Coming Out Of Divorce
Right I’m not going to bore you with either “It won’t be easy”, unhelpful and rather obvious advice because if you are in the throes of divorce you already know that and neither am I go to harp on about the fact that there’s light at the end of the tunnel (although I know there is, having been there myself) because you are at the beginning of the tunnel and can’t even glimpse the light yet. So what I will do is give you some tips born of personal experience and from the people I have coached through divorce and a “torch” to help you stride purposefully through that tunnel without falling into any potholes as you inch forward. And no I ‘m not a believer in “you have to fail before you can succeed”. Those of us who have been through divorce know that all parties already feel like failures, so enough of that; the idea is to try and rebuild your life on a new footing and not wallow in your misery.
- Thus my first tip is to tell you to give your life purpose! While you were married even if you did nothing else apart from being someone’s spouse, that still had purpose to it. A purposeful life I promise you is a happy one whether it involves full or part time work, charity work, a new hobby, taking up a new sport or language, writing a book…and no, bringing up your children doesn’t count because if you have them, then you were doing that before your divorce and you will carry on doing it now, it just becomes harder that’s all. So the biggest secret is to find something new that makes life seem that much more vibrant, interesting, worthwhile – Give yourself a PURPOSE.
- Next redefine yourself as a newly single person, mum, professional; embrace it and do NOT continually hump around the baggage from your last relationship into any new encounters you may have with men. No man wants to hear the story of your insufferable, selfish, ex-husband, as apart from being bored to tears as you focus all of your attention away from him, he’s going to seriously question how far reaching your “issues” are. Focus on asking the new guy about himself, answer questions about “you” as a person and leave the rest behind. And another word of warning, don’t go jumping into a relationship or bed with the first man who turns on the charm. You are still vulnerable and your powers of discernment will be flawed, so enjoy yourself but give yourself time before you let anything significant happen and certainly avoid introducing new male friends to the children until you are sure it’s serious.
- Start learning to like yourself. There is nothing worse than the drop in self-esteem that follows divorce. Don’t make it worse by adding self-rejection to the equation. My advice is to take a life coach who can quickly help you to focus on your talents, strengths and positive features, redirect you gently but objectively. It will also give you someone to dump all those self-hate negative feelings on and someone who will show you how to ditch those same feelings ASAP. In my own coaching sessions I also draw up a guided personalised reading list for my clients so that they can draw on wisdom from other others to support themselves without having to buy every book on the market at random. Every person is different and requires different support according to their circumstances.
- Focus on what you have and what you can do and not the opposite. Divide problems into a series of smaller issues and congratulate and reward yourself for even very small victories; i.e. taking out your first household insurance policy in your own name, dealing with the car mechanic, changing the light bulbs, hanging up the pictures and negotiating a bank loan or whatever it was that you didn’t do before and now have to do.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Join a women’s networking group and get support and guidance from those who have already been there. In New Women Networking (see our Facebook page) for example you’ll find a lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, doctors, healers, coaches, personal sports coaches, singing teacher, nutritionists, other mothers and a high percentage a divorcees just like you.
- If you are a single working mother, do everything in your power to make sure you find the best caretakers for your children. Don’t try and do it all yourself, you will just lose patience. You and your children will derive support, stability and peace of mind from a well- structured environment.
- You will be alone at family and other functions with or without your kids—get over yourself and get used to it but even more ENJOY it. Get out and stay involved with people and don’t worry about not being included in the old dinner party circuits you were part of with your ex, there are loads of exciting new functions and events out there for you to discover; the Riviera is FULL of them, so NO excuses. Being at a function without a partner meets you have carte blanche to work the room and meet all sorts of interesting people and go home whenever you like. In fact even when you do meet a new partner you will have become so used to being independent that you will continue to seek out opportunities to “do your own thing “ within that new relationship which to my mind is extremely healthy.
- It’s important for you to stay physically fit! Exercise raises serotonin in your brain and helps fight depression, not to mention the calming and pain killing effects of the endorphins that will be flowing through your system. If you really want to invest in YOU, splash out on a personal coach and achieve that fitness goal you always dreamed of for yourself . You will feel so proud of yourself. My personal favourite is www.befitmonaco.com and they really know something about « purpose ». They’ll also sort out your diet and won’t allow you to get away with anything. It’s a full body management service.
- Finally for this month, remember from last month, that with any major change in your life you have to go through the three phases of transition and when you think you don’t have the strength, dig deeper. In my coaching sessions, I call this the « Matryoshka effect ». You are like a Russian doll. You take off one layer to reveal another deeper hidden layer. You’ll be amazed at what you never knew was inside of you. Dig deeper and deeper. And if you need some help or guidance you know where to find me.