Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ten Things No One Tells You About Divorce

Divorce knowledge is abundant. From books to articles from cocktail parties to locker rooms, from lawyers offices to the therapist's couch, there is no shortage of information, stories and advice available. Whether you are at the front end of divorce and looking for a guide, in the midst and searching for support, somewhere in between and worried about your children or on the precipice of a new life and need a map, divorce guidance is everywhere.

As a Divorce Coach, I cannot help but notice that there are elements endemic to the process of divorce that are prevalent and unexpected by those navigating their way. "Why didn't someone tell me", "this would be easier if I had known", and "how can I be prepared, if I don't know what to expect." I have taken those comments and I am sharing what I have found to be common themes that take people by surprise.

So hang on to your hat for the ride and take note of the following information you might not have come across:

  1. You only separate from the person you were married to. Be prepared for the same wine in a new bottle.
  2. The process moves as quickly as the slowest person and the least motivated. Be patient and prepare.
  3. Get sleep and eat. While you may have lost 100 to 200 pounds of a partner, you need fuel to function.
  4. You will receive lots of advice. Some of it is what you want to hear and not what you need to hear. Filter it. Then filter it again. 
  5. You must go through the process to get through it. There are no shortcuts and you cannot be catapulted to the end. There will be an end. 
  6. You cannot coach or educate your EX unless they sign up for your program. If they have not enrolled, give up.
  7. You cannot do your EX's therapy. It is not clinically possible. Give up on your theories and do your own work. Doing your own therapy is hard enough - but worth the effort.
  8. You will say, "I will never date again." You will if you want to.
  9. You will say, "I will never have sex or fall in love again." You will if you want to.
  10. You and only you are in charge of Chapter 2 (or 3 and so on). You get to decide if you are going to move forward. No one will do it for you and you will be allowed to sit in Chapter 1 forever. Do the work so you can move on.
The Divorce World is an alien planet. The regular rules of the road often, do not apply. If you find yourself lost in foreign territory, look for an anchor, take stock of what you do know and never forget there is always a way out. 

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  1. I think I fall into all 10 categories. Thanks for the practical tips.

  2. Keep the articles coming. Sage advice.

  3. Brilliant!! You should write a manual. Your practical insight and wisdom is enlightening!! I will be checking in often.

  4. There is no such thing as a good divorce. If children are involved...remember this...and nothing else matters..."in every decision you will be faced with, try to remain child-focused, you will adjust ...the children will benefit...and make it easier on all of you"