As a divorce coach, I work with individuals going through protracted and sometimes high-conflict divorces. Divorce, like any other transition, can be a quick 6-month process or it can take several years. Here are 7 insights that may be useful to someone who is contemplating embarking on, or is in the midst of, a divorce journey.
A bad situation may have to get even worse before it gets better. It often takes the same amount of discomfort and energy to remain in a painful marriage as it does to move forward. Remaining in a situation that becomes more toxic over time requires a great deal of energy that must be reallocated from other parts of your life. Sometimes walking away from who you were or what you had is the only viable option that allows you to create the life you truly desire. It is during this journey that you often tap into wells of courage from which you had been disconnected.
Your new life will not be “perfect.” Even if your divorce process is quick and amicable, it is important to realize that your life will change. Post-divorce, there will be good days and bad days just as in your previous life – that does not change.
You must learn to trust another with your “secrets.” Often when we are suffering in our lives there is a lot of shame, denial, and fear. Our ego may keep us very invested in the status and security of the current life that we present to the outside world. If you cannot take off that mask and trust someone with the struggles in your marriage – or another aspect of your life where you suffer – then no one can help you move forward.
Your children matter. While it needs to be all about you during the journey, you have to consider the impact on your children as well. Adult children can make their own choices about supporting themselves emotionally during your transition. If you are the parent of younger children, you are in charge of helping them manage their emotions and providing professional support if they struggle with their feelings about your life choices.
Take inventory of your resources. It is important to understand the resources available to you as you consider your divorce. Successfully rebuilding a new life takes time, a strategy, and a support system. An accurate assessment of your financial, professional, and social/emotional currency can help to inform your decision-making process during your journey.
You can be “driven” to distraction. I tell my clients to be very careful when driving during a divorce. Fender benders and other accidents can occur, as the level of stress can sometimes be off the charts – decreasing your ability to focus on and respond to distractions on the road. Extra attention on the road and not talking on your speakerphone while driving can make all the difference. If you have a challenging day it may help to ask a friend for a ride. Ensuring that you make it safely to the end of this journey is the most important goal of all.
You will never please everyone. Some may applaud and some may resent your decision to divorce. When you live your life trying to please everyone else the only guaranteed outcome is misery. On this journey it is so important to remember that you matter. You always deserve to be happy and live your best life. No one has the power to take that away from you.
If you are contemplating divorce, struggling with a high-conflict divorce procedure, or need help during life transitions let Tamara Harris, CEO of Tamara Harris LLC, be your partner as you navigate through each stage of your journey. As an impartial, experienced professional, Tamara will work directly with you to give you the best tools and strategies to manage the specific challenges and uncertainties. Serving as your advocate, she will help you see clearly during this time where emotions can often impede and derail your divorce procedure.