Have you recently stepped off the marriage platform into the unknown and vulnerable territory of divorce, and maybe a harrowing legal process? With the google search phrase “I want a divorce,” at an all-time high, getting un-married is a reality that has only been amplified by the COVID pandemic.
As a psychotherapist and dating expert, I’m going to be sharing with you some insider insight and information. These insights have been gathered professionally and personally, from my own journey and the journeys of many of the women and men I coach individually and in my regular (now virtual) Divorce Diaries Groups. I wish I had these tools myself at the beginning of this transition — it would have made this life-altering time a little bit easier to navigate.
The decision to end a dysfunctional relationship does not necessarily mean that the dysfunctional relationship ends completely. If you want to get back to your own full potential in life and love again, there will be some work to do. Part of this work is actually healing and getting to know yourself again.
Filing for divorce does by no means mean that all the broken pieces of your puzzle will start to fall into place again. Especially if you have children with your spouse, many of the unresolved issues will continue to spill over into the challenges of co-parenting, and your relational patterns will likely continue into a new relationship if they go unchecked. So what can you do right now to get some of your control and power back?
You can start to make conscious decisions to show up in a different way than you were used to…
It’s about getting reacquainted with yourself again by learning what the forgotten and dormant parts of who you are and what you need, actually are.
Tender Truths in a Tender Time
1.) Divorce is a traumatic experience
Just like in death, there are different stages of mourning in divorce, which are not always linear. The stages of mourning are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You can be in the anger stage one minute and then jump right back up to the denial stage the next.
The legal process is stressful, and this can be especially true when attorneys get involved. Between having to put on a brave face for your kids, handling the well-intended (often unsolicited advice) from family, friends, and coworkers, and perhaps feeling so alone – it’s a lot to handle, and there is no “right way” to do divorce.
So, have some compassion for yourself. Just like first-time parenthood, this is likely your first and hopefully only divorce. Cut yourself some slack.
2.) Your needs are just as valid as anyone else’s needs
Coming out of a toxic relationship, we may forget what our own human needs are. Listen to your inner voice again, silence the noise of others, and get clear on what you would like more of in your life. Attend to your needs and desires again, whether it’s a need for freedom or calm, the ability to be heard, or the ability to dream.
3) Understanding and applying healthy boundaries is key
This is a mandatory protocol for most divorcées I see and work with. If you are coming out of a relationship with a spouse who has a mental illness, anger problems, abusive tendencies, addiction, or a personality disorder you are likely the “codependent” to that dysfunctional duo.
Definitions of codependency vary but typically include high self-sacrifice, a focus on others’ needs, suppression of one’s own emotions, and attempts to control or fix other people’s problems.
Among other things, a codependent person’s best weapon is setting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries define who we are in relation to others. They also help us to know what our limits are with others. Personal boundaries are how we teach people who we are and how we would like to be treated in relationships. Boundaries help you to say, “This is who I am.” What are your new boundaries that you will be implementing?
“Be Kind to Yourself” Protocol
So, now that we have acknowledged that divorce is traumatic, that your needs matter, and that boundaries are your new best friend, it’s time to get your life back into balance. The best things in life are manifested when we are operating from a healed and nourished mindset.
I created a fun visual video called The Manifestation Foundation, which includes 7 EASY TO DO action steps that will nourish, heal and inspire you to get your life trajectory back on track again! The steps are:
- Receive openly
- Be okay with asking for help
- Listen to your Intuition again
- Reconnect and be stimulated by your senses.
- Be Creative
- Practice Gratitude
Some bonus tips: Don’t underestimate the power of touch. Be embraced! Get hugs wherever you can. (Well, keep Covid in mind.) Even buy an oversized Teddy Bear if you have to. Start dreaming again. Let your imagination go to places it hasn’t been in years.
I am proud to say that since my own divorce, I am living in my empowered feminine again in my next chapter. As a single mom of three, I have traveled the world, created a dream career, have a very high-quality dating life, and have helped many of my clients manifest their own hidden dreams and potential again. Once you are healing, nourished and ready to unleash that forgotten Woman (Or man) within, you too, will be ready to call in exactly what you desire in your next chapter of love and life that awaits you!