1.Believe in Yourself!
Three words that are so powerful they can change any "I can't into "I can". When you hear the words "I want a divorce", there will be times you will say, "I can't do this". Divorce is like a marathon you didn't sign up for and certainly didn't know the extent of the hills you would have to climb. And, as with every challenge, you start every day saying "I can do this" even when you have no idea how you will take the next step. When you have the will, it will drive you to find the way. There is no purpose, no gain, and no benefit to being in the space of "I can't do this". "You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it."
2.The tough minutes, hours, and days will be followed by good minutes, hours, and days!
When you take on a challenge or are forced to take on a challenge, you will have tough times. It is part of the road. When the tough times come don't say "why me"? "Why me" sends you down a victim/martyr road that bumps you off the road to recovery. "What is my learning here" is the question for the dark times. If you have to deal with finances for the first time (you have always said I don't understand or do finances), well the lesson probably is as an adult you need to understand money: how to bring it in, what you need to know about where it goes out and how to make that work.
3.Push Back: Fight for what is important.
I am always surprised when I ask someone about prior failed relationships if they ever fought for the relationship. Many people look at me and say I never thought about doing that. If someone says to you "this relationship/marriage is over" and you don't want it to be over speak up, push back and take a stand for fighting for your relationship. You can ask to go to therapy, you can take no action to initiate the dissolution, you can counter with the reasons you think the relationship has value and isn't over, and anything reasonable you think has you take a stand for a relationship you value. If nothing works and the breakup is initiated and being carried out by your partner, you will know that you did what you could to prevent the breakup.
4.Ask for Help!
Research, research, research for a good team and you will need a team. Interview lawyers, forensic accountants, therapists, bookkeepers, whatever you will need and be thorough, push back, ask "what if questions", get references and make sure you feel your team has your back. Find a good friend who can be a good friend during this challenging time. If you have a good team you won't "bleed" your divorce onto your friends. Your team is there for you to have every conversation you need to have about your divorce. Your good friend is there to go have coffee and find things to laugh about.
5.Gratitude lightens the darkest days.
Gratitude is such a powerful and forgotten tool. Wake up every morning and speak aloud 10 things you are grateful for. Remind yourself during the day if necessary, put signs around your house, put it in your wallet, write it in your journal and remember how fortunate you are. When you get into the bitter ruminating, kick out the thoughts with gratitude! Gratitude supplies your body with better juices than bitter and whining.
6.Fear is overrated! Love always wins!
If there is one battle you will fight sometimes hourly and daily, it is staying out of fear. Negative comments from unsuspecting people, bad news from your lawyer, nasty emails, people treating you differently, remembering the good things about your relationship which is now gone, questioning whether you did the right thing, feeling alone, the children overwhelming you and so many aspects of the divorce can and will trigger you into fear. You need to fight to Believe in yourself, and trust that you will reinvent yourself. Say No to the fear when it rears its ugly head since you understand it will take you down a bad road. Love yourself! Sometimes it may feel you are the only one that does that day!
"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle." Christian D. Larson
Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN of Sausalito, California, is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. Anne's approach is especially applicable to people affected by divorce. Backbone Power is a no nonsense self help guide to making decisions while having backbone and integrity in all your choices, short term and long term. In addition to helping the divorce community, Anne has over twenty years experience as the trusted advocate and advisor to influential corporate leaders, trial attorneys, athletes, leaders, physicians and others seeking actionable guidance. Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do. You can contact Dr. Anne Brown through her website: www.BackbonePower.com .