5 Things to Consider When Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

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  • August 5, 2021

5 Things to Consider When Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

Telling your spouse you want a divorce is one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have.  Be prepared. Enter this discussion with your thoughts organized and your emotions in check.  This conversation can have a long-lasting impact, setting the tone for your divorce process as well as your life post-divorce. Here are five things to consider when telling your spouse you want out.

1)Keep the Conversation Simple and Brief.

Chances are your spouse is already aware of your marital issues, so there is no need to re-hash every problem and argument you’ve ever had. Remember, this is an initial conversation. There will be many more divorce discussions to follow. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your spouse at this time by reliving your entire past or by trying to figure out your entire future.

2)Find the Right Time and Place.

Try to be tactful concerning when and where this discussion will take place. Seek a calm, quiet setting free from distractions and interruptions. No phones!  Obviously, children should not be present. Be cognizant of the timing. Is your spouse more approachable in the morning or the evening? Are there other stressful issues or important events going on in your partner’s life right now?  Stay clear of holiday times, birthday weeks, and other major life events. Negative associations can deepen and prolong the hurt for years to come.

3)Avoid Blaming, Threatening and Criticizing.

These tactics will just fuel anger and other nonproductive, defensive behaviors. Your spouse is already feeling vulnerable and under attack. There is no need to further heighten emotions.  Soften the blow with “we” statements.  Some examples: We can’t seem to make this marriage work any longer; We can’t go on like this, it’s not good for either one of us; We need to find a way to peacefully end this; We both know this marriage is not working.  Avoid blaming statements beginning with “you.”   In addition, avoid superlatives such as “you always…” or “you never…”  Remember, your goal is to end your marriage as peacefully as possible, not start a war.

4)Stay Calm. 

Prepare for and respect your spouse’s reactions, which can vary greatly depending upon whether they were blindsided by your decision to divorce or expecting it. Your spouse may immediately shut down or may bombard you with questions, insults or threats.  Be prepared to maintain your composure even if they lash out. Regardless of their initial response, your spouse deserves an explanation. Fairly answer questions, but don’t engage if a battle ensues. You have already made your decision to divorce. You are no longer fighting for your marriage, so hang up the gloves.  No need to test emotions and waste energy fruitlessly trying to prove your position. Break the cycle of conflict. Release the need to be right. Release the urge to retaliate.  Agree to disagree. Most importantly, be kind. Remember, at one point in your life, this person meant everything to you.

5)Be Firm.

When confronted by divorce, your spouse may promise to change, or plead for one more chance, or try to convince you that divorce is not the answer.  If you have already weighed this decision over and over again for months or years and are absolutely sure this is what you truly need and want, don’t waiver.  Be firm about your decision. Don’t allow yourself to be persuaded or guilted back into a relationship you no longer want. Hold your ground and don’t give your spouse false hope.

5 Ways to be Bold and Blossom

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  • May 6, 2021

5 Ways to be Bold and Blossom

As a single woman or soon-to-be single woman, it’s time to step up and take charge!  Be strong, be brave and be in control of your own life. Here are five ways to boldly blossom.

1)Set Boundaries. 

Going through a divorce is overwhelming. When your life is turned upside down and you’re being pulled in so many directions, it really helps to set boundaries.  Now more than ever, you need time for YOU.  It’s ok to say no to whatever or whomever is draining your energy.  Make a list of all the unnecessary or negative things/chores/people/obligations/responsibilities in your life that you can potentially eliminate or reduce or delegate. You don’t have to take on everything all at once.  You don’t have to tell everybody everything. You don’t have to feel pressured to do things you are not yet ready to do. Setting healthy boundaries with your ex, your children, your friends, your colleagues and your relatives will give you time and space to breathe.  While it is important to have a support system while going through your divorce, just remember, you can set the terms for your relationships and interactions.

 

2)Speak Up!

If something important is on your mind, say it.  If you’re unhappy with someone, tell them. If you have questions, ask! No one is a mind reader—not your ex, not your lawyer, not your friends, not your kids.  Speak up for what you want and need. You can make yourself understood, without being rude or hurtful.  Learn how to express and assert yourself in ways that make you feel confident, strong and heard. Your voice matters.

 

3)Remember Your Strengths.

With so many changes and transitions happening during your divorce, it’s easy to get caught up feeling vulnerable and lost. The process can be daunting and draining. Muster up the strength to keep going.  Keep going forward, even if you’re just taking baby steps for now. Keep going even when you feel like giving up. Just keep going.  Find a driving force. Recall other times in your life when the going got tough. How did you make it through? What skills, tactics, traits did you rely on? What resources were available to you? Did you plan? Did you pray? Did you ask for help? You have proven your strength and courage before. You are resilient. This is your time for a comeback!

 

4)Mimic Your Mentor.

Think about other women you admire. Do you have a role model or mentor? What about them inspires you? What characteristics and traits do they possess?  What would these special women do if they were in your shoes? How can you follow in their footsteps to accomplish your goals?  What steps did they take to be successful? To be happy? To feel complete? How have they overcome hardships? Look to those you respect and admire and then follow their path as it applies to your situation.

 

5)Stop Apologizing.

I’m sorry I’m so sensitive. I’m sorry I don’t understand. I’m sorry this happened. I’m sorry I’m not myself lately. I’m sorry I feel this way.  I’m sorry I look like this. I’m sorry I can’t make it. Who is tired of constantly apologizing? What would happen if we eliminated “I’m sorry” from all the above sentences?  We would be left with perfectly acceptable statements!  Why do we preface everything with I’m sorry?  Keep track of all the times you unnecessarily say you’re sorry.  Studies have indicated that women apologize much more frequently than men. While both sexes tend to apologize when they have clearly done something wrong, women continue to apologize even when they have done nothing wrong.  So the next time you are about to say I’m sorry, take a moment and see if you really owe an apology. You don’t need to apologize for how you feel or who you are.  Unless you have truly done something to be sorry for, forbid yourself from saying I’m sorry. You’ll be amazed how uplifting it feels to live unapologetically true to yourself.

5 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Your EX

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  • February 3, 2021

5 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Your EX

Throughout our divorce as well as post-divorce, we spend an awful amount of time thinking about, fixating on and diagnosing our ex and his behavior. Why is he the way he is? He’s a narcissist! Why did he do this or that? He’s so selfish! How come he never told me the truth? He’s a pathological liar! How could he say/do/think that? He’s crazy! What is he scheming up now? He’s such a manipulator! The internal dialogue could go on forever. Remember, you can’t fix or change or control him. Accept that fact and move on. He is no longer your problem and endlessly analyzing him and his actions will just add to your pain and frustration. Here are some tips for breaking out of the ex zone and setting the stage for a happy relationship in the future.

 

1)Make a List of Men you Like and Admire.

Even if you are fed up and disgusted with your ex and his antics, remember there are good men out there. Are there men in your life who have had a positive influence on you? Your dad? Grandfather? Uncle? Brother? Co-worker? Friend? You can also think of fictional characters from books and movies as well as historical figures. Make a list of these men. What attributes do these men share? Which character traits do you admire and why? What do you think it takes to be a good man? Integrity? Honesty? Sense of humor? Intelligence? Work ethic? Kindness? Celebrate the good men in your life and have faith that there are more out there. And if and when you feel ready to date again, raise the bar.

 

2)Realize Your Own Power.

What do you have the strength to accomplish on your own? Post-divorce, many women realize that they are capable of doing just about everything that they thought they needed their husbands for—from household chores to earning a living! What are you capable of? Put yourself to the test and never underestimate your abilities and capabilities. Mow the law. Throw the football with your son. Climb that ladder. Polish up your resume. You have what it takes to be an independent woman. Shine!

 

3)Embrace Other Relationships.

Take the time to nourish and/or create other important relationships in your life. Embrace your family and friends on a deeper level. Take time to be fully present and more involved with your family members. Attend you niece’s ballet recital. Visit your great uncle in his retirement community. Find joy in familial bonds. Likewise, rekindle those strong ties with childhood friends. There’s nothing more comforting than an old friend who has known the real you since way back when. At the same time, making new friends through divorce support groups can help you connect with other women who can totally relate to and understand your current struggles. Have an open heart to engage in numerous relationships that will provide you with a joyous sense of unity and fulfillment.

4)Focus Forward.

Do away with regrets. If you find yourself dwelling on your ex and the past, turn it into a productive exercise for moving forward. Make a list of everything positive and good that came out of your relationship. Make a list of everything you learned from that relationship. Make a list of how you have grown because of those experiences. What did you discover about yourself? About relationships? What is better about your life now? Now look at these lists and reflect upon what you have to be grateful for. Think about how you can use these experiences and insights to move powerfully forward.

5)Have a Good-Bye Party.

Throw yourself a symbolic party or hold some kind of meaningful ceremony to say good bye to your past life with your ex. Performing a ritual can help free you from the grip of your past. Come up with a meaningful activity followed by a declaration of freedom. For example, pour yourself a glass of champagne, then write a good-bye letter to your ex. Read it out load, then tear it into a million pieces and make a toast to yourself for a better tomorrow. Other ideas may include burying a wedding picture and having a “funeral” for your marriage. Or try cleansing yourself from the past in a relaxing, candle-lit bubble bath while repeating an empowering mantra for moving on. Find an activity and write an accompanying declaration that would be particularly meaningful for you. While this may seem trivial or even silly, participating in such a ritual can provide a real sense of closure. Remember this date as the day you set yourself free. Celebrate!
Please share your ideas for breaking free in the comment section below.

5 Things to Let Go of Post Divorce

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  • September 25, 2020

1)Would Haves, Should Haves, Could Haves and What Ifs

Let go of replaying all the possible scenarios from the past. What if I had only done this?  What if I had done that instead? I should have, I could have, I would have…. STOP! It doesn’t matter anymore! What’s done, is done.  In that moment, at that time, you said/did/felt what you did for a reason.  Agonizing over your past actions, reactions and decisions changes nothing.  Living in regret is debilitating.  Learn from your past, apologize when necessary, forgive yourself and possibly your X (that might take time) and move forward without these chains of regret holding you down. Stop re-living, so you can live!

 

2)Negative Feelings

Let go of feelings that rile you up. Feelings that consume your mind and tie your stomach in a knot.  It takes time to heal and time for these intense emotions to subside, especially if you were hurt or betrayed in your marriage. First, feel the anger, feel the sadness, feel the resentment. Process it, express it, release it.  Holding onto these feelings for extended periods of time is not healthy.   It’s normal to experience occasional bouts of intense emotions, but when we constantly dwell on these emotions, they’ll only fester and invade our happiness.  Make a conscious decision to choose calm.

 

3)Limiting Beliefs

Let go of your limiting beliefs that no longer serve you. First, you have to discern what those beliefs are and examine them. How did you form those beliefs? Why do you hold onto them so tightly? What do you believe about marriage? About divorce? About co-parenting? About love? About happiness? How does your present situation merge with your belief system? What purpose are your current beliefs serving? How do they make you feel? How can they be altered to make you feel better? Think about how changing your beliefs can change your life.  For example:  You can believe your divorce is a tragedy based on a belief system that says marriage is forever; or you can choose to look at divorce as an opportunity–a gift–for a new beginning.  You get to choose what to believe.

 

4)The way things were

Let go of expecting things to be the same.  Everything is different now—your marital status impacts so many important details of your life–  your finances, your living situation, your parental time, your social life, your identity.  Brace yourself and prepare for these changes.  Holidays, family gatherings and other celebrations will all be different now. Even daily life will be unfamiliar to you as a single person. A new normal will evolve.  Keep an open mind to embrace the newness of your current situation. Instead of longing for the past, have fun creating the new— new routines, new traditions, new expectations, new social circles, a new you!

5)Control

 

Let go of trying to control everything.  It’s exhausting! Somethings just have to unfold naturally. Sometimes you have to just BE.  Be in the moment. Be you. Be free from the pressure/worry/fear of having to have everything under control all the time.  It’s ok if you can’t handle everything right now. It’s ok to be temporarily out of control as you heal and adjust to your new life circumstances. And, it’s ok to ask for help.

5 Things Divorce Makes You Realize about Yourself

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  • April 12, 2020

1)You’re stronger than you ever thought.

Divorce is a traumatic event.  After the death of a loved one, divorce is ranked as the second most stressful life event one can encounter. There are daily struggles every step of the way.   From the actions, decisions and circumstances that led to the divorce, to the actual divorce proceedings, to establishing a new norm post-divorce— it’s a long bumpy road with lots of sharp curves.  You may continue to have meltdowns, but you also continue to get back up.  You prove your strength every day. Keep going!

2)You’re the best advocate for yourself and your kids.

You no longer have a partner to back you up. You realize that you are the most powerful voice for yourself and your children. So you speak up and stand up for what’s in your best interest and theirs.

3)You actually can go out alone.

At first, you may have been afraid, hesitant or too self-conscious to do things alone.  Transitioning from being a part of a couple to being solo is a big adjustment.  As time goes by, a table for one, a ticket for one or an invite for one becomes less and less awkward. You begin to realize you alone are enough.

4)You can be sad and happy at the same time.

One minute you are rejoicing about being officially done with your ex -spouse, the next minute you’re mourning the life you once had.  You’re happy.  You’re sad.  You’re happy.  You’re sad.  Happiness and sadness, anger and relief, love and hate, outrage and calm, confidence and uncertainty, despair and hope— you fluctuate between a swarm of opposing emotions.  And that’s ok!! It’s all part of the healing process.

5)You’re a survivor.
You’re still here, right? You are going to make it!

5 Ways to Escape Divorce Mode

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  • March 30, 2020

Does it sometimes feel like your divorce is taking over every aspect of your life? Consuming every second of your day?

You need a break!  While we can’t totally escape from our divorce, we can prevent it from taking over our lives 24/7.

Scheduling time to focus on your divorce will actually free you from obsessing about it all day long.  Set aside 20 minutes during the day to focus just on your divorce.  During that time, write down all your questions, fears, concerns– things you are worried/angry/sad about; things you want to talk to your lawyer about; things you need to say to your X.  Get your thoughts out and organized; create an action plan; schedule and/or make necessary calls and appointments; then END the divorce session and move on with your day.

Here are five other suggestions for taking a timeout from your divorce:

1)Establish divorce- free zones in your house.

Whether it’s your bedroom or your den, set aside a sanctuary room or cozy nook in your house where divorce is forbidden to enter. That means once you enter that safe haven, you can’t do, say, read, google, write or think about anything related to divorce.  Settle into that space and exhale.

2) Move!

When divorce thoughts start creeping in, don’t just sit there- move!  When our bodies are in motion, our energy instantly changes. Take a brisk walk. Exercise. Clean the house. Dance in your living room.  Just move and let those positive endorphins flow.

3) Surround yourself with friends and family.  

Spend time with friends and family, but don’t let it become a venting session.  Tell them ahead of time, “I need to see you, but let’s not talk about my divorce at all today.”

4)Engage your mind.

Devote some time to a task or hobby that requires your full attention.  Learn or play an instrument.   Take up a foreign language. Choose a topic you know absolutely nothing about and read up on it.  Explore a genre of literature that you’ve never read before—sci fi perhaps?   Do a puzzle. Complete a crossword. Make a craft. Cook a new recipe. Master one of your kid’s Xbox games. Research a place/city/country of interest and plan a visit.

5) Have faith.

Have faith in God, in the universe, in whatever you believe in– that everything will work out in time. Believe in the rainbow after the storm.  Make a deliberate choice to seek solace. Pray. Meditate. Journal. Slow down. Breathe. Exhale.

5 Things a Divorce Coach Can Do for You

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  • February 24, 2020

Let’s be honest. Going through a divorce stinks, but you don’t have to do it alone. Seeking the help of a trained professional can ease your journey. Here are five things a divorce coach can do for you:

1)Help you maintain your sanity
All the stressors of a divorce can make you feel like you’re losing your mind! It’s a crazy time filled with many powerful mixed emotions. A divorce coach can help you fully acknowledge and process your emotions and then help you move forward in a productive way. What a relief when the emotional drama is turned into a sane, rational process.
2)Keep you on a forward moving path
Feeling stuck? When you are overwhelmed by the many life-changing decisions you are faced with, a divorce coach can help you focus, set priorities and plan your next step toward moving ahead and getting what you want.
3)Save you time and money
As your thinking partner, your divorce coach can help you organize and prepare for the legal process and devise relevant questions for your legal team. Your divorce coach can also help you tackle the mounds of divorce-related paperwork. All this will save you time and money spent at the lawyer’s office.
4)Connect you to other professionals
Your divorce coach can provide reliable references to an entire team of professionals you will likely need throughout the divorce process and beyond. This list includes financial planners, realtors, lawyers, mediators, accountants, mortgage brokers, therapists and counselors.
5)Guide you to be your best self
Divorce brings out the worst in people. Both parties often feel vulnerable, threatened, upset and angry during this tough, life-changing transition. A divorce coach can help you maintain your integrity, release your resentments and anger and help you live in a manner true to your morals and values.

5 Things to Look Forward to

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  • January 28, 2020

When you are feeling blah, it can really help to have something special to look forward to. So get out your calendars, make some fun plans and stick to them! It doesn’t matter how simple or elaborate those plans are, just do something special every day, week, month and season! Anticipating future activities and events brightens our everyday lives.
Here are a few ideas:

Seasonal
1)Have a ritual to celebrate each new season.
Examples may include: going apple/pumpkin picking in the fall; visiting a festive holiday-themed village in the winter; strolling through your city’s botanical gardens in the spring; attending an outdoor concert at the beach or park in the summer. Traditions provide meaning and joy to our lives!

Monthly
2)Plan a date.
Pick one day a month to have a standing date with a friend or group of friends. For example, plan a lunch date at a different restaurant on the first Friday of every month.

Weekly
3) Schedule some TV Time.
Get hooked on an uplifting show or ongoing series. Disappear into that make-believe world for an hour or two every week.

Daily
4) Talk.
Schedule a daily 10 minute pick- me-up phone call with your mom or your other best friend who always knows how to make you smile. A little pep talk can lift your spirits.

Anytime
5) Plan a guilt-free day off.
Don’t let your vacation days go to waste. Get a babysitter if you have to and enjoy a full day to yourself. Unplug and do something you enjoy. Shop, go to the spa, take a hike, garden, read, make a craft, take a day trip, do something out of the ordinary, or just curl up on the couch and relax. Take time off to recharge and refresh. You deserve it!
Having something to look forward to will help you get through the day, the week, the month, the year and your divorce!

5 Great Things about Living Single

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  • December 23, 2019

There’s a special kind of freedom about not having to be considerate of another person 24/7. And let’s all admit it, it’s kind of nice when we don’t have to share all our space and stuff with another adult. When you need to look at the bright side, try being grateful for these small and simple things divorce grants us:
1)Being the master of the TV remote
You now have control of the remote 24/7. Watch what you want, when you want. Flip the channels, raise the volume, and binge watch your favorite series undisturbed. Oh yeah and you also get to control all the other household entertainment devices and electronics.
2)Getting a peaceful night’s sleep
Isn’t it nice to completely stretch out in the middle of your bed with no one twisting and turning or snoring next to you? And no one stealing covers or hitting snooze for the 6th time. Claim that bed as your own sleep haven. Sweet dreams!
3)Having the master bathroom all to your self
More counter space. Check! More shelf space. Check! Less mess. Check! No wet towels on the floor. Check! Toilet seat always in the right position. Check! Turn that bathroom into your own little spa retreat.
4)Controlling the house thermostat
Tired of living in an icebox? In a sauna? Who wants the thermostat set at 67? Who likes it at 72? Your choice now! You alone decide the comfort zone! Ahhhhhh!
5)Enjoying all that extra closet space!!
When was the last time you had enough closet space? Isn’t every woman’s dream to have more closet space? Now you got it! All yours! Time for a shopping spree.

Be the queen of your castle and continue to find one small thing after another to be grateful for.

5 Ways to Bring Calm Back into Your Home

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  • November 13, 2019

Your life may be in a state of upheaval, but your house doesn’t have to be. Creating a tranquil environment at home promotes a tranquil mindset which can help reduce stress levels. Here are some ways to create a peaceful living space.
1)Get organized.
Who has piles in their house? Piles of mail? Piles of bills? Piles of laundry? Piles of books and magazines? Piles of shoes? Piles of stuff can result in piles of stress. Set up a system for keeping things organized around your house. Go through your piles and discard what you can. Create a filing system for papers and mail– perhaps, color coordinated folders for each family member. For larger items, think of creative storage options such as decorative baskets and bins. Things that are not used every day should be stored away in a closet, attic, garage or basement. Additionally, make a plan to do things differently. For example, stop folding the laundry on the dining room table where the piles of clothes may sit for days. Instead, take the laundry basket straight to the bedrooms.
2)Declutter.
Once the piles are put away, it’s time for a deep declutter. Take an inventory of your home. Go through each room and remove the items that you no longer have use for; items that are old or broken; items that you have duplicates of; or items that just don’t bring you joy anymore. Schedule a different room to tackle each week. Don’t forget to go through draws, cabinets and closets. Check under the beds too! Once you’ve collected your items, decide what to throw out, what to donate and what to sell. Decluttering your living space is a great way to create fresh new energy in your home.
3)Adjust the lighting.
Experiment with different colored light bulbs, lamp shades and dimmers. This is easy and affordable and allows you to create the type of peaceful lighting that you want, whether it’s a soft, dim mellow glow or a brighter warm vibe. Candles and flameless candles are other great options for setting a tranquil mood. And instead of overhead lighting, try turning on table lamps and standing lighting fixtures for a cozier feel.
4)Pick new colors.
Choose soothing colors and repaint your main living spaces. Blue, violet, pink and green are all considered stress reducing colors. Or if you’re feeling Zen, go with natural colors in soft tones. Shades of beige, grey, white and soft pink induce relaxation. If repainting is too much of a project, bring out these calming colors in accent pieces like area rugs, throw pillows and wall décor.
5)Play soft music.
Replace the noise in your head with relaxation music! Choose slow, quiet instrumental music. Listening to calming music can actually lower your heart rate, pulse and blood pressure as well as reduce the level of stress hormones in your body. Music has the power to ease pain, relax muscles, sharpen cognitive function, improve sleep, enhance mood and reduce anxiety.
When the rest of your world seems like a mess, it’s nice to be able to retreat to your own peaceful sanctuary.

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