Patterns and Similarities

June 19, 2016

As I’ve spent the past couple of years working with people and helping them
through the journey that is divorce, I’ve started to see patterns emerge.

As unique as every person is and as individual as every marriage is, there
really are similarities.

Unless you’ve actually been through a divorce before, you have no idea what
you are about to face… the lovely process that is divorce.

I don’t care how fabulous your lawyer is, they are not going to tell you
everything because it is just too much to deal with and again, unless
you’ve been through it…and they don’t see it from the eyes of the new
person that is facing having to deal with a divorce, with no understanding
of what that means. And who feels like their life is ending and their world
is imploding.

The actual ending of the marriage, the divorce paperwork, is the
easiest part. It’s everything that goes before it that’s difficult.

Too many people let things drag on too long for fear of rocking the boat
or not wanting to upset the other party too much. This seems to happen,
to be done by “nice” guys way too often. And they often end up losing a lot
because of handing things this way. Money and time with their kids are the
biggies. They just want to choose the option that appears easiest to deal with,
either just leaving things as they are, or even not dealing with them.

But what I have seen in the long run is the opposite.

Not making decisions, letting things go, not nailing down details creates
bigger problems the longer the situation goes on. And it creates a precedent
for not changing things.
If things have been okay like this for this long, why
do they need changing now? But they weren’t actually okay like that.  And
now it’s hard to go back and change it.

My advice is to find someone who understands what you are dealing with,
can help you understand what you need to pay attention to, and what the
consequences of the decisions and actions you are taking today are going to
have on your future. Find someone who can make sense of the insane world
you are dealing with at the moment. Who can help you sort through the
craziness you are dealing with.

At least then you will be making informed decisions.



Decisions you make today…

September 17, 2013

Yesterday was Stepfamily Day. I know you may never
have heard of the day, even though it was first started
in the U.S. 16 years ago, and I suspect right now, you
can’t even contemplate getting to the point where you
are part of a stepfamily. But, consider these facts:

  • One in three North Americans live in a stepfamily;
  • More than 50 per cent of North Americans will live
    in a stepfamily at some point of their lives;
  • 30 per cent of children are growing up in stepfamilies.

There is a very good chance you will end up in a stepfamily situation.

But then again, you may already know this. Apparently
“parenting differences” is the #1 reason that remarried
couples, sometimes called encore marriages, end up
breaking down. About 37 per cent of U.S. second marriages
end before they hit the 10-year mark. And 20 per cent of
Canadian second marriages never make it to the eight-year
mark. That’s one in every five second marriages!!

What the stats can’t tell us is the emotional turmoil that comes
with having to deal with divorce. The anger, the bitterness,
the vindictiveness, the sense of helplessness, the sense of
fear, the tiredness, the confusion…it goes on and on.  You
honestly don’t know what it’s like until you have personally
been in the situation.

And here’s something else you may not realize: the agreements
you make as you deal with your divorce — the parenting
agreements and the financial agreement — are what you will
be living with for the rest of your life.  It’s very very important
that you make the right choices and the right decisions at the
beginning of this process. It takes a lot of time and a lot of
awareness to figure it out.  And the legal process is a long,
complicated, convoluted one. Whether you choose to do
mediation or go to court, can cooperate civilly with your ex
or find yourself in an intensely high-conflict situation, it is
important that you handle things right, from the beginning.
Your future depends on it. And your future stepfamily will
be dealing with the choices you make now.

Something to keep in mind.