

One woman I know sought out a life coach to guide her through this process. Be sure that your coach suits your personality and style. Check out her training and certification. Her life coach, actually, first recommended a 60s “cure” for dealing with the stress of a divorce. This unusual strategy involved a field trip to Colorado and a cleansing ritual, but the woman in question declined. Instead, she chose something more traditional to focus and to calm her nerves: a therapist.

Consider the right professionals who abound these days. Women no longer have to reinvent themselves in the dark. You might consider a divorce coach or therapist who specializes in divorce recovery or life changes. Or even better, an educational divorce support group that teaches you about rebuilding your life and gives you a safe space to discuss divorce advice—with other women! Learning best practices and how to cultivate your confidence, address your fears, and save for retirement will advance your divorce recovery time.

Keep a journal

Many women prefer to write divorce out of their systems. Keeping a diary, just like many of us did as teens, really helped another friend of mine. She wrote whenever anger welled up in her. She wrote and wrote to keep herself from doing harm to her Ex and the new chick in his* life. She filled many books (who wouldn’t?).

When it was time to move on, about a year or so later, she contacted a Native American healer friend to assist her in the journal burning. They both knew that if these journals were ever read by anyone else that it would be bad news, so they set up a time and place for the burning of the journals. She invited a few friends who invited a few friends, and standing around her bonfire, with special added herbs, they freed my friend from her Mr. Was Wonderful and his bad karma. The bonfire has become a yearly ritual sans the bad karma and with the addition of lots of wine.

Keep the right friends around

I was talking at 9 months of age, so this strategy would have worked for me. Talk things out as long as your friends can stand it. But make sure they are the right friends. You need to trust them. They will keep your confidence. They know that you are hurting and want to offer up divorce advice and help you in whatever way they can. Set up talk times so that your words will not interfere with their lives. Do not call after 11 pm or you will both be sleep deprived on top of everything else that you are feeling. You don’t want to lose friends since losing your spouse may be about all that you can handle at this point and isn’t fair to anyone.

You can also talk to yourself, but if you start having a full-on conversation with yourself, you should probably stop immediately. A friend began talking to herself at home, but made the mistake of starting a conversation with herself in the grocery store and, boy, did she ever clear the produce section. She stopped shopping at that store and never went back again.

Your immediate neighborhood has some great people who you may have had limited contact with previously. And while you’ll want to be careful what you tell them if you are still navigating your divorce (you don’t want the information coming back to haunt you), you also never know what potential new friend is close by. After her divorce, a friend of mine found out just how rude her Ex was to a neighbor when she started up a conversation one Sunday afternoon. They became instant friends and remain close today.

Even the unexpected ones

If you are a “hater of children,” maybe try getting over that and make friends with the kids in your neighborhood or building. We’re not past the time when children will pass up the opportunity to mow your lawn or bring in your groceries (for a small fee, of course), but even the power of a friendly wave is not to be underestimated. One friend met her new beau through a neighborhood child. Even if you are not ready for this new man, stranger introductions and lifetime memories with a great guy could be waiting for you.

Volunteer—yes, you

Since you now have some free time on your hands, try volunteering. Someone may need your more than your Ex ever did. One friend volunteered at an animal shelter. Animals offer the best unsolicited affection out there. Dogs are a great judge of character and can make you feel special and loved during a time when you feel very un-special and unloved.

Another friend volunteered at the senior center in her town. She learned new dance steps, how to cheat at cards, and developed a real knack for chess. Still another acquaintance took a jaunt overseas to volunteer in an orphanage. The plight of those children made her look at her divorce in a new light. All of the women mentioned here felt that they became better people because of their volunteering experiences and who doesn’t want that in her life?

Moving forward isn’t about getting just any divorce advice, it’s about getting the right kind for your unique situation. If you, too, are looking for the wisdom of a woman of a certain age, someone who has been in your place before and tried on this particular pair of well-worn shoes, than know that you can find what you’re seeking if you look hard enough. A trusted and smart divorce attorney, therapist, financial advisor, or divorce coach—no matter who you need by your side at this particular moment in your divorce recovery journey, they’re out there.

Guest post by Elizabeth Allen, author of The Feisty Woman’s Guide to Surviving Mr. Wonderful: Moving on with Humor, Laughter, and Chutzpah! a collection of break up stories, including her own. Available on Kindle or paperback through Amazon, Allen’s book is a humorous guide to helping you move through the divorce fiasco so you come out a stronger, more vibrant, confident, powerful, and totally evolved woman.

Since 2012, SAS for Women is entirely dedicated to the unique challenges women face when dealing with divorce or navigating its afterward. Discover the smartest, and most educated, next step for you and your family. Schedule your free, 45-minute coaching session with SAS now.

*At SAS for Women, we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.

9 Reasons to Hire a Divorce Coach

9 Reasons You Should Hire a Divorce Coach

Maybe you’ve debated for years if you should stay or go, until finally you were so miserable you couldn’t breathe. Or maybe HE announced out of the blue that he was unhappy and he wanted out. He wasn’t interested in “working on things” and you? You never saw it coming. Or was it that your relationship just slowed down over the years until it came to a grinding (aching?) halt? No matter how your marriage ended, it probably feels like someone took your entire life as you knew it — and blew it to pieces.

Now you are facing divorce. You know you have to put yourself back together … but how? The questions running through your head won’t stop …“Can we even afford a divorce?” “What about the kids, will they be ok?” “Will I have to go back to work?” “What will my friends think — who are my friends?” “Why is this happening to me?” “How am I supposed to start over at my age?”

Your list of unknowns keep growing. This is to say nothing about your heart, your pain. You have zero energy to tackle any of the tasks in front of you. You probably don’t know where to start. What comes first? How do you know how to divorce? Whom to trust? Every little and big thing seems interconnected — like a precarious house of cards, if you misstep, you worry, too, about bringing down the whole house.

Recognize that this is not the time to try and “go it alone”

You aren’t your best self right now. Your stress level is through the roof. You are forgetful, exhausted, and clumsy. You aren’t sleeping (or you are sleeping too much), you aren’t eating or exercising, you may be drinking too much, and the household chores are piling up. And you know what? You really don’t care. Yet the decisions you are facing have real and long lasting impact, so you really can’t afford to screw up. What are you supposed to do?

In times of old, women walked into a lawyer’s office, and often, quite literally fell apart. They knew there was a legal aspect they had to address, but the emotional story got mixed up in the sharing and taking in of information. The fact is lawyers were never trained to be your therapist, and that has not changed.  Mis-using your lawyer except for what you absolutely need her/him for is a waste of your time and your money.

What’s a divorce coach?

Understand that this is real: divorce is a major life transition — as is getting married or having a baby; although divorce sure feels like the other end of the spectrum, doesn’t it?  Something akin to death. You are fearful of the loss of everything you’ve ever known, everything you’ve ever worked for. Life transitions or life crises, are moments in our life when everything changes and life takes on a very different look. Today, with the times evolving, there is a professional skilled in your transition (not only the preparing for it, but the dealing with it, and especially, your recovery.) To understand more, you might consider the role of a midwife, an expert who is seasoned in the delivery process and also the emotional caring involved in helping women adapt to major change — giving birth. Midwives assist us in the weeks and months leading up to a birth, and if you follow the show “Call the Midwife,” they are there afterward, making sure that the mother and baby, being well cared for and supported, are optimizing every chance to thrive.

Divorce coaches (the experienced and certified ones) are the holistic (emotional and practical) professionals trained to help you with the monumental shift of divorce or separation in your life. They are expert in helping you understand what you can and cannot do at any given stage, as they help you keep front and center the need to navigate this transition smartly and healthily. For ultimately, your goal is not to merely survive the divorce — but to make the best decisions that will ensure your (and your children’s if you have them …) healing.

Ask for help

Accept that divorce is bigger than you, right now. Accept that you did not study divorce law in college. Accept above all that THIS IS HARD and you cannot rely on your intuition (although it will help) or problem-solving through the night with Google.  At some point you must find the right people to talk to.  The right people — not your scarred and emotionally-embattled neighbor who got divorced years ago and never healed. (Be careful of her.)

The reality is, you want to lessen the cost of mistakes fueled by stress and a syndrome of not knowing what you don’t know. You can do preliminary work, of course, by searching info on divorce laws in your state, or getting your papers/docs organized,

but there comes a critical point when you must have specific feedback on your specific circumstances.

Start with your best friend and your family — only if you think they may help. Tell them you could really use a shoulder to cry on and help with the kids. Then move onto lining up the best professionals to support you. The fact is your friends and family mean well, but they aren’t trained to help you with a divorce.

Everyone thinks the first thing to do is get an attorney. It is not. Before you hire a lawyer, you have to decide what the right divorce process is for you. Is it mediation, collaborative, litigation, DIY? What are the pros and cons of each? What circumstances in your life make you a good candidate or not for each one? Once you know which model of divorce you might follow, then you can look for an attorney who practices that type of law. However, you’ll immediately face this next question, “How do I know if s/he is right?” “Do I just hire the most expensive one because that means she’s good?”

Hire a divorce coach first

A coach will help you bring down the stress! S/he will help you understand the divorce process, what kind of lawyer you might use, and the different options available to you. She will also have a list of excellent professionals to recommend (vetted experts who have helped her clients well in the past); and your coach may even accompany you to meetings with an attorney to keep you on track, to back you up, to make sure you are getting what you need from the meeting. Finding an attorney is just one part of your strategy for taking control of your life, however. Do you understand your finances? Your divorce coach may connect you with an outstanding certified divorce financial planner who can begin to teach you what you must know about your financial decisions. For example, does it makes sense financially to sell or keep the house? As for the other questions brewing in your head, where will you live? How will you tell the kids? A divorce coach is there to guide you to the answers and to many, many more in a process considerably more humane than booking an hour with an attorney.

Which brings up a good point, why would you pay for yet another “professional” when you are dealing with the cost of divorce?  The short answer is if you are interested in actually saving money, time, and emotional anguish, the question is really, can you afford not to use a divorce coach? A divorce coach saves you money by acting as your guide (at a much lower price point than an attorney); empowers you to use an attorney for only what you absolutely must; connects you with other professionals, who along with the divorce coach, can give you “diversified” insight to the questions at hand; and elsewhere cultivates your confidence and creativity with solving other issues that arise with giving birth to a new you.

How do you know if you need a divorce coach? Ask yourself, do any of these 9 dilemmas ring true? If so, hiring a coach could be the best investment for you if you want to stay strategic, money-aware, and healthy:

  1. You aren’t thinking clearly
  2. You are unfamiliar with the divorce legal process or don’t know what comes next
  3. You can’t get past your anger
  4. You are paralyzed by fear
  5. You either aren’t making good decisions or you aren’t making any decisions (You wonder what a good decision is when you can’t know the outcome for certain)
  6. You don’t understand much about your finances
  7. You don’t know what being the best parent now “looks like”
  8. Your confidence is at an all time low
  9. You have no idea what you are going to do after the divorce is over and you face yourself

Certainly, it is possible to get through a divorce on your own. Many people have done it alone. However, if you find a divorce coach who guides and empowers you and leads you to others who support and protect you, you will be much better positioned to make smart and sound decisions about the future, for you and your children.

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. Schedule your free 45-minute consultation with SAS. Tell us confidentially what’s going on and we’ll give you black & white feedback, resources and suggestions for your next steps (regardless of your working further with us or not). 

Woman considering divorce advice

The Acceptance of Rejection: How to Rebound After You’ve Been Dumped

Being dumped and seeking out divorce advice is one of the top five reasons women go for therapy—at least for those women who have an inkling that there might be some help for their depression, their anxiety, or the acting out that often follows their being left.

For being rejected presses all our buttons with our most primal fear of abandonment sounding the loudest alarm. If you had abandonment problems during your childhood, rejection reinforces the sense that you are not safe, that being alone and miserable is not only your “now” but also your future. It is and will be your perpetual state of being.

There is also the profound, physical, and psychological sense of “missing” the other person, of remembering the warm and loving times, of rehearsing over and over the many times he or she did say, “I love you.”

There are the physical artifacts of the relationship to contend with, too: the books, the gifts, the small tokens of your involvement with him*, the person you thought you knew so well, the person who would never hurt you. In fact, he may have even said those very words again, “I never meant to hurt you” just as the axe fell and your head wobbled across the ground.

In this state of loss and grieving, sometimes you cannot even bear to hear other people laugh or talk about the good times they are having, or the exciting relationship they are in, because, why them? Why not you?

Divorce advice for women

So what do you do? Well, there is the stalking . . . the phone calls . . . the letters and the cards. There’s the sending of just one ticket to his favorite show with your note, saying you have the adjoining seat, “and wouldn’t it be fun?” There’s the sudden showing up at his place, too. How do I know these tactics? Because I’ve done it all. And then there’s the endless searching through online forums and divorce advice articles, looking for a sliver of yourself in someone else’s story. I’m here to say there is another way.

Facing reality after being rejected is very difficult. It may help to remember that THE ACCEPTANCE OF REJECTION IS REJECTION! Please think about that.

Think about a time when you may have rejected someone, not necessarily a boyfriend, but anyone in your life; and then think about the importance of his reaction and how it impacted you. Think about it a lot, and eventually, you will come to realize that accepting someone rejection is also a form of rejection that you spin back. From the point of view of your Ex, the fact that you accepted his rejection is also a rejection of him. It’s a game, but a game, as we used to say in Brooklyn, “on the square;” meaning a game that is serious and has consequences.

It’s not a ploy to get him back—he may come back for a night, or a weekend, or even for a few months—but it is a way for you to feel better about yourself. He may have made the first rejecting move, but you countered with an even more potent move—you rejected him by accepting his rejection. I guarantee even the most egotistical man will feel a twinge, or more, when he realizes you are not coming after him.

Ok, at last we come to the mundane

Get a manicure, wash your hair, watch funny movies, and most of all, remember . . .

Remember all the crummy times you had with him: the times you wondered what you were doing with this insensitive jerk; the times you faked “good” sex, the times you didn’t say what you were really thinking because you were afraid—yes afraid, that he would become angry.

Some of the best divorce advice is to simply remember especially that life with him was not only not perfect, it was scary and miserable from time to time; and perhaps you had to wait quite a while before you finally got the kind of response for which you yearned. Try very hard at this time not to relive the good times that can all too easily overtake you. It is the bad times you must remember for the time being.

Of course you will get through this. Why would you be the only person on the planet to never get over being spurned? It might as well be sooner rather than later, and think of all you’ve learned.

You won’t make the same mistake again—a man who gave off signals he was not a commitment guy, at least not for you; and a relationship in which, let’s face it, you pulled your punches because you could not be sure of his reactions.

Divorce is not the passport to happily ever after—it is simply the first step in creating a new, hopefully more productive and pleasurable life for you.

A novelist, therapist, mother to three, and grandmother to five, Sheila Levin is twice divorced. Find her books Simple Truths and Musical Chairs at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. 

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.

*At SAS for Women, we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.

Listening to divorce advice can save money

Divorce Advice: Lose Your Emotional Attachment to Money

All good divorce advice should acknowledge that there are many parts to breaking up. It would be easier if the end of a marriage could happen in one clean break, of course—if you could go to a doctor, have them reset the bones of your life, and walk away knowing that in X amount of months you could take off the cast and be healed and whole again. But in reality, there’s breaking up legally, physically, emotionally, and financially, to name just a few vital parts of the process. We can’t exactly control how long it will take to make it through to the other side of divorce or who we will be when we get there.

As financial experts who work with women, we know that women in particular must recognize that all these parts come into play when divorcing, but at the same time, women must strive to separate them. This is especially true when it comes to money.

You must aim to separate your emotions from your decisions. In fact, you must treat the financial part of your divorce as a business transaction.

Find professional support

But this is easier said than done. A lot of women have anxiety about money precisely because they have an emotional relationship with it. So our first piece of divorce advice is to find support (a coach or therapist who specializes in divorce) to help you learn about your emotions and how they impact your decisions.

A professional can help you learn how to understand, harness, and compartmentalize these emotions. Again, this is particularly important when it comes to money.

Ensure you understand your financial outlook

Our second piece of divorce advice is to work with a financial expert who will take the time to educate you on what your real financial choices are so that five years from now you are in the best financial place you can possibly be in.

The key to managing your money throughout your divorce negotiations and, more importantly, the long-term is to keep your emotions in check as best as possible and focus on looking at your financial FUTURE. A forward-looking focus gives women the greatest chance at getting the best possible divorce settlement. And her best financial settlement will usually avoid spending a lot of money on attorneys and going through a lengthy court process.

You must aim to separate your emotions from your decisions. In fact, you must treat the financial part of your divorce as a business transaction.

The benefits of keeping your emotions in check

One of our clients felt a lot of anger at her husband* when he decided to move out. This ratcheted up further when he did not always live up to his custody obligations, leaving her in a lurch and disappointing their eight-year-old twins. Although their relationship was strained, the couple agreed to try the collaborative divorce process. When giving out divorce advice, I often tell clients this is an excellent and cost effective way to for them to divorce, but it also requires good communication.

Our client worked hard at keeping her emotions in check and the yelling to a minimum. Whenever she needed to speak to her husband about issues, she held her tongue and remained civil. When they hit a tough negotiating bump, trying to work out the amount of child support she would receive and who would pay for the twins’ educational expenses, her relationship with her husband was stable enough so that she called him directly and had a productive conversation.

Our client often shared with us (and her therapist) how difficult and painful each and every interaction with her husband was and how hard it was to keep her emotions in check. Due in large part to her self-control, the negotiations moved along quickly and her financial settlement was equitable. He ended up agreeing to pay a bit more monthly alimony and child support than the guidelines indicated. He also gave her a little more of the joint cash than she expected.

Now six months post-divorce, she has a smile a mile wide. We often use this example he anger and injustice that dominated her thoughts during the process seem like a distant memory, and she relishes the feeling of financial security that comes with winding up with enough money to live a reasonable lifestyle.

The pitfalls of being unable to let go of the past

Contrast this experience with that of another client. She and her husband had a second home in Connecticut where the family spent their summers, and it held special memories for her. When the couple separated, her husband made the Connecticut home his main base, and soon after, his girlfriend moved in. He wanted to buy our client out of her half of the house as part of the settlement. He offered her 10 percent over the market value to move the process along. Angry at him for living there with another woman in seeming bliss, she demanded that the house be sold. She admitted to us that the house had become tainted in her eyes, and she would never want to step foot in it again. But she was determined that he should not get to live there.

We showed her that financially it made no difference whether she received half the value of the house from him as part of the settlement or half the value of the house when it was sold. Unable to let go of her demand despite recognizing the financial reality, she spent the next nine months and tens of thousands of dollars only to have a judge ultimately rule that he could keep the house and pay her half.

The outcome of financial negotiations will dictate what lifestyle a woman will be able to live for years after her divorce. The importance of obtaining the best reasonable financial settlement cannot be emphasized enough. To achieve a good financial outcome requires a cool head and following the divorce advice of professionals who have been in your shoes.

Writers, Ellie Lipschitz and Dorian Brown are Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA’s).  Their specialty is working with women on the business side of their divorce. As CDFA’s, they educate and assist their clients to understand the financial aspects of their divorce so they can confidently negotiate an optimal settlement. 

*At SAS for Women, we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.

bubbles floating in the air

Would You Believe Me If I Told You There Is Life After Divorce?

There is life after divorce. You probably don’t believe me because you are in a dark and lonely place right now. It feels like a black cloud is hovering over you and everything feels gray and ugly. You can’t imagine that you will love anyone else or that s/he will want to love you. You feel as if everything is broken and ruined. If you don’t have kids, you may think that window is closed. If you do have children, you may be overwhelmed by the idea of being a single parent after the divorce. The future seems dismal and the thought of simply getting up in the morning is exhausting. You sleep too much or you don’t sleep at all, you eat too much or you don’t eat anything. It feels like life has ended but you are still here, biding time, painfully and slowly.

It will change, though.  Slowly, but surely, you will feel better.

New people will come into your life and fill those awful empty places.

The black cloud will show up every other day at first; then once a week, then once a month, and then only once in a great while.  You will get small bursts of energy and feel inspired to exercise a bit or call a friend or clean out a closet.  These small accomplishments will lift your spirits and spur you to consider more and then tackle the next thing. You will idly wonder, “Would I ever get married again?”

New friends, new neighbors, perhaps a new love will show up and you will be able to see things through their eyes. These people will come into your life and breathe fresh air into it. Maybe you will decide, “It’s quite lovely to be single and only answering to me!” or perhaps you will think, “Ok, I might get married again, if the right person came along.” It all depends on what you want and what you re-discover about yourself.

During the dark days of my own divorce, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be tangled up in a relationship, let alone a marriage, ever again. In fact, I swore I wouldn’t. But later as I progressed through my divorce recovery, I realized that I liked being married once upon a time.  I liked having a companion, someone to come home to, a partner in life.  And I realized that I could like it again, with the right person.

One day I met someone who changed the way I viewed the world.  He gave me perspective and compassion and love. Slowly I started to trust it, to trust him, and the dark stormy days faded to a distant memory. Eventually we married, we bought a house, and now? Now I have a beautiful little boy at the age of 44. I am fulfilled in a way that I never knew was possible.

I don’t tell you this story to imply that “In your life after divorce, you, too, can have a new husband, a new house and bouncing baby boy!”  That’s what I discovered I wanted.  What I am telling you is that you can have what you want and right now, you might not even know.  It may take you awhile to figure out what that is, but that’s ok.  Take your time.  The more you invest in yourself now, the more you commit to working on you, the better you will be.

To be honest, this is not just about someone walking into your life and turning everything around, though that would be nice. No, it’s about a process that unfolds. It’s about healing.

What I had to do, and what you must do now, is go on a journey to deal with the divorce.  It’s not easy; sometimes there is a steep learning curve, with many ups, downs, twists and turns.  You must wade through the legal process, the financial process, and the logistics of getting through each day so that you can get on with the most important element of your recovery: your emotional healing.

I had to do a lot of reflection and take active steps before I could allow myself to even envision a future with someone new. I had to find out if I could cut it alone. I had to face my own lack of confidence and learn to trust myself. It took time and a focus on myself. I had to work on getting myself anchored before I could dream and hope again.

So trust me when I say, be kind and be patient with yourself.  With time, this blinding storm will pass, the skies will clear, and the vista that appears will take your breath away.  You will figure out what you want your life to look like as you step into it.  There is life after divorce, I promise.

I founded SAS for Women with my partner Liza Caldwell to help women cope with divorce. Liza and I remember what it feels like to be in your place, where the possibility of love or happiness sounds like fiction written for somebody else. You can stay in that place for a very long time, we know. Or you can choose to do something about it.

SAS for Women is an all female practice dedicated to the unexpected challenges of Women in Divorce. Women have untold things to consider when contemplating a divorce. And experience even more chaos when actually faced with divorce. SAS clients find much needed clarity when clarity can actually determine an outcome. Schedule your free consult to experience how.

listening to divorce advice when you're ready

Your Shocking Post-Divorce Behavior

We all know her. She’s that crazy divorcée.  But she’s not interested in your opinion or your divorce advice because “how would you know??” She’s fine. In fact, she’s better than ever!

She’s just signed up for THE BEST tantric workshop, a class she’s always “longed to do” but never had the time for. You wonder how she’ll make it to that class, this woman you used to know, because she seems so tired these days. Is she carousing?

Then you see her later, driving, in a little lime green thing, a sporty rig, she’s leased. Maybe she’s smoking. She waves and pulls over to chat with you like she’s on some other timeline when you mention, in a well-intentioned kind of way, that nicotine is not so good for her; but that, that purple streak in her auburn locks looks amazing.

She doesn’t hear you. She’s taking another drag and checking her OKCupid emails. You’ve seen the logo before, you recognize the layout.  You mention again that she should take care of herself, when she replies, she’s gotta run. She’s taking her kids out of school. To play hooky. They’re going to have pizza.  And it’s only Tuesday.

You are in shock. But not so frozen that you’ve suspended judgement.

Until now, flash forward, you are facing your own divorce, and guess what?

You may be headed with her.

Oh, you won’t stay there for long, but you will sow your oats, too. You will act out.  You will go backward and frontward and lurch to the side, looking for the life you’ve always thought you didn’t have but always wanted. Then there will come a point where you won’t want to stay there anymore.  You will slow down and grow calmer as a sense of peace begins to come from within. You’ll start to actually listen to whatever divorce advice you’ve been ignoring, letting what works for you into your life and tossing everything else by the wayside. How do we know? Because we’ve been there, tottering around in those crazy-ass stilettos.

It would be good for you to know this now, that there will come a time in your divorce recovery, when you are finally experiencing freedom you haven’t had in awhile, if ever.  And mark our words, it will be THRILLING!  You will not care what people think. You will be doing what you want because YOU CAN! You will only have yourself to answer to, and after all you have been through, this moment feels euphoric because, well, it is.

You will shed your old self, your old hang ups, your old high-waisted pants, and those toxic people who held you down. You’ll experiment with your looks, your hair; you’ll buy stylish new clothes. You’ll reconnect with old friends and find common ground with new ones. You will sleep around—just a little or a lot.

You will open yourself up to new thoughts, new restaurants, and new places to go. Maybe you will get that makeup treatment you’ve always wanted because your energy is coming back, and your self-esteem—it’s growing too.  You will go to the movies by yourself.  You will start a journal because you are becoming more self-aware and more grateful. You will be trying on new things, both literally and figuratively as you find yourself and your new identity.

But as your divorce coaches, and women who have been there…

Let us also share a little divorce advice

You may feel a little “Jekyll and Hyde” when this time comes around. You will seek thrills and yet, you will still be terrified; you will feel victorious and independent one moment and then defeated and lonely the next.  You will have a sense of hopefulness for the future, but still, you will fear the unknown.  Understand that this is where you will need to be then.  It will be perfectly normal and oddly appropriate. This is the erratic part of your divorce recovery. Things will be in flux, but you will need to give yourself permission to work and dance through this phase because it is vital. It’s a rite of passage. And it’s temporary.

But when you arrive here, proceed with caution.

You will still have a lot to figure out. You will have to face the practicalities of life and the aftermath of your divorce, the remaining details and decisions, big and small.  Despite your urge to experiment, you will remember, you’ve come too far to abandon your responsibilities completely.

You will need to help your children adjust to the new rhythms of life at home, and they will need you to be reliable. You will still have to perform at your job or perhaps get your résumé together to go back to work. You might be in the middle of selling your house, hunting for a new one, or setting up your new household.  Whatever life is handing you in your official post-divorcedom, you will have to deal with it. And for your future, you will continue to plan and listen to divorce advice.

Your challenge right then and there will be to find yourself—and your growing power.  How will the new, brilliant and beautiful you manage the tactical requirements of your life?

More unsolicited advice

When you hit this place of being single again, give yourself some rope to swing on.  Enjoy, pump, kick out, and swing high!  But don’t give yourself so much rope that you get caught and hang yourself.  Be careful with the big decisions that roost here.  They may have bigger consequences on your family, your career, your health, and your financial future.  Be patient for the dust to settle and try to compartmentalize your time.  Give yourself permission and time to play. For example, when your Ex has the kids, make your time yours.  When the kids are with you, or during the work week, hunker down and be the best mom possible.

One of the surprisingly, good side-effects of divorce is that you get a fresh start, a chance to make the changes in your life that will make you happy for the long haul. When you hit that place, take care of necessities, compartmentalize, and embrace your inner Jekyll and Hyde. It’s the divorce advice we wish we had received, and it’s the necessary bumpy but exciting ride you must go through to get to the other side.

What do you need to take care of while you swing high? Let us support you as you move through and forward. Connect with us for your free “Map to the Next Step” session.