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Focus on the here and now



Separation is so overwhelming with so many issues bombarding you. You can feel like you are in a war zone with grenades being lobbed over the fence at a fast pace, making it feel impossible to stop the collateral damage as you feel blindsided as another one enters from another direction. The next grenade could be;


Your ex left a month ago and the rates bill has just arrived. You call them and say “Can you pay half of the rates until we figure out what will happen with the house?” They refuse, saying they don’t live there any more so it’s not their problem!


The school counsellor calls to say “We are concerned that your son is getting into fights. One boy has a black eye and his parents are not happy. Could you come for a meeting this afternoon to discuss?”


Your boss tells you “A customer has complained as you didn’t deliver the service they expected. What happened? You don’t seem to be focused lately. I’m relying on you to fix this, what are you going to do to improve customer satisfaction?”


Your mother says “You need to work out if you are going to keep the house or sell up and move. what about the kid’s school? what an upheaval for them! Where are you going to go?”


Your father says “Aren’t you going to fight for your rights? Your ex left so they have abandoned you and the kids. You should get the house, have you got a lawyer yet?”


It’s a nightmare, you feel pulled in all directions. You wish you could pinch yourself and awaken to find it was just a dream and life is as it was…. but it isn’t. You try to hold it together as you feel grief stricken, you never thought your life would end up like this. You aren’t able to see what the future holds, let alone knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow or next week. Emotionally you feel drained, disorientated as you try to come to terms with what’s happened. Amidst the chaos, confusion and uncertainty you feel like a deer gazing into the headlights of an oncoming truck. You certainly feel like you have been hit by one!


Each day you feel more anxious, unable to cope, like sinking into quicksand. Feeling suffocated and overcome by helplessness.


You haven’t been through this before, it’s hard to know who to turn to and what to do.

You don’t have to do this alone.


A Divorce Coach helps you take back your power to regain control of your life whilst supporting you emotionally to give you the courage and the confidence to prioritise your challenges and identify actions with dates to complete. Just like having a project manager who helps you through your separation journey! Helping you identify risks, how to mitigate them, what is in your control to change, what issues are the most important to you, engaging the right resources at the right time to help you when needed, reality test your options to avoid knee jerk reactions, ensure self-care is a priority for strength and stamina to get you through the challenges.


It's important to be future focused on what needs to be done to keep moving forward instead of dwelling on the past on how you could have prevented this happening. It can be hard to think of the future when you’re grieving the past. It’s important not to be fearful because you cannot picture what the future holds as it is so unclear with a lot of unknowns until negotiations begin for coparenting and financial settlement.


Focus on the here and now to set yourself short term goals such as stabilising finances for everyday living, temporary shared parenting to help the children adjust, advising the school of changes at home to gain support from them, collating information in preparation for a consultation on entitlements with a lawyer, advising your boss about needing extra support whilst going through a tough time at home and so much more.


Shifting from a life of being a couple to a life of independence is a transition requiring both parties not to expect that to happen overnight. There is the uncoupling of the relationship but there is also uncoupling of the joint lifestyle. There may be properties, bank accounts, investments, assets that need to be negotiated on who gets what. Responsibilities to pay for and maintain assets until those negotiations are finalised is important so a short-term plan needs to be agreed. Even the roles each of you played during the relationship can be a transition in itself to know how things will be handled in the future. You may have arranged all of the school duties whereby your ex may have always arranged the maintenance on the house. It can be a shock when one person just stops doing their role without any discussion on how it will be handled in the short-term. It’s like starting a new job and there is no one there to do a handover or training with…. you feel like you have been pushed into the deep end…. yikes…. that’s all you need to add to your current stress levels.


Don’t be overwhelmed, seek the support you need to help you focus on the here and now to help you transition and adjust through your separation journey!


Author – Cheryl Duffy, Divorce Coach, Mediator & Author



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