Divorce coaching - is it worth the investment?
I recently spoke to a lady who had been advised by a lawyer to hire a divorce coach before hiring a lawyer. Really, you might ask? Why?
When I look back at the three months after my husband left, I don’t really have a clear mental image. The memories are foggy, a blur of long days and even longer nights. I didn’t know which way to turn, what to do. I was often overwhelmed by all the emotions I was feeling. The life I had believed I had was suddenly not there anymore, and I didn’t know what my future would look like. Overnight, everything had changed.
I was afraid of so many things – of being alone, of being a single parent, of feeling lonely, that I would never feel better. I was also afraid of being pitied and judged, for having a “failed marriage”.
At that point in time, I was unable to make any decisions. And yet I knew there were a multitude of decisions looming ahead of me – about my home, my job, our children, my future. And I had what felt like a million questions – how would I manage? What would be the best decisions for me? When would I feel better? How much control would I have over the outcome? What would life look and feel like in 6 months, or a year? Would I lose touch with joint friends? What would happen to my relationship with my in-laws? Where would my children go to school? How would I afford to live? And fundamentally, who was I, now that I was no longer a wife?
I understand now that I was paralysed by shock and fear.
I am asked questions just like these every day.
What I needed at that time was some help with how to handle those emotions, how to manage each day, how to take some control back over my life, and how to start to move forward in baby steps.
Like many of you, I had fantastic friends and family, who listened, made tea, dropped off meals, and spoke to me on the phone for hours, night after night. Those friends and family were a lifeline, and I would not have got through it without them. But they weren’t always independent, or impartial. They saw me struggling, they were worried for me, and they were often angry on my behalf. I was the first person amongst my friends and family to be divorced, so we were all working it out as we went along, in the best way we knew how, taking one day at a time.
What I really needed at that time was help from someone who would be independent, non-judgemental, to whom I could safely express my deepest fears and worries, and who would help me to face the future head on. Someone who could help me begin to imagine a new future, and then help me move towards that new vision.
What I needed was a divorce coach.
I was lucky in that my initial appointment with a solicitor, a month after our separation began, was with a fabulous woman whose first piece of powerful advice was that I didn’t need to do anything at all just yet. It was better, she said, to work out what I wanted first, so that when I eventually went back to see her I would be clear in my instructions. That, she told me, would save me a lot of heartache and a lot of financial expense in the long run. I will be forever grateful for that advice, as it gave me permission to stop, take stock, and concentrate on me.
It was six months before I felt anywhere near able to instruct that same solicitor to start progressing our divorce legally.
At that time, there were no divorce coaches out there to guide me through, or to help me work out what it was I wanted, and I found my own way through. It wasn’t easy, and I am immensely proud of how I handled my separation and divorce. My feelings about my divorce are so different now. Below is how I feel when I think about my divorce, and my post-divorce life, now.
Through my divorce coaching, I offer others the service I really wanted and needed ten years ago. Unlike a holiday, which makes you feel good in the short term, coaching can help you grow, and give you strategies that you can take forward and use every day.
Divorce is always a catalyst for change, which may be painful or scary. I know it also offers opportunity to grow, to learn, to enrich life. When you invest in me as your divorce coach, I will help you to access your own resources, so that you can move through your separation or divorce with resilience, strength and dignity, and ultimately redefine yourself. I offer compassionate support and non-judgemental guidance in a safe place, so that you can work out what really matters to you. I will help you to move from that place of overwhelm to a place where you can work out what you want your life to look like, evaluate the choices ahead, and feel empowered to make decisions. I will help you redefine yourself and your life vision, so that you can consciously take back power in your life, and create the new, vibrant future that you deserve.