Here are a few of the questions I have been asked over the past 7 yrs and my answers based on my personal experience. By no means are these answers for everyone, nor are they meant to be for everyone. If you choose to use any of this information in your own experience please do so at your own risk.
Important Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your results, nor do I promise that my results will work for you. What I can promise is no actions at all will give you more of what you already have.
Questions regarding Marriage, Separation & Divorce
How did I know when the time was right to leave my marriage?
I spent about 5 yrs ignoring the little voice in my head, at the time I heard it as more of a hindrance than a help. My internal dialogue was constant, unrelenting and without action. I had one foot in and one foot out the door and each time I thought I had made a choice one way or the other, something would happen to cause me to rethink that choice and the conversation would go on. And on. And on some more. Looking back on those years now I can see that I was not asking the right questions of myself when I was looking for a clear answer. I needed to identify what my fear was of choosing to stay or leave and what were my beliefs around both. I now believe that I may have shortened the time frame significantly had I asked the right questions during that time and dealt with re-shaping and balancing those beliefs (using a belief balancing modality). What were the questions I needed to ask? What was I afraid of if I stay in the relationship or what was I afraid of if I left? and What were my beliefs regarding the choice I was making? Identifying the answers to these questions is significant to the outcome of my choice as I was to discover. I know that I was at a pivotal time in my life and who knows what path I may have chosen had I explored my fears & beliefs first? I have no regrets because I also believe everything happens for a reason and my path has led me to this moment of being helpful to others. For this, I am grateful for all my experiences both positive and negative.
How did I start the separation conversation with my husband?
I remember our first ‘separation’ conversation, my husband and I were enjoying dinner at one of our local restaurants. I don’t remember the exact words but the conversation came up naturally and just felt safe to continue. We talked about the past and our recollections of events, we talked about the present and how is it for each of us and this naturally led to talk about the future and what each of us wanted. It was clear to both of us that separation was an option as was staying together. What was important to both of us was that we parted as friends if we choose to separate. It was about 1 yr after this discussion that we agreed to separate and start the process of unwinding our lives.
How did we manage to create a legal separation and divorce without Lawyers?
Of all the experiences I have had throughout this process I am most proud of this one. Creating our legal separation without lawyers was an amazing experience and one I wish for everyone who chooses this path. It takes a lot of love, patience, understanding, compassion, and courage from each person, with a commitment to exercise all of these throughout the process. Conversations can go south, and often do, during the process making it vital that each person honors the other every step of the way. I can’t stress enough as it is the key to success.
We used an online separation template, filling in the blank separately then sat down to talk about the details. We set the ground rules that this conversation was to come from a place of love and respect for each other and we agreed it had to be fair and equitable for both of us. Believe me when I say clear ground rules are mandatory and you will refer to them often throughout the process! There were times in the conversation that one of us would start to get angry or feel wronged and it was at this moment a reminder of the rules would be inserted to keep us on track. Using this method gave us the ability to separate belongings with relative ease and grace. The end result was a fair and equitable separation agreement created with love and respect. From here we completed our divorce papers, filed and received our divorce certificates together, saving thousands of dollars in the process. I’m not saying this was an easy task but it certainly was worth the reward. Today we are still friends and supportive of each other as we moved on with our lives.
Questions about Life After Marriage
How did I manage to go from being supported to being my own support?
We had a traditional marriage meaning I was a stay at home mom and any ‘work’ I did outside our home was minimal because my job was to look after our children. I am grateful that we were in a financial position that allowed me to stay home and raise our children, today it is so much harder to do so! For all the advantages of this lifestyle gave our children it became a disadvantage for me when I chose to leave our marriage. When it came to finding work to support myself my options were very limited and I was challenged to find something that paid well enough to make financial ends meet. I had skills but not the post-education listed as required for any job postings that paid more than minimum wage. Did I mention I was over 50? My age paired with limited education was proving to hamper my success in finding work so I turned to entrepreneurial avenues and created my own job. Where there is a will there is a way! Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, it’s a roller coaster ride with no end! It is important to know throughout this transition there were many more steps than indicated in this answer. If you would like to hear more drop me a note using the contact form below.
How did I decide what I wanted to do to support myself?
When the world is a blank canvas and you can do anything you desire, what do you choose? Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It’s taken me a lifetime to get to a place where I actually believe that statement is true and I’m still working on making it so for myself. The journey I’ve been on has been filled with obstacles, challenges, growth opportunities, A-HA moments, rewards, success, and failures. All of which have contributed to me finding my path and passion. I feel like I’ve been building my plane as I’ve been flying it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has been hard at times, to the point of wanting to give up on many occasions, and as I look back on this journey I can honestly say it’s been worth every minute. That’s how it’s been for me and that doesn’t mean it has to be that way for you too. I had these limiting beliefs that “life is hard” and “I have to work hard to get ahead in life” Neither of these statements is true, they are just my perception of what’s true. Changing my perception (perspective) changes my experience of reality!
So back to the question “how did I decide what I wanted to do to support myself? The simple answer is I started by creating an income to take care of my needs and gave myself permission to spend time exploring avenues of interest. What made my heart sing? What put a smile on my face and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside? (Besides grandbabies and puppies). I created a list of “want and don’t want”, paid attention to what I was doing when I felt my ‘heart sing and I had the warm & fuzzies’. I started asking myself the question: “what do I want?” and listening to the answers that popped into my head. I journaled, I read and I went into research mode using the Internet to its fullest capacity. I am working on streamlining the process for others walking the same path so they don’t have to work as hard as I have.
“Life doesn’t have to be hard it just has to be lived” Lisa Johnston