Even though you may wish your marriage to be over, no one actually wants to go through the legal divorce process and there’s good reason for that. It often entails confronting conflict head-on and dealing with sensitive negotiations at a time when your emotions are raw. The divorce process itself turns you into adversaries, into rivals and your perspective changes (and often necessarily so) from ‘us’ to ‘me.’
Generally, once you’re legally divorced life gets easier: you may still be figuring out how to co-parent with your now ex but the legal negotiations are resolved and the conflict subsides.
However, for some people, like my present guest Helen, the conflict doesn’t subside. It continues. And it goes on and on and on. And the litigation goes on and on and on. So I asked Helen how does she maintain her strength to keep going. Here’s Helen:
I have become so much stronger.
I’ll tell you a secret.
I’m a national personality and most people look at me, friends, family and say, “Oh my gosh. She’s amazing, inspirational.”
My assistant and my mother are the only ones who say I am the most insecure, un-confident person that they could meet. My mother said, “Half the family don’t even know what you do because you never talk about yourself.”
It’s taken me a long time to have the internal strength to say, “It’s OK if someone out there doesn’t like me,” meaning my ex. “It’s OK what other people choose to believe and not believe.” It’s taken me a long time to get to that place.
I do a lot of meditation. I really believe in Abraham Hicks and all of the daily affirmations. I’m a very spiritual person. I’m a religious person and I have a strong, strong family support behind me. I know that I have to keep it together for my kids and I focus on that.
It’s not always easy. We literally hired a bodyguard for our wedding. How crazy is that? We weren’t sure what my ex was going to do.
I focus on my work. I focus on the kids and I focus on my happiness. I try my best to not allow negative vibrations into my being. I don’t communicate with my ex anymore. It’s horrible that the kids have to be that conduit but it’s the only way. He won’t even take my calls. He won’t even acknowledge emails. It’s the only way. I really just have to keep myself focused on the incredible, wonderful things happening in my life.
I’m trying to keep life as calm and stable as I can for the kids and when they are here they’re showered with praise and confidence because I know how he beat me down emotionally. At least I’m away from it now and God knows my husband has given me a lot of confidence, but they’re still there. My husband has become an amazing father figure for my son and is actively involved with the meetings you have when your child has special needs. He asked, “If I take him to the library what age level reading material should I be looking for? My daughter was learning something new at cheerleading and she said, “Can Steppy come and see?” That’s what they call him and they adore Steppy.
He’s an amazing, incredible husband. It’s funny because he’s come up to me before and said how lucky he is. You have no idea. We both fill needs within each other and the Lord brought us together without a doubt.
The Divorce Coach Says
What Helen is speaking to here is the importance of building your emotional support system.
- Do you have your circle of close trusted friends who are not judgmental and who know you well?
- Do you have a network of friend you can turn to for help for things like home maintenance and transportation for your kids?
- What are you doing to meet your spiritual/religious needs?
- What are you doing to take care of your health, such as exercising and eating healthy?
- Have you redefined your boundaries with your ex?
- Are you focusing on building your future?
What self-care ritual has helped you through your divorce?
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