Why your friends and family are sometimes the worst support during your divorce

Although your friends and family are an important part of your life, you may find that they’re ill-equipped to support you through your loss. I found that even though my friends and family were well meaning, they often said or did things that were inappropriate.

Whenever we hung out together, my friends would try to distract me from the pain I was feeling, invalidating my emotions and my right to feel lousy. I’d leave feeling superficially better but also feeling as if I’d moved 2 steps backwards. I soon realized that I’d have to get divorce support elsewhere.

Before you chuck up this well-meaning lot, remember that although they’re trying hard, they’re just not equipped or trained to help you. Society has conditioned them to deal with loss in a particular way. It’s not their fault. They love you very much and they hate to see you suffering. They’ll try to take the pain away and will do whatever they can in the moment to achieve this.

Here are some points to bear in mind about some of your friends and family (you’ll probably recognize some of these points):

They are afraid of our feelings

It’s not popular in today’s society to express negative emotions in public. This represents being ‘out of control’ and can be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Friends and family may feel uncomfortable when we express strong emotions. Expect comments like:

  • “You can’t fall apart.”
  • “Be strong for the children.”
  • “Keep a stiff upper lip.”

These are attempts to take the pain away, moving you ‘out of’ your emotions and intellectualizing your experience. You’re left with a sense that it’s not safe to display your emotions. This is unhelpful and damaging to your overall healing. Remember that in our society we’re taught that emotions are unpredictable, feared and need to be controlled.

They offer intellectual theories and want us to stay positive

Common intellectualizations include:

  • “Thank goodness this happened before you had children.”
  • “God will never give you more than you can handle.”
  • “You’ll find someone else.”
  • “There’s someone special out there for you.”
  • “It’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.”
  • “Be grateful you were married and knew love once.”
  • “Now you are free to relive your teenage dreams of being single.”

These are awful platitudes designed to make you feel better. But they don’t! Intellectualizing the situation will not encourage your healing.
They have no idea what to say, so they change the subject or pretend to not hear.

When I was young I attended my best friend’s mum’s funeral. I felt so awkward. I was standing next to my friend, both of us in black and her face was a picture of despair and grief. We’d been playing dolls a week earlier and now I had no idea what to say. I stared at my shoes. I couldn’t wait to get out of the church and away from the coffin and her pain. I looked at her and cracked a joke, trying to lighten the atmosphere. She didn’t look up. She simply turned and walked away.
You’ve probably experienced this with one or 2 of your friends. When you talk about your divorce, they change the subject or, pretend not to hear you, or crack a joke. They do this because they love you, they want to make things better for you, but they have no idea what to do.
Understand their ineptitude!

They don’t want to talk about divorce

After a while you’ll realize that some of your friends and family simply don’t want to talk about your divorce and will encourage you to do things to ‘get over it’ so that hanging out with you is fun again.
The bottom line is: You need to talk. You need to be heard. You do not need fixing. There is nothing wrong with you or the fact that you’re emotional or struggling.

They are afraid of ‘catching’ this disease called divorce

I remember coming home after a night out with a girlfriend, feeling awful and deflated, like an insect that had been squashed and scraped across a pavement.

I had just recounted my divorce story (OK, it was the second time) but halfway through, she looked out the window, absorbed in her own world. I was shocked. Had I said something wrong? Was I boring her? Was she disinterested?
She then changed the subject.

While I sat listening to her rattling on about her cat, the conversation in my head went something like this:

  • It’s OK for everyone that I feel the pain, but I cannot appear to be floundering
  • I am expected to discuss the divorce with my friends only once (don’t overdo it as no one wants to hang around with a basket case).
  • I mustn’t mope around because it’s not ‘healthy’. It also makes people feel awkward.
  • But while falling apart I can’t seem ‘too happy’ either. That would brand me as ‘insensitive’ or ‘immature’.

I realized that I was alone in my divorce. I had ‘caught the disease’ called divorce and this made me persona non grata.
When I mentioned my ex husband’s indiscretions, I knew she was wondering about her own husband. I could see that all she wanted to do was go home to check that they were OK. (Months later she admitted this was the case.) I excused myself and gave her the opportunity to do that.
Friends are fantastic, but all have their own lives and issues. I was the only one that could help me.

I know my friend felt awkward. She wanted to help but didn’t know what to say. I remember the same feelings of inadequacy at my friend’s mother’s funeral.

Here are some common phrases that my clients have told themselves in the past or have heard others say:

Give your family and friends a ‘Weirdness Pass’

Give the people in your life a Weirdness Pass. This is a ticket allowing them to say weird or inappropriate things while you’re dealing with your divorce.

They don’t know any better and no one trained them how to deal with the situation.

NOTE: Remember not to take on board anything that they say. Remain aware of what they are saying, and of the myths and possible generalizations in their comments, to guard against becoming enrolled in their intellectualizations.

Till next time

Lots of hugs!

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Cornerstones of Success

Remember the experiment that you did in the first or second grade? You take two plants and put them in a closet. One gets water and one doesn’t. You put two other plants on a windowsill in the sunlight. One gets water and one doesn’t. The only plant that survives will be the one that gets everything it needs: water and sunshine. Just water doesn’t cut it. Just sunshine doesn’t cut it. And of course, as every gardener knows, if you really want a healthy plant, you need to add the right amount of nutrients.

 

It is the same with the naked divorce – all 7 components work in tandem, supported by the naked divorce cocoon.

 

 

Component #1: The naked divorce cocoon – the backbone of the program

For the 21 day program, you need to build a support structure around you I call the naked divorce cocoon. Much like a caterpillar who has to be encased within a cocoon before it can transform into a butterfly, human beings need to have a structure to contain them before they can transform themselves.

The naked divorce cocoon is your rock, your foundation and support to return to whenever you feel life is getting on top of you. No matter what happens, you can return to the 7 aspects of the naked divorce cocoon which will help you feel safe and grounded once more.

Component #2: Managing your health, diet and hormones

The second component will support you in your healing work by ensuring you eliminate foods and drink which aggravate your hormones, interrupt your sleep patterns or interfere with your ability to concentrate. With the correct habits in place, your emotional highs and lows will normalize, your stress levels will decline and healing will be ethical and healthy for you.

Component #3: Harness your emotions in a positive way

People often avoid feeling their emotions by keeping busy or numbing them with alcohol or S.T.E.A.T.s. This is largely because inherently human beings fear emotions and are unsure of what to do with them. For most of us, we don’t understand our emotions, how they work, how to tame them or what we can learn from them. Additionally with the dawning of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ concepts in the workplace, we are encouraged to keep our emotions under wraps, be calm, peaceful and intellectualise them away.

Ignoring our emotions can lead to destructive and entropic disintegraton hence why it is curious to note that since the dawning of the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ age, the worldwide divorce rates have increased.

When there is healing to be done, emotions are our greatest teachers and if harnessed, emotions can carve out powerful new ways of being. Within the naked divorce, there is a structured process for how to listen to your emotions, work with them as partners and harness their power as a catalyst for transformation. Thy key is to keep your heart open whilst feeling your emotions and I will show you how to do that. Learning the techniques of working with your emotions can transform your life in many beneficial ways.

Component #4: Stay focused at work

It’s key to remain focused on your work and keep your head in the game. There are several techniques to follow to ensure that you have high energy and focus at work whilst at the same time you are being authentic in the processing of your emotions.

Component #5: Set yourself up for success

Maintaining a civil and courteous relationship with your ex is critical to the success of your divorce, especially if you have children. This component will give you some clear tips on ex etiquette whether or not you have children. Additionally there are also many ideas on how to support your children through your divorce.

Component #6: The naked divorce buddy

Every successful athlete has a coach, a buddy who is rooting for them from the sidelines. It is very tempting to burden your friends with your divorce troubles but as you will see within this section, those closest to you are often a hindrance to your healing without even knowing it. Bless them, they try their damndest but often because they love you, they will let you off the hook. What you really need is someone who will hold you accountable. Someone who will hold your hand and kick your butt if required. You will have an opportunity to choose your naked divorce buddy carefully.

Component #7: Commit to the structure of the program

It does not matter if it takes you 21 days or 21 months to complete the program, the most important point is do not skip any steps. There is an intended structure for following the naked divorce and skipping steps is you simply doing the program your own way. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but then do not expect the breakthrough results. For a complete transformation of your life and breakthrough results, I request you follow the structure of the program.

 

For some of you, this will mean surrendering to the structure of the program!

 

Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s critical to plan for the naked divorce and ensure you have adequately prepared for the 21 days of work ahead of you. Clear your schedule, ensure you have the items on the shopping list and logistics list, clear your weekends. This component covers the preparation for the program so you ensure your success. Treat yourself like an athlete on this program, ensuring you have everything you need to guarantee success.

 

The naked divorce Philosophy

The naked divorce philosophy is making the world of divorce a better place.

 

It might make us sound a bit like a Miss World contestant, but we want to leave things a little bit better than we find them. We strive to do business in a more enlightened way, where we coach people to take responsibility for their divorce and the impact they have on the world around them, and move these impacts from negative to neutral, or better still, positive.

 

Think of it as enlightened, collaborative or ethical divorce where you leave the relationship a better person – a healed person who learnt valuable lessons for the future.

 

It’s part of our quest to become a world-class transformational business, where we have a net positive effect on the wonderful world around us.

 

 

The naked divorce Core Essence is:

 

RENEWAL – you leave the program with a renewed lease on life

 

 

The naked divorce Promise in everything we do is:

 

YOUR NEW LIFE – if you follow the steps of the program, you WILL have a new life

 

 

The naked divorce Guarantee:

The naked divorce programs are not about “satisfaction” – they are about changing your life forever, giving you a completely new perspective on life after divorce and a powerful response mechanism that allows you to bulldoze life’s problems with a thousand volts of energy and enthusiasm. Your life will be changed forever — that’s my personal assurance and money back guarantee.

That said, here’s what I’m going to do to make sure that you are totally happy: When you buy any of my products, you’ll have an entire year to use the program and change your life. At any point during the next year, if you are not completely blown away and if your life is not completely transformed — then just send me back the CDs and I’ll issue a full refund (please see the refund policy)

 

The naked divorce programs have been honed and perfected to have nearly a 100% success rate. Together with my complete one year return policy, you have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose.

 

 

 

 

Considering being born again by changing back to your maiden name after divorce? Think again!

 

Now that you are divorced, you may have developed an allergy to your married name. However, before you run to the deed poll office or passport office to discard your old tarnished-self and restore yourself back to your maiden name: think again.

It’s more involved than you can EVER imagine…

 

The problem with your new name is – IT’s NEW.

 

No one knows you.

And when I mean no one – I mean the world out there (credit agencies, banks, lenders, airports, driver’s license authorities, health services and passport services etc.) doesn’t know YOU exist under this new name.

I was about to trudge off to the passport office one Tuesday and had even declared all across my Facebook network that I was
changing my name until the passport clerk asked me if I had any flights booked under my married name any time in the future. Dammit. Turns out I did. When I called the airline, it turns out my tickets were non-changeable and non-refundable. The clerk then asked me if I had a mortgage in my married name. Dammit. I sat in the corner growling whilst I casually made an enquiry with my mortgage lender. Apparently gracing my mortgage with my shiny new name would incur a £2450 charge for the privilege. Changing my mortgage would not only incur an
admin fee but it would impact my interest rate as apparently some actuary calculated that divorced was riskier than married. I would love to meet this individual and give him a piece of my mind. LOL.

After 6 hours in the passport office, several tears and a hefty mobile bill later, the passport clerk Lolly Taylor came over to me. She was
going on a break and said “Come with me Mrs Muzik, let’s have a coffee”.

Mrs Muzik. Am I actually expected to have this name forever? I WANT TO BE BORN AGAIN.

She explained that she saw this problem all the time and that women just were not told how complicated it was to change one’s name. She
said she even had people come back trying to reverse what they had done because the costs incurred in changing their names were unknown. She saw it as her personal duty to inform all these women before they pushed to be BORN AGAIN under their new identities.

She gave me some questions and considerations which I will share with you:

  • Are your children keeping their married name and how will you feel about them having a different name to yours?
  • How long have you worked in a particular place with everyone knowing you by your married name?
  • Is your professional reputation built on your married name?
  • Do your recruitment agents know you by your married name?
  • How will you feel about explaining to colleagues and clients that they should now refer to you by your maiden name? Are you ready to have THAT conversation?
  • Social networking sites – are you on them? Can you change your name with ease or do you need to reinvite everyone again?
  • Do you want two identities? One for work and one for personal?
  • Do you have any flights booked in the future in your married name? If you change your passport without changing your flight booking, it may impact your ability to leave the country on the said date
  • When you change your passport, you will not be able to leave the country for a while whilst the change is being made (unless you pay the premium for the speed service)
  • Is your mortgage in your married name? If you change it, is there an administrative fee associated with that?
  • If you change your name, will the mortgage company assume you are divorced and thereby penalise you with an increase in interest rate?
  • The costs – there are costs associated with changing passport, drivers license, registration details of your car and all assets you owe. You may need to get new passport photographs, take days off work to stand in queues to get things done. Have you priced that up?
  • Insurance – your no-claims bonuses are all stored under your married name. Can you transfer those details across?
  • You will systematically have to go through all of your mail and write a letter to change your name with every company you know
  • You have to start at the right place (passport – so other name changes are easier)
  • Be careful where u do use your maiden name – one day they may ask for ID then you don’t have it!

The thing is, you cannot half do it as this can cause issues. If your passport is in your maiden name but your driver’s license is not, it can cause problems for you in the future. Once you choose to change your name, you need to change it everywhere.

Telling the world that you are born again is a bit of a palava so allow me to assist in a small way with some memory joggers. These are some things to think about:

  • Driver’s licence
  • Vehicle permit and vehicle registration documents
  • Health card
  • Passport(s)
  • Citizenship card
  • Tax and National Insurance records
  • Bank account(s) provided that “documentary evidence” of a change of name is provided
  • Credit card(s) provided that “documentary evidence” of a change of name is provided
  • Bills and anything with your address on it (go through ALL of your mail)
  • All your internet log-in information and details. Keep track of these changes in a password file.
  • Social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
  • Notify your friends, family and colleagues in an email or letter

NOTE: Documents such as birth, marriage and educational certificates cannot be changed because these documents are “matters of fact”, which means that they were correct at the time they were issued.

 

Changing your name

 

Choose your new name carefully. Practice signing with it. Have a few people close to you call you by that name, and see how you like it. You can change your first name, middle name, last name, or all of the above. Just make sure your new name doesn’t imply “fraudulent intent” or is not in the public interest by:

  • avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be someone else
  • violating a trademark
  • using numbers or symbols (except Roman numerals)
  • using obscene words

Contact the appropriate local government office to determine the rules and paperwork you’ll need to change your name officially. Get the forms to fill out, which typically include:

  • a petition (sometimes called a ‘deed poll’) for change of name in the UK
  • an order granting change of name
  • a legal backer form
  • a notice of petition to the public
  • an affidavit of consent (if applicable)
  • an affidavit of service of notification to authorities (only if you’re an alien, ex-convict or attorney)
  • Get the forms notarized, or signed by court clerk.
  • Make copies for your own records.

Submit your paperwork to the appropriate office.

Wait for approval. If your name change is not immediately approved, you may need to go to court and defend your reasons.

Put an ad in the newspaper announcing your name change. This gives the public a chance to object to your name change if, say, you owe debt under your current name. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse.

Fill out the affidavit and return it to the court clerk.

Wait for your Order Granting Change of Name, which will be your new I.D.

Take this with you to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, and the Bureau of Records or Vital Statistics in the state you were born so that you can get a new driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate, respectively. You will have to go to the Social Security office before you go to the DMV. If your SSN doesn’t match your new name when you apply for a new driver’s license, they won’t issue it.

Some links which may help you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_change

After two cups of coffee with Lavern and copious notes later, we determined that it is worth it to be born again under one’s maiden name – HOWEVER you have to surrender to the process. It’s about timing and patience. It’s a journey, not a overnight success story.

Good Luck!

Dating After Divorce…

I’m often asked: ‘When is a good time to start dating?’

One of the difficulties women face when they’re ready to start dating is where and how to start. Starting too soon or for the wrong reasons is not going to help re-build your self-confidence or help you become open to new intimate relationships.

Let’s not overlook the fact that you may be the one who wanted the divorce because you were already in a relationship with someone else.

I suggest you start by simply getting together with friends or work colleagues for fun, relaxation and enjoyment.

 

 

 

  • Be prudent – It pays to be wise and judicious when re-entering the dating game. Now that you’re newly single, try to establish balance in your life. You may be eager to date, but don’t forget to make time for yourself, your children, family and friends. Date if you feel ready. But don’t make it your life.
  • Cultivate relationships with other single people – If you don’t already have single friends, find some. Your single friends will be a great resource because they’re the same situation; unattached and needing company. It’s easier to go out in a group and to meet people that way. And it always helps to have company when dealing with a new life situation.
  • One date does not form a relationship – Not everyone you date will be interested in a second date and vice versa. It’s more challenging when you’re interested in a second date and your beau is not. But don’t let that deter you. You don’t want to waste your precious time in a cul de sac relationship. Neither should you let it get you thinking negatively about yourself. Move on to the next person and be willing to go through a process of elimination. Don’t take dating, or yourself, too seriously.
  • Don’t come on too strong – If you were in a long-term marriage, you’re used to being part of a couple. Being single again is a huge adjustment. But be wary of the ‘couple habit’. Don’t let your need to be part of a couple make you come on too strong. You’re dating, not stalking, so be careful not to overwhelm any potential new partner.
  • Don’t forget to respect yourself – Go slowly when it comes to sharing information about yourself with a date. Circumspection will convey a positive sense of self and create some mystery. So, keep the details to a minimum until you know they are worthy of hearing them. Do not pour out your divorce story. Divorce is an event in your life. It is not a permanent state of being. I still refuse to add ‘divorced’ on forms other than legal forms where it’s required
  • Experiment – Approach the dating game with an attitude of openness and experimentation. You will not find Mr. Right on every date you go on but, keep an open mind and you will at least learn something new. And you might have a lot of fun.
  • Try something new – Don’t box yourself in with the idea that you have a “type” that you are attracted to. Change those old thought processes, step outside your stereotypes and broaden your horizons. After a divorce, you may find you’re naturally attracted to a very different kind of man. And although first impressions count, just because you weren’t swept off your feet on the first date doesn’t mean this can’t happen later. This is life, not a movie.
  • Never underestimate the power of flirting – Nothing is more fun and better for a woman’s self esteem than a little gentle flirtation. And nothing helps you connect to another person quicker than being playful. Be charming and delightful, show some vitality. Keep it light and festive, not deep and serious. But be wary of below-the-belt flirtation. The idea is to be light and breezy, not sleazy. Keep your mind in the moment and not on the long-term goal of falling in love.

Think of new places to meet men

  • Highly recommended: Take up a new hobby, something that will stretch you, such as scuba diving, golf, sky diving, flying, mountain trekking, motorcycling or camping. Think of outdoor activities that attract men (a sewing class is not really appropriate). The men you meet in these circumstances won’t mind seeing you in thick hiking socks with fly-away hair, so there’s far less pressure on you. Your interactions will also be centred on mutual activities, so it’s a very relaxed and healthy way to meet new people and make new friends.
  • Highly recommended: Personal development programmes – To me, this is one of the best places to meet men. I met my partner at an entrepreneurship course called Play2Win. I would never have thought that while I was focused on winning the game, I would actually meet an amazing man. It took me completely by surprise!
  • Ask your friends to introduce you to their single friends
  • Online dating – I think online dating is great. I don’t recommend classified advertisements as I don’t believe you can thoroughly vet someone new through this process, unlike online dating. If you’re careful, cautious and sensible, you’ll be able to start conversations with a number of people you probably wouldn’t meet in bars or clubs. The best part about online dating is that you simply start out chatting online. You aren’t dealing with anyone face to face and so rejection is not an issue. He doesn’t know your address or phone number and you aren’t under any obligations. These days, there are many online dating services available. You can take your pick. But be cautious. There are some strange people out there. Make sure you’re the one in control and never give out your address or phone number. If and when you choose to meet some cyber friend in person (don’t rush into it; take your time to get to know them online first), make sure it is in a safe environment and away from your home or workplace. Here are some online dating tips:
    • Be creative with your online dating profile so you highlight those aspects of yourself that are interesting and individual. Create a little mystery so that men will be curious to meet you.
    • Be honest in your profile and be honest about what you are looking for, whether it’s a short-term or long-term relationship.
    • Choose a recent photograph that shows you at your best. Do not alter your picture. Real men will want to meet real women.
    • When arranging to meet someone for the first time, always ensure you tell a friend where you’re going and arrange to check in with them at least once during the evening to let them know you’re okay.
  • Speed Dating – This is great fun, a great laugh and a really fantastic way to get back into the swing of dating. But consider these tips first:
    • Ensure you go just for fun, with no expectations at all.
    • Go with your friends and make it a fun evening.
    • Dress well but don’t overdo it!
    • Before you go, list some questions to ask people.
    • Get up to speed with the latest news or think of some zippy conversation starters rather than the boring ‘So what do you do?’ line.
    • Know a bit about the venue.
  • Dating agencies – I don’t have any experience with dating agencies. My only information is that they spend time matching you with the ‘right’ person. This is good but the drawback is that the service is costly.
  • Singles holidays – Fantastic, particularly if you go with a good attitude: to have fun and meet new people. I would recommend choosing trips that are physically demanding as they will put you in a good frame of mind and give you something to focus on, rather than simply meeting a man. Think of a hobby that interests you, a pilgrimage, a new sport, a hike up Kilimanjaro perhaps. Revisit your ‘List of things to do before you die’ and choose a holiday you can take. I recommend that you go alone (yes, alone) to ensure you don’t hide behind a friend – and that you’re well out of your comfort zone. Think Shirley Valentine!

For more dating tips, visit the naked divorce YouTube channel on www.youtube.com/nakeddivorce.

Chat soon!