Episode 8 - Notes From The Other Side of DivorceOct 11, 2022
The Do Divorce Right podcast is a new podcast dedicated to looking at the many different aspects of divorce, interviews with women who have their own incredible divorce stories or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. Hosted by Becca Maxwell, a divorce coach and relational intelligence consultant, the focus here is to help you to find the strength and support to help you heal, feel lighter and in a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your divorce journey.
In this episode, Becca talks about the advice or notes from the other side. Becca has interviewed some incredible women who have experienced some of the most difficult divorce situations and have got through them.
Becca will discuss the recurring themes in their advice, how they all overcame challenges big and little during the divorce process, and how they all went on to achieve success.
Welcome to the Do Divorce Right podcast.
I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And I'm here to help you transition through your divorce with ease and integrity, to not only survive the challenges of your divorce, but to thrive as you come out the other side of it with a much better life than you ever hoped possible. On this show, we talk about many different aspects of divorce, interview women who have their own incredible divorce stories, or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. The focus here is to help you find the strength and support to help you feel lighter, happier, more positive, and in a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your current journey.
Welcome to Episode Eight of the Do Divorce Right podcast.
I've been really wondering what is the right thing to bring in this particular episode, and I've decided to bring you some advice from the other side; I've been talking to some gorgeous women as podcast guests and as clients, and ex-clients. I have been talking to gorgeous women who have come out the other side after having a pretty awful time of separation and divorce.
And I've asked for them to pass along, ‘what advice do they wish that they had had when things were toughest for them?’ Or ‘what advice did they cling to when they needed it? What advice would they like you to hear? And there's a couple of different themes in here.
I will share some on the socials. But I wanted to share with you those themes that came through regularly from everybody. I mean, all of these women have now built beautiful lives for themselves. They've either gone on to create successful businesses or, or have incredible jobs. Either way, they are at different stages, some of them have an excellent co-parenting relationship with their ex husband. Some of them don't have him in their life at all. But they are all using their own words, and they would all judge themselves as thriving.
Right now, though, notes from the other side. The first thing - that common thread that really comes through all of this advice is - to not sweat the small stuff.
Now that is, you know, not not getting too wound up too easily. Not allowing things to escalate or override your emotional response, it is so easy to be triggered by the little things, it's so easy.
You might remember the.. if you've been a listener for a little while - I'm only eight episodes in! - if you've listened to some of my previous episodes, you might remember Maria, who is a divorce lawyer. She's a practising family lawyer and she was talking about what she's seen in the court.
She would see clients complaining and fighting and using lawyers to write letters about t-shirts not being returned to a particular house or a child not being dropped off within, you know, 30 minutes of the agreed time or just a lot of inflexibility.
And those small things really have triggered and inflamed an already difficult situation. That escalation can be so easily misinterpreted. It leads to the use of lawyers, when that's really one of the last things that you want to do is to have lawyers handling administration around such small things, because that is expensive, right?
So if you can try and ‘shake it off, shake it off’ all of those small frustrations.
You will have heard it from Sam in last week's episode; Sam was talking about her co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband, and how hard it was in the beginning.
And you just had to let go of what was pissing you off, in her words.
There is occasionally a bit of swearing here - I hope you can live with that.
So yeah, Maria spoke about her clients behaving badly when things would escalate.
Sam spoke about how necessary it is to just let it go.
It's really important.
The thing that helps you let go; the one vision, if you like, that stops you from sweating that small stuff is coming back to your intention.
Can you set an intention? What is it that you're hoping to achieve here?
Is your intention to be able to be in the same room with your ex partner at future events?
Is it your intention to be able to both attend the wedding of your children in the future?
Is it your intention to show the children that you can still communicate amicably with the person that is their parent, the other parent?
If you can choose that intention, it will help you keep coming back to that.
It'll help you stop being triggered. Keep coming back. “Does this help me or hinder my ability to meet my goal? If I respond to this thing now, if I let it trigger me?”
In another episode, Fiona had mentioned that her intention was to behave very differently because she didn't like who she had been through her marriage. And she really wanted to change that. She wanted to behave in a way that was better than the previous version of her who had behaved.
My intention had always been to behave with integrity. And that is no bad mouthing of my ex husband, no matter how triggering it was.
No bringing that energy into our home.
So what happens at his home happens at his home, I don't need to bring it into mine, I don't need to get upset about it.
So don't sweat the small stuff. Don't be triggered, don't let it escalate to the lawyers. Focus on your intention, keep coming back to that, and shake off the things that don't work for you.
Don't sweat the small stuff. And just keeping in mind that, you know, letting go can be so hard.
Letting Go can be so hard, but it is absolutely necessary.
Nobody is going to deny that there is grief required in the ending of any relationship, and especially in a marriage. That is grief, there are strong emotions, there is a lot for you to go through. You're grieving the future that you had imagined together, you're grieving the plans that you had hoped for, you're grieving the expectation of your future.
And it can take a really long time.
So some people grieve in their marriage, already, they come out, ready to launch themselves into the world.
Some of you will have been shocked by the ending of things or the way in which your ex is now behaving might feel foreign to you.
Letting Go can be hard, but it is absolutely necessary.
Coming back to that intention of what is it that you're hoping to achieve here, I'm pretty sure nobody is hoping to be that sad divorcee who can't get on with their life, when the ex is moving on with another relationship, or you know, moving on and starting businesses making money, not even thinking about you. Nobody really wants that.
So it's important to allow that grief to happen, it's important to allow yourself to accept, accept that the relationship is over, accept that this is a grief and that he is not coming back.
Acceptance means that you'll be looking forward instead of looking backwards. And that is really, really critical to be able to build a beautiful life moving forward.
Nobody's going to rush you through the grief cycle, it takes as long as it takes.
And it's a really shitty period. And there are tears and there's pain. And it is hard. But when you're ready to let go, that acceptance will bring you some peace.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting that letting go is the same as giving up. You're not giving up on every argument.
You're not letting the other person get their way all the time.
That's not letting go. That's, that's being a pushover.
You don't need to do that. I'm just suggesting that we want you to be future focused.
We want you to have an expectation that things are going to get better, not worse, and that you're accepting that this relationship isn't going to come back together again.
The next piece of advice coming from all of these gorgeous women who've built their beautiful lives post divorce is: don't make decisions based on fear.
Given the fluctuation and supreme unsettling of going through separation and divorce, it's such a scary time, everything's in flux, you have less security and literally every way.
However, when you're going through that, it's so tempting to hold on to anything that you can control, it's tempting to hold on really, really tight.
But that's not going to serve you, you need to be able to make decisions based on a positive expectation. So holding on to, for example, fighting to say “I want the children 100% of the time, or even 80% of the time”, holding on tightly to what feels like a security for you is not necessarily going to serve anybody.
Well, again, referring back to another podcast episode, in the conversation I had with Maria, the divorce lawyer who also coaches on communication; she referenced a client who was really struggling with access over Christmas time. And the client had wanted, I think, all of Christmas day and had, you know, had a very defined idea what it is that she wanted in that time, and she was holding on very tightly to that.
In having a discussion with Maria and thinking about, well, how can you communicate here? And what's your intention really long term, she realised that if she was a bit flexible on this, and was able to offer some flexibility to her ex husband, for him to have the Christmas morning or the afternoon or split it in a way that just was more amicable, it fundamentally changed their entire negotiations moving forward.
She'd gone from having a decision based on fear, you know, desperately trying to hold on to what she felt was giving her security - and that was Christmas morning with the children, it was controlling her time with the children - to being a bit more flexible, a bit more relaxed about it, having faith that in making a more flexible decision would lead her to her intention. It was in doing that, that opened those gates to be able to get closer to her intention.
So at some point, we want you to be able to not make decisions out of fear, we want you to build faith, if that's the right word or belief and trust, that things are going to work out okay.
The more you can believe that and hope for that and want that and desire that and really believe it, the more likely that is to happen.
So change your thinking a little bit from “I must hold on tightly” to going with the flow and knowing that things will work out.
Maybe not in a week, maybe not in a month, but over time, things will work out as they're supposed to.
And what other advice did we have coming through?
Definitely don't sweat the small stuff.
The grief process is long, you will need to let go.
Don't make decisions based on fear.
Trust that things are going to work out for you.
Always come back to your intention on how you want things to work out; whether that's you behaving with integrity, whether that's co-parenting in an amicable way, whether that's, you know, an equitable division of assets, keep coming back to your intention. What are you hoping for here?
Do keep in mind, of course, that everybody's journey is different.
We don't want to get into the place where we're talking about divorce with friends or family and we're trying to out trauma each other. This is not a competition. This is your individual journey. And it's going to be shared in all kinds of ways. And it's going to be shared in different ways to the next person who's going to go through it.
But there are some steps that we all take.
I want to talk to you about the masterclass I'm putting together in a little over a week - depending on when you're listening to this episode.
I'll be running a live masterclass class to talk through. What are the seven steps that everybody needs to go through regardless of your journey?
What are those seven parts of the journey to get us from “I'm overwhelmed and stuck and fearful” to really believing that things can work out well, setting up a beautiful life, moving forward and into the future.
So I'll be running that Masterclass on October 18.
If you're listening to this episode beforehand you can register for the masterclass. If you're listening after that, send me a DM, perhaps I will be able to share you the recording, but I'd love to have you join that because you know passing on this great advice from women who have come out the other side is the cherry on the top right?
You're you're hearing what are they feeding back to you?
What gift are they giving back to you?
But during the masterclass you will have a really better idea of the stages that you're going to go through.
What practical techniques can you use, perhaps to speed up that grief journey?
What techniques can you use to stop yourself from being emotionally hijacked?
How is it that you can set up really for a fantastic future and I can't wait to get that out into the world for people to be able to use that and see that.
Thanks for listening. I hope you took something of value out of this episode. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And you can find me on the web at www.dodivorceright.com or on Instagram at DoDivorceRight.
I look forward to connecting with you there