We work with clients in a few different stages of the divorce process. Many people are too afraid of change so they would rather live in mediocre marriages, some feel stuck in the process, some are blind-sided by a spouse’s request for a divorce, and some are trying to process what’s happening so they can make the first step. Patience is greatly tested in the divorce process.
It’s a waiting game – you are waiting to hear from your mediator, your accountant, your attorney, your spouse, or worst-case scenario, your children. So many clients are exhausted and don’ t know how they are going to make it through this process. Patience is not only needed here , it can be your greatest ally. We live in a world that loves instant gratification, so most of us struggle with waiting and patience. Here are some tips I give to clients when they are frustrated in the divorce process.
3 Tips to Follow When Frustrated in the Divorce Process
1. Let Go of Instant Gratification.
Divorce can bring out the worst in people. It’s not unusual to receive cruel texts from a spouse throughout the divorce process. The hard thing is not responding. Let go of that instant gratification. Find your patience. Give your mind and emotions time to settle and get over the initial shock of the personal attack. Evaluate the situation – is there a purpose for the conversation ? Is something o f importance being asked of you? Know that these cruel messages are being sent for the soul purpose of upsetting you or to get you to back down so your spouse can get their way. It is so critical in these moments, when you’ree angry and emotional, that you step back.
Don’t make any financial or parental decisions. Some of my clients will actually send me their response, I’ ll look it over, and delete what isn’t appropriate so that they are only responding to what is absolutely necessary. This helps both of us. I, as their advocate , know that they can proceed in a positive direction with a better frame of mind and my client feels relieved that they have responded to a personal attack in a competent manner. When you are able to keep your emotions in check throughout the process, you don’t make hasty phone calls to your attorney, changing the course of your divorce and spending even more money.
2. Focus on the Knowns.
When you are going through a divorce, so many things that were concrete in your life are now unknown. You are faced with questions like: how am I going to afford my life , how long will this process take, did my spouse ever love me, will I be alone forever, where will I live, will my children be OK, what is my family going to think, who are my friends, where is all of the money… so many questions and so many uncertainties.
In time, you will receive your answers – this is where patience comes in. The answers won’t come right away, they might not come in a week, but they will come. This is a good time to start journaling and focusing on yourself. Focus on your plan. If you are unsure of what you can afford, you can fill out a Lifestyle Analysis. If you think that you may need employment to begin working on your resume, maybe look into a certification class to give yourself more options. Whatever it is, focus on you and what you know.
This is harder than it sounds. If you have taken the time to build a support team that you trust, listen to them. Take the advice that you are given. Start focusing on the knowns and re building your life – don’t be glued to your computer or phone, waiting to hear from them. You put them on your team because you trust them, so trust that they know what they are doing. If you lose trust in them throughout the divorce process, have a conversation – they work for you. Let your voice be heard. A trustworthy support team will hear your concerns and address them. We give our client s the information and resources they need so they can approach the decision-making process with confidence. Listen to your team and be sure that they listen to you.
Here is a practice that I’ve used in different stages of my life – especially during my divorce. Years ago, I read this advice for how to putt in a golf book: “See it, believe it, and you will achieve it.” See the hole, see the direction your ball will take to get in the hole, and you will achieve it. In the divorce process – as exhausting, draining, and defeating as it can be – you need to see happiness in your future. See it, believe it, and you will achieve it.
It’s normal to feel alone when you are going through divorce. The majority of my clients ask how they are going to survive the process and when will it be over. Rest assured that your divorce won’t last forever and you will get through it. For now, be patient and take the appropriate steps to set yourself up for a happier future.