“I am thankful for my struggle because, without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.”
― Alexandra Elle
Wow, this strikes a nerve for me.
I’ve been quiet lately. I’m not 100% sure why.
I needed to retreat from the world a little bit and think. While part of me feels like I need to explain that (the quiet time), the more significant part of me says, “no, it’s OK.” I’m sure you all can understand that there are times when it’s best to just be still and think. Or just be still and be.
Those of us who’ve been in that spot understand it doesn’t need any explanation.
I believe I’ve been dealing with some imposter syndrome about the book I’m writing. That old “Who are you to tell anyone about anything? Especially this divorce thing you definitely did imperfectly at best.” After settling into that for a bit, I suppose my answer is that I am just me. And I don’t need to have all the answers to help people avoid some of the mistakes.
I am not an expert on how to divorce the right way. I don’t know that there is a right way. I focus more on a “less wrong way,” or a less damaging way. When I talk to potential clients lately, I tend to settle in on “I want to help make it suck less.”
Encountering a good divorce is like winning last weekend’s billion-plus dollar lottery. The odds are stacked against it.
I want to help people figure out how to not win the Mega Millions but win the lottery for the best-divorced family you can. Something our culture seems to stack the odds against as well.
I know that sounds crazy – that’s not a prize anyone aspires to because no one puts “Be divorced” on the top of their bucket list.
However, if we aspire to live our best lives and provide and model the best lives we can for our children and their children down the road, why not aspire to not ruin our family and our finances by digging into the legal system “win-lose” version of divorce?
Why not, instead of fighting to pay less support or get a more significant chunk of the 401k, strive to be able to attend the same weddings and graduations and speak to one another at least cordially? Why not attempt to make sure that person you once loved and vowed to spend the rest of your life with is not living the rest of theirs in poverty?
What if we fight for a better life for both parents and kids (if there are any)? What if we recognize the stuff is just stuff we acquired? I am NOT saying you don’t fight for your rights or for valuing the contribution you made to your marriage. Instead, keep an eye on the future and get the support you need to come to the best resolution without losing perspective and throwing good money after bad (less critical) and destroying your relationships (more important).
That means making it suck less. What if every decision was filtered with – is this making divorce suck more or suck less?
My struggle through my own divorce and the mental, financial, and emotional trauma that came with it was not fun. It was wretched. And even worse for my children.
It did lead me here, and I am genuinely thankful for that. I’ve stumbled into the doing that makes all the different pieces of my past come together. I’ve been a marketer, educator, business owner, yogi, volunteer, and most importantly, mom. Fitting all of those pieces together through the struggle of my divorce led me to my personal mission. I’ve been too quiet about it so far because I’ve been too influenced by the thought that no one wants to talk about divorce.
Until you’re facing it.
Or until someone you love is facing it.
Or until your business is suffering because an employee is going through it. Or until your student is failing because their parents are struggling.
Let’s talk about this shit. Let’s stop brushing it under the rug and pretending it’s not affecting families, businesses, and futures.
We need to change the way this happens in our country and communities. We need to change the way this happens for our families. We need to change the way this happens to women. We need to change how it happens for any partner who was not the primary wage earner.
We need to change that these decisions are made in a courtroom instead of in living rooms.
The strength I stumbled upon is helping people get through their divorce more emotionally, mentally, and financially intact and championing the goal that these decisions can be made by families and not by courts.
What strength have you stumbled upon? Or, what strength is waiting to be discovered??
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When you consider divorce, or if you know someone who is contemplating divorce, one of the biggest realities for those in the divorce process is the financial settlement and financial analysis post-divorce. Get the assistance of Brenda Bridges, a Mediator, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®), RICP® Retirement Income Certified Professional, and Certified Divorce Coach.
Brenda provides step-by-step guidance on matters related to divorce. With a wide range of experience and expertise related to divorce issues, Brenda will simplify the process and provide much-needed clarity in areas such as long-term tax consequences, asset, and debt analysis, dividing pension plans, continued health care coverage, stock option elections, protecting support with life insurance, and much more.
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Divorce coaching and educational services provided through Bridging Divorce Solutions, LLC. Bridging Divorce Solutions, LLC is not affiliated with Cambridge. Examples are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only.