I think one of the most irritating things I hear is “oh you’re divorced right?”. Do you know or are you any relation to ——- ?
Here are the short answers. “Yes I am, and yes I do, he’s my ex-husband”.
Depending on my mood I have also been known to add in “I was number two. There’s a number three and if I was a betting woman I would guess there will be a number four and possibly five”.
For the past seven years, I have been known as “divorced,”
It is the adjective, I think, most used to describe me and frequently the next phrase uttered after my first and last name. It’s not anyone’s fault, I just happen to think we as a culture have too much interest and place too much importance on romantic relationships and status.
“Are you seeing anyone?” is my most loathed question.
It’s second on the list only to “what do you do” in all parts, which can be equally as insulting and invasive. Being pegged as “divorced” tends to overshadow professional accomplishments and personal achievements, parental successes and failures, individual experiences and adventures. It’s not as fun to ask about that. For some reason people hang on the adjective of “divorced” and to be honest, I’m f*cking over it.
“Divorced” does not necessarily translate to “lonely, needy, desperate, vengeful, crazy, unhappy or bitter”. Divorce is a transaction. Divorce is a choice. Divorce can be empowering and lead to a happier life.
Many times it is the necessary decision to ensure the safety of you and your family. It is oftentimes the only choice when you are living what can only be described as a life of chaos and fraud. It is the choice people make when they literally decide that they cannot live like this anymore. There are a million reasons that people get divorced, and whatever the reason is, I am here to tell you:
Your Divorce Does Not Define You
You were and will continue to be the person you were before your divorce. Hell, before you were married. Think about a time when you were single and what you accomplished and how it brought you joy and fulfillment. You are still that person. If you’re thinking about divorce or in the thick of the swamp it may be really hard to remember who you were and what in your life gave you excitement and a sense of accomplishment
As hard as it is, try to find it. Hold on to it. Replay that scenario over and over in your mind. Remember every detail, what that felt like and know that you can and will get there again.
However, how you handle and react to the stresses that are in your life are critical decisions right now. How you conduct yourself in this time WILL define you, and let me tell you there are a lot of things I look back on and wish I had done differently. If your behavior is filled with anger and malice, poor judgment and public airing of grievances, people – everyone from your ex to your kids to your lawyer, co-workers friends and family WILL remember. You don’t want to be that person. Crazy, my friends, is not cute. It doesn’t translate well and it spreads like wildfire.
There are ways to channel your emotions and maintain clear-headedness in order to make tough decisions.
It may not be easy, because let me tell you how many times I’ve written and deleted facebook posts or taken pictures of Venmo requests for $3, literally shaking with anger and ready to spit venom. Those feelings HAPPEN. It was in those times I wish I would have had someone to help think clearly when I was overcome with exhaustion and fear and pain.
Coaching during a divorce can be incredibly helpful. It’s not therapy and it’s not anger management, it’s a future-focused plan to equip you with the tools to get to the other side of your decision and back to the person you want to be. Fear of the unknown translates directly into anxiety and stress. My goal as a divorce coach is to empower you with the knowledge you need to take control of your situation and minimize the trauma and emotional upheaval of divorce.
The inescapable irony that after complaining about being known as “divorced” that my business and life’s work is literally associated with divorce is not lost on me. I am, my friends, a deeply flawed individual. But, I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and not the easy way. It is what set me on my path to try to be the person I wish I would have had to turn to. Now it’s my hope that the phrase to describe me after my first and last name is “Divorce Coach” and not just “divorced”.