The very word ‘divorce’ conjures up all sorts of imagery, much like something out of the movie ‘War of the Roses’! And while it will be different for everyone, at some point both parties will experience conflict of some sort.
So is it really possible to divorce with dignity?
A lot of couples separating will sail through the divorce process, having accepted the marriage was over long ago, while others will fight their way through it like two bitter enemies intent on only one person being left standing at the end.
For many of my clients going through divorce, it isn’t a mutual decision and there will be one person left hurt and the other often not caring how it affects the left behind spouse because they just want to get out now. When one spouse is not emotionally ready (usually my client) I would always advise them to ask the other person to take things slowly, so they can come to terms with the shock of it. I understand this isn’t always possible, especially when there is a third party involved and the other person has emotionally moved on some time before.
Betrayal is another area where high conflict will often inevitably rear its ugly head. It’s very difficult to be courteous to someone who has cheated and lied to you and this is where it’s important to find a way to ‘manage’ the situation. I believe with the right support you can absolutely have an amicable divorce.
Never underestimate how much a therapist or coach will help you to keep your emotions under control and give you the support and guidance you need.
My lawyer said to me near the end of it all that I had handled myself with dignity and it always made me feel super proud that I had. Don’t get me wrong there were times where I lost all control and sent a nasty text or email but for the most of it I behaved myself. I didn’t want my ex to have any ammunition to throw back at me – ever. I also knew that one day I’d look back and not be embarrassed or ashamed when we are at big family gatherings such as weddings and graduations.
How to divorce with dignity
To try and make things more amicable I suggest approaching your divorce from a mindful perspective. Be aware of the situation you are creating or if you are being pushed into it, don’t ever be afraid to ask your spouse for time to get your head around it all.
1. Make sure it’s what you both want
All relationships go through hard times so be sure it’s really what you both want. I would always advise if both parties aren’t 100% sure, then to give it 3 months with couples counselling if needed to decide if reconciliation is an option. Mediation may help work through any issues that can be overcome, perhaps where communication has broken down in the marriage. In some cases, it will be absolutely clear from the beginning that resolution is not an option.
2. Find your support team
Divorce is undoubtedly one of the worst life experiences to go through so don’t underestimate how much support you may need. Friends and family will be a big part of your recovery and also helpful when it comes to helping out with moving home, helping with kids and so on. You will at some point need legal advice so choose carefully who represents you and always make sure they have your best interests at heart. For the emotional aspect, many people benefit from having a therapist or coach to support and guide them. This comes in the form of unbiased, non-judgemental help to control emotional overwhelm, making plans for the future, finding lawyers and financial advisors and helping deal with children.
3. Put the kids first
Clients are often understandably worried about how much impact their divorce will have on their children. This can leave people with anxious thoughts like will it damage the children, dealing with life events such as Christmas and birthdays. While these are all valid reasons most of the time children are affected when parents are fighting and stuck in the middle feeling pulled from each direction. If you are dealing with conflict you must keep it away from the children as much as possible and while they may hear the odd argument or see you upset, it’s important that it’s not a daily occurrence or in the situation where they feel they have to choose between parents.
4. Be careful how you communicate
This can be difficult in the first few months due to high emotions, so do what work for you. In the beginning emailing can be a good option because it takes slightly longer, where firing back and forth on a text can be too easy and get out of hand quickly. Take time to answer emails and never fire back in anger. If you are angry about a situation, wait a day before answering, allowing emotions to calm down.
5. Embrace your new life
This may take time to become your new normal, however, divorce is not the end and in many cases when the dust has settled it is a chance to start over and live a life you love. Many clients, including myself, feel a sense of freedom and end up in better relationships, getting their independence back and going on to have better lives all round.
In the divorce process, some aspects will be completely out of your control, but planning ahead and thinking about how to take care of your mindset and emotional well-being is within your control. This is the greatest factor in improving your experience and influencing your outcome with your ex. If you do not know where to begin, work with a therapist or coach to teach you a model on how to do this and to support you in your journey.
To join the conversation and get support through your separation/divorce contact me through my website, www.debbierosecoaching.co.uk, or my free Facebook group Divorce with Dignity, and follow me on Instagram.
The first year of your divorce may leave you facing many painful celebration days alone. And while you perhaps never bothered much with valentine’s day when you were married, ‘
special’ days will invoke feelings of failure, sadness and post-divorce regret.
You cannot get away from it, as the shops fill with Valentine’s flowers and displays of heart covered cards, acting as a painful reminder of what you are going through.
So how do you get through this emotional day? You could stay indoors feeling sorry for yourself or you could indulge in your own celebration to mark your freedom or new status. You do not need a partner to celebrate any day of the year or purchase gifts for you.
Here are my top 4 tips for getting through celebrating Valentines day single
1. Be extravagant and treat yourself to some fizz, your favourite flowers, a new pair of shoes, or book a spa day with a friend and really celebrate the amazing person you are. We don’t have to be with a romantic partner to enjoy ourselves or feel love, we can be with anyone we care about. The first Valentine’s I spent separated was spent with my kids and we cooked together and exchanged gifts and it was one I will never forget. Celebrate the love you already have in your life.
2. They say laughter is the best medicine. It relaxes the body and triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel good chemicals, so get together with friends (making sure no one talks about the situation) and have some fun. Whether it’s a lunch or dinner, a fun movie, or a few drinks out, get together with friends and enjoy yourself.
3. Invite your friends over for a cocktail party. Cocktail making is great fun, especially with friends. Buy in some food or ask everyone to bring a dish. Put together a happy playlist and dance, laugh and celebrate together.
4. If you are not feeling up to company it can be an absolute joy to have the evening to yourself. If you have kids you will understand this. Take a bath and light a nice candle, order some food in and binge watch your favourite TV shows. Grab a journal and free write about your future, really dreaming about who you want to be, who you want in your life and how your life will look overall. In your journal add a gratitude list of all that you have now. Gratitude lists are strongly associated with greater happiness reminding us that we still have a lot to live for. Make it all about you.
Whatever you choose to do, redirect your focus and really treat yourself without feeling any guilt. You have been through a traumatic time and while it is important to acknowledge that, for today try not to think about what you are going through. Remind yourself this is a temporary situation and you will heal your heart and go on to live an amazing life.
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or your birthday, celebrate the life you have and the people who care about you.
Choose to do what makes you happy.
While Christmas is not the sole cause of divorce, many couples find themselves separating after the festive holidays, due to financial pressures, spending more time together, general stress or just not wanting to face another year unhappy.
Some couples may stay together to see through the end of the year and have one more family Christmas before going their separate ways. There’s no magic wand to save a marriage if it’s well and truly over but small changes during intense times can reduce the stress.
If there are tell-tale signs in your marriage that you’re headed for divorce, make some changes and just maybe you could make your last one a little better.
Stress and finances play a huge part in break-ups at any time of the year, but they are intensified during the festive period. Can you find ways to spend less by deciding on a budget and sticking to it? It may mean coming to an agreement with friends and family that you only spend a small amount on them, thus taking the pressure off. You might find that your friends and family are relieved to hear this too.
Do your kids really need to get everything on their list? Think twice about buying unnecessary stuff just to fill the Santa bag that only ends up getting ditched after a couple of days anyway.
We also tend to overspend on food and drink which you end up throwing – there’s only so much you can eat and the shops are only closed for a couple of days. Don’t get swept up in the idea of having the perfect ‘movie’ Christmas at the expense of your marriage or your own sanity.
Perhaps you end up arguing about who’s house you will go to and who’s family gets the most time with you? Sit down and decide together, making sure each of you agree on the arrangements. Be a little selfish and make sure you are doing what is right for your family and not to appease others.
Maybe you just want to get through the holidays ready for a fresh start in the New Year to go it alone. Whatever the New Year brings you be sure to do what makes you happy. Allow yourself some down time from overthinking and enjoy the Christmas period as best you can with your loved ones.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
In the early days of my separation, I seriously struggled with all aspects of my life, from kids to sleeping and everything in between. It took all of my energy to get through each day and keep my head above the waterline.
I honestly believed my life was over and to a certain extent it was, but only the life I had been living.
My life was going to change a lot and I had to deal with it in order to move forward and live a good life, so I had to let go of the old expectations and accept change was on the horizon.
The emotional roller coaster you end up on feels like it may never stop and from the minute you wake to the minute you fall asleep each night, your brain is in constant overdrive about the situation you are facing.
I went to many different therapists on my journey and I found some that worked and some that didn’t. I saw a counsellor every week for over a year and while I looked forward to my sessions, I stayed in the same place, telling the same story. Poor me, why me, I was such a victim!
Back then there weren’t many coaches specialising in divorce, especially in the UK and what I really needed was someone to help me focus on what needed to be done, help me to set clear goals and to keep me moving. I also needed someone who knew exactly how I was feeling, someone who had been through it. You see life as I knew it had ended abruptly, my family had been torn apart at the seams and I was scared. Overnight, I had gone from a wife and mother living a good life with a man I truly loved, to a single parent, and I was feeling very alone and completely heartbroken.
Yes I had amazing friends who were always there for me and I am grateful for that but I needed someone who was not emotionally involved, non-judgemental and had experienced the pain I was feeling.
What started out feeling like a nightmare ended up being a journey of discovery and the best thing that could have happened. You see as much as I had loved my husband and my family unit, I always felt something was missing and it wasn’t until I went through the pain of divorce that I really found my calling. My mission is to help as many women through the trauma and pain of a break-up as I possibly can.
I want women to become empowered and to find that strong woman they once were before they became a wife and mother and to go on to be the best parent they can be and live a truly wonderful life.
Are you ready to let go of that old life and begin again? Are you ready to take control of your own destiny?
I want to help you and I am living proof it’s possible to have a fantastic life. If you think you’re ready for a divorce coach, then contact me and we can get a plan in place to get you there.
It might not be easy, but it will be worth it!
Your divorce is going to be one of the biggest challenges you will face. So being prepared is the best way forward. Here I want to share some steps that got me through the worst times and helped with coping after divorce.
1. Don’t beat yourself up and think you’re a failure. It’s easy to go into victim mode and constantly go over and over what you could have done differently. If you find yourself in this loop of never-ending thought, divert your focus by reading something uplifting or doing something which you have to really think about.
2. Give yourself a time limit on talking about your breakup. Constantly telling the same story over and over keeps you stuck, taking longer to move on. Start saying ‘I’m free and single again and life is just beginning.’
3. Don’t stalk the ex on social media and especially not his new girlfriend (if he’s moved on). This will leave you feeling even worse by comparing yourself or tearing shreds off a woman you have never met. While it’s tempting, make this your rule at least until the shock has subsided.
4. Have a clear out. If you’re still in the family home, then make it your own. Put away wedding photos and anything that reminds you of your old life. Box it up, hide it away, give it to charity or sell it. Now rearrange the furniture, as changing the layout will trigger less memories.
5. Find your tribe. Having people around you who understand or have been through the same can work wonders for our mood. And have at least one friend you can call anytime who doesn’t judge, for a good old rant or cry.
6. Stop worrying about your kids. This is something I spent way too much time on in the beginning, thinking my kids would be damaged in some way and end up hating me. So far, my kids are fine as long as they have love and security. Kids will end up affected if the parents are fighting, depressed or ranting about each other. So keep rants to your friends or your journal.
7. Get out and exercise and keep an eye on nutrition. Exercising we know is one of the best things for low mood and depression. Also when going through long periods of stress it can leave you with a poor appetite, causing you to eat too little, which has a knock on effect, leaving your mood even worse. Small amounts of highly nutritious food helps incredibly.
8. Keep alcohol to a minimum! It’s so easy to reach for a glass of wine to unwind and if it’s just a glass or two that’s fine. Any more than that can lead to bad mistakes, like nasty texts to the ex, losing control in front of the kids. I’ve been there, where I’ve woken up in the morning and been scared to look at my phone, remembering what I sent after a few drinks! It’s not worth it!
And remember this is temporary! You ARE going to get through this and live a fantastic life! If you choose too!
What do you do when you are going through emotional overwhelm?
I had one of those recently and as I was also quite ill made it even worse. My body was telling me to slow down and remember to take better care of myself. It was telling me to slow down my thoughts and let go of what no longer served me.
Have you noticed when we are physically and emotionally healthy, very little gets to us?
We get a little run down sometimes but when you are having a highly emotionally time it’s important to listen to that inner voice and take some time out. I had an unexpected emotional meltdown around an old wound I thought I had healed; turned out I hadn’t!!
I cancelled some commitments, took myself off to bed for a while and allowed my body and mind time out to relax and recharge.
By allowing myself to feel the pain, accept it for what is was, I allowed the problem to pass through me, bringing me comfort knowing that it was temporary.
So what did I do? First of all I did some EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to take the intensity out of the situation. I then used my essential oils to support me emotionally and put on a guided meditation, which took me out of my own head and stopped the chatter giving me even more relief. I then wrote down the issue and how I felt about it, forgiving the people involved, thanked the universe for the lesson and I burned the paper while releasing it mentally.
It so important to have tools at hand to reduce anxiety and stress, as it’s well documented stress makes us physically ill. Allow yourself time out, instead of fighting against the current and as Abraham Hicks says, turn the canoe around and head downstream instead of up; it’s so much easier.
One of the issues we can often have is our perception of what the other person is thinking, doing or assuming that they have another agenda. Even if they do, it’s really none of our business. If we can learn to let go and not dwell on what we ‘think’ they are doing, we can create peace and harmony in our lives.
Learn to recognise yourself slipping into a downward spiral and take immediate action, I promise it works. Find what works for you. Experiment with different therapies and tools and use what resonates and feels comfortable. Never stick your head in the sand and ignore because it will come back again and again until you deal with the issue.
Take control and live your best life ever!
The first year of your divorce may leave you facing many painful celebration days such as Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays on your own and hurting. And even if you never really bothered with valentine’s day when you were married it might leave you feeling upset and angry at your situation. You can’t get away from it either as from about two weeks before and you’ll find shops filled with banners, flowers and displays of cards which acts as a painful reminder of our situation.
Whether you are single, married or getting divorced around valentine’s day, it can be a painful experience.
For some married couples, it’s a chance to celebrate being together and in love
So how do you get through this emotional time? You could stay indoors till it passes or you could make own your celebration to mark your freedom or new status.
Take your focus off the day by doing something different; helping neighbours in need or take a friend’s kids for the day. Nothing like someone else’s kids to redirect that energy and focus. Or book a spa either alone or with a friend if possible.
Chilling out for the day with a friend and a pamper session can work wonders for the soul.
Whatever you do try not to look back and think about what you could have done differently or how sad you are about the loss. I believe everything happens for a reason and there is a better life ahead for you.
I suggest you make it a day of self-care and if you’re not heading out to a spa then create one at home. Run a bath, light candles and listen to some music that makes you happy. Then get your journal out and write a list of all that is great in your life; keeping a gratitude journal has been proven to uplift us. After your gratitude list, start free writing about how you would like your life to look in the future. Your ideal home, partner, job and places you’d like to travel to. Really let go and dream big on this one. It’s an incredible exercise to lift the spirits. And if you want to take it one step further I love vision boards. Vision boards are just that; boards which we attach our visions onto using pictures, photos and words of how we would like our dream life to look. For a more
Trust the Universe has a plan for you!
When I left school and started working, I had the belief that I should live a little first then meet and marry my prince charming, stop working, have kids and live happily ever after. It’s what we learn from our
During my marriage, I went through the motions of how I thought a good wife and mother should be. I cooked the meals, I did homework, kept the house clean, drove kids to activities and I listened to my husband after his long day at work. I was a wife and mother. I was no longer that independent girl I had once been. Where had the once crazy, fun loving, spontaneous, confident, hardworking girl gone? Had she died and been scrubbed from the planet forever? Or was she just hiding until she could come back when it was her time to shine?
We can all get a little lost in our lives and how we think life should be. The day to day monotony of life creeps up on us and tells us we should be grateful for all we have. There were people much worse off than I ever was. But I knew there was more inside of me and it wasn’t until my husband left, that I realised it was my time.
I had so much to give and so much to share with the world.
My divorce forced me to grow up again and step into the woman I knew I could be. I will always be a mother but I will never just be a wife again. You see I lost my independence when I gave up work and moved overseas to follow my husband’s career. I lived in houses that never felt like home and I put up with a mediocre life to make someone else happy. I became a bit lazy when it came to finances and bill paying and left that responsibility to my husband.
My divorce put me on a road to self-discovery and gave me a clean slate, with all the wisdom of a mature woman, to become a better version of my old self. I rebuilt a better relationship with my children, I learned to be comfortable on my own again, I made new friends and I started a business. I believe I would never have accomplished half of what I have if I had still been married. I also run the home and look after my two amazing kids and 3 dogs. These days I am a happy, single, modern day mother and loving it. The 3 of us make decisions based on our needs now.
We do what we want when we want and we are loving it.
So, if you are going through a divorce and are feeling broken, just know that it gets better and you will get through it. You have the choice to learn from it and make a better life for yourself. One that is true to you. Use it as a lesson and not a punishment and take big strides ahead into the future knowing that life is what you make it.
Take back your power and live a life you only dreamed of before.
If there’s one thing I am leaving behind in 2017, it’s my old life. No more looking back, no more wasted time dwelling on what could have been. I spent years trying to keep my family together and hoping everything would work out, however, the universe had another plan for me and made sure I never went back.
Even though at times I knew I was better off on this new path as a single parent, it was hard as hell to get my heart to let go of everything I had come to know. Familiarity was keeping me stuck in the past. I wanted to stay in the safe zone with my ex where the finances were taken care of and even while I knew I was a better parent on my own, I still had the belief it would take two of us. Sometimes it’s easy to think nothing is going your way. Your partner leaves you. You bump the car. You lose your phone. You start to overthink it and before you know it you’re in victim mode thinking why does everything go wrong for me. But…… What if the universe is blocking certain paths to make you see there’s a better road ahead of you? A different life that is meant for you.
What if the universe is protecting you and guiding you through these tough times so you can find the path meant just for you?
Looking back, I now see that my divorce lead me to face my own demons. Demons that had been there since childhood and had left me with abandonment issues, keeping me stuck in a co-dependent marriage that was slowly killing me. I’m truly grateful for the journey I am on and can
Be brave and live your life on your terms!
Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re facing it newly divorced or separated then my guess is you’re not looking forward to it. Divorce sucks at the best of times but when you’re heading into a celebration time like Christmas then it’s magnified a million times. To make it even worse trying to negotiate Christmas with kids and your ex can be even worse for some separated couples.
The first Christmas after our split, my ex never came back to see the kids so that was an easy one. The following year we had reconciled and he came home, which was great because I thought we were going to rebuild our lives and I was living in my little happy bubble with my family back together. It was short lived though as I just couldn’t live with the betrayal and we ended up separating again.
So I faced the prospect of sharing the kids once more at Christmas and I really struggled with that.
I just couldn’t face the holidays without my kids, so I invited my ex every year until this year.
It was tough sometimes because he would come to stay and we ended up falling into the same old patterns of when we were married. It felt normal and we always got along really well and still enjoyed each other’s company. But New Year would come around and he would pack his bags and leave to go back to his life with his girlfriend and it confused my heart. I knew we would never be a couple again but it still caused a little sadness because of the happy times we had spent together. This year has been different and I chose not to invite him because of where I am now.
I am standing in my power these days as a single parent and it’s time for me to do what makes me happy.
My kids are at an age they can choose who to spend it with and I fully support them in their decision.
Whatever way you choose to spend the holidays make sure you do what makes you happy. I know some couples still have Christmas together years down the line for the kids and if that works for you, go ahead. There are no rules, just don’t sacrifice your own sanity for one day of the year.
If you are sharing Christmas with your ex, keep it civil for the sake of the kids. There will be happier times in the future so don’t put too much focus on the lack right now and when you do have your kids you can make it extra special.
If your kids are with their dad for Christmas then go and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Get together with friends who are single or book a trip for yourself, volunteer at a charity for a few hours. Just don’t spend it home alone reminiscing about the past.