Many clients feel stuck in the middle, first some are blind sighted, some mentally prepare and then take the first scary step to start the process and others are just too afraid of the unknown so they accept their status quo.
The middle of this journey can be the biggest test of patience. You either are waiting for your spouse to respond to you, your mediator, lawyer, CDFA, Accountant or worse, your Children!
Many of our clients wonder, how do I get through this waiting period? In this instant gratification world we live, patience could be your best friend through divorce. If you’re like me and lack patience, this is the time to learn the value of it. Here are a few things I help my clients do in the middle of the process.
Forget Instant Gratification.
When your spouse reaches out to you, telling you all the mean things they want to say. Don’t fire back a response. Make them wait. Respond when your mind and emotions have had time to get over the anger. Assess if there is purpose for the comment and if there is actually anything of value that is being asked of you. Realize that these anger filled messages are to get a reaction from you, either to reach a settlement or for you to just cave in and let them get away with what they want. Don’t make any decisions for parenting or financially when your emotions are high.
Many times my clients send me their responses and I delete half of what they say and help them to respond to what is necessary. They feel better because it’s off their chest and as their CDFA and advisor I feel better because I know they are then in a better place to make decisions and to move forward in a positive direction. This also saves them from calling their lawyer demanding things based on emotions and not on merit which in turn, saves a lot of money!
Focus on the knowns.
There are so many unknowns in the middle, where will I live, how will I afford things, when will the process be over, will I be alone forever, will my kids be ok, who are my real friends, what will my family think, is this the right thing to do, did my spouse ever love me, where is all the money…These answers will come but not today and maybe not tomorrow but they will come, in time. So journal in the middle. Ask yourself, what are your goals? Focus on your goals. If you want to know what you can afford, complete a Lifestyle Analysis. If you will need a job, start looking for one, update or create a resume, take a class to get certified in something that interests you.
If you have assembled the right divorce team, listen. If you agree with their guidance then follow it. Don’t sit inside honed into waiting for responses and outcomes, trust they know what they are doing and go back to following number two above. If your gut is telling you not to agree with your team then discuss it with them remember they work for you, you don’t work for them.
Your voice is important, a good team will listen to you and give them their opinion on your concerns. Getting the clarity you need is one of your assets. We use our knowledge and resources to keep our clients in the loop providing them with clarity and confidence needed to make very important decisions. Make sure you listen and your team listens to you!
“See It, Believe It and You will achieve it.”
I read this in a golf book years ago, it’s an analogy of putting. See the hole and envision the path that your ball will take going into it, believe that you will putt it into the hole and you will achieve it. I use this theory in many areas of my life, including when I got divorced. I saw happiness, I believed I would get there and now I am achieving it. So while you are in the middle, see your happiness believe you will get there and I promise you will! Until then, don’t expect instant gratification, focus on the knowns and listen.
You are not crazy and you are not the only one that feels this way. Trust me, I hear it all the time and my clients talk to me all the time asking, what do I do to get through this and I can’t wait to be on the other side. I completely understand, you will get through this and you will be on the other side but right now stay here, take the right steps to protect yourself and one day at a time you will see the light to a new journey and a happier you!
Catherine Shanahan is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst at My Divorce Solution who partners with Karen Chellew, LL. My Divorce Solution is committed to helping divorcing couples develop a transparent plan via a three-phase process to optimize the outcome of their divorce. Phase 1 is the development of the financial portrait.
215-486-8347 | 843-929-0399