Divorcing? Uncoupling? Read this!
Many clients come to me when they are considering, in the midst of, or on the other side of a divorce or uncoupling. After being in a relationship with another for a long time, newly single people find themselves asking:
How am I going to manage when everything falls on me?
If you or someone you know is “uncoupling”, please:
- Take a look at the blog below to learn how I’ve worked with my clients on career and other issues that arise;
- Consider attending the Divorcing Divas Conference on Saturday, September 27, 2014. Stop by my table for a coaching coupon, a coaching readiness quiz and some chocolate!
Read on to learn:
- Issues frequently faced by clients who are divorcing / uncoupling
- How career is both one of the stressors AND a means to reduce the angst
- A strategic tip for covering coaching fees
What issues arise? Which of these have you experienced?
- Will I have enough / how much is enough?
- How will I learn how to make financial / budgeting decisions when this was previously done either as a couple or often, when the spouse / partner was making those decisions?
- How do I feel good about myself again?
- Or if I’ve never felt that way, how can I start developing a more confident, stronger me?
Identity / Sense of Purpose
- Who am I, now that I am no longer partnered?
- If I also shared a professional role with my former partner, how do we move forward?
- What gets me out of bed in the morning?
- What do I want? How can I hear my own wants separate from what others may be suggesting for me?
- How do I connect with the “me” I used to be?
- Where will I go for emotional support so I don’t feel I have to do it all myself?
- Will I have any time leftover for “me”?
- How do I hold onto “me” given all the swirl and uncertainty I’m experiencing?
- How do I not be paralyzed by feelings of sadness / shame / anger / guilt / fear / grief?
- How do I take care of others I may be responsible for, even if I feel totally depleted myself: for example, children or elderly relatives that rely on me?
- How do I find joy again?
Sense of Belonging
- Now that my sense of family feels fractured / dissolved, where do I turn for company? Companionship?
- How do I overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness?
- Who gets “custody” of our joint friends?
- How do I decide which friends still feel like people I want to be in a relationship with, and which, at least for the time being, I will let go?
- How do I create a new routine out of nothing?
- With so many things up in the air, where do I start? (where do I live, how do I disentangle – bank accounts, insurance – etc. )
- How do I make sure there’s food in the kitchen and the laundry gets done?
When people are engaged in their careers, or even pursuing a career interest, many of these issues can feel lighter:
- The additional income will be both helpful and empowering
- Meaningful work and knowing one is making a contribution enhances one’s belief in oneself.
Identity / Sense of Purpose
- One must be careful with this one! There is a tendency for people’s identity to be completely tied to their work. This is extraordinarily detrimental. At the extreme, there are people who feel that without work, they have no identity. However, there is a sense of personal alignment and resonance that results from first identifying core interests and values, then finding work in accordance with these.
- One must be careful here, too! Finding a balance between the professional and personal is tricky, and for most, this requires continuing focus. But finding work that feels it honors one’s interests and values can be soothing and healing.
Sense of Belonging
- Being part of a team effort, where one feels acknowledged for one’s contributions, can alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Having work that fits in with one’s new lifestyle can often alleviate, as opposed to exacerbate, logistical challenges. Many find that when they have wide-open days in front of them, it is hard to create a routine out of nothing. Sometimes, work can provide structure that actually makes it easier to get other chores and tasks accomplished.
Career as both stressor and remedy:
How does Begin Again Coaching help clients with career angst?
I work with clients across an array of situations: from those who are not employed, to those who are working but don’t feel it’s necessarily their calling, to those who have dazzling success, yet they may be unhappy in their current role or unable to continue at the same pace given the change in their status.
I have helped clients with the following:
- Starting to identify a new career direction from scratch
- Revisiting a previous career
- Seeking a new job in the same or similar arena
- Landing a job in a completely new area
- Looking for more fulfillment or balance in a current role
Confidence and self-worth grow not only from finding work, but also from the intentional process of identifying core interests and exploring career options.
A strategic tip for paying coaching fees:
Thinking about working with me but concerned about the cost?
First of all, coaching is a short-term investment with long-term payoffs. But when one is going through a divorce / uncoupling, frequently there are concerns about spending money for any reason.
A possible strategy: in many (but certainly not all) cases, one member of a couple earns significantly more than the other. If you are the person with the lower (or no) income, consider having the fees for your coaching written into your divorce / dissolution contract. The initial investment in coaching now can have long term benefits for your earning potential down the road. Thus, this benefits both parties, as the higher earning person may be able to reduce long-term support payments for you.
Working through a divorce / uncoupling?
Whether the decision to separate is yours, your partners, or a joint decision, the process is complex and multi-layered. One of the keys to getting through, rather than fighting the “overwhelm,” is to accept it as part of the process.
As a divorcing colleague once said to me: There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but the hallways are a %@#&*!
Let me help you through the hallway!