HOW TO CREATE YOUR BEST ENVIRONMENT

One of the biggest changes we face after the end of a relationship is in our living environment. Which is of course, one of the most important aspects of our lives, the place we call ‘home.’

Along with separating from someone we had planned on spending the best part of our lives with we are also faced with separating from many of the things that not only feel so familiar but also feel like a part of us in some way.

One of the biggest upheavals is the decision to either stay in what has been the marital home or move out and find somewhere else where we can begin to start all over again. Both of these options bring with them their own challenges and for many women this is not a decision that comes easily for them. In many cases this is come down to accepting the financial reality of the situation.

If you are emotionally attached (in a good way) to your family home and now the decision has been made to sell up, that can be particularly stressful for you. Even if you are in the position to stay in the family home it is quite possible that there will be lots of memories attached to the home that could trigger highly charged emotional responses in any number of different ways and being aware that this may be the case will help make the decision as to whether you choose to stay or sell up and move.

With any change in circumstances and more so when it comes to our home, there is a period of adjustment we go through and as we do one of the realizations that becomes clear as we take these next steps is that it is never really about a particular house or apartment or town or city that makes us grieve the loss when it is gone but rather the memories that were created in the home, the people who came in and out of our lives, the work we put into the garden, or transforming and redecorating a part of the house, the kids friends popping in and out, the sounds of children’s laughter, the family times when we all cuddled up to watch a movie, the sharing of cooking the family meals and the dreams we had for our futures.

If you accept that premise then you might also accept that the end of what was is also the beginning of something new. The only difference this time is that you have new awareness and experience to take with you on your journey and the choices you make are all yours.

“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so. We see the world not as it is, but as we are” Shakespeare

You now get to be the creator of the next phase of your life and where and how you live it.

I believe that home is what we make it and we see evidence of this in the most unusual and unexpected places around the world all the time. What we might consider to be an uninhabitable ‘home’ the people who live there have the biggest, most beautiful smiles and appear to be far happier than many who live in the biggest mansions.

At its’ very heart it seems that the feeling about a home is the same for most people.

  • A safe and supportive environment
  • A place to call our own
  • A place where we are able to relax and be ourselves
  • A place to share with our family and friends
  • A place that is an expression of who we are and what is important to us

All of these things become evident from how we feel in our home and how other people are welcomed into our home. It is rarely about the size of the home, the luxurious trappings or the massive pool in the back yard, nice to have for sure, but what speaks to me straight away is the feeling you get when you walk inside and that is priceless.

One of my clients a while ago now, was really struggling with the thought of letting go of the home where she had raised her children and all the happy memories she had attached to the home. Once she was able to see that this was the end of that phase in her life and that it was OK to let go she began to see that making a new home was just one part of the new life she had ahead of her she became excited about the possibilities and put her time and energy into finding out what it was she really wanted including where she wanted to live.

After discussion with her family she ended up making a big move from her home town to a beachside location, in a different state where she settled into a much smaller home that needed some ‘work,’ but was affordable and started working in a job she had never done before and that she absolutely loved. She spent the next few years making some changes to the house little by little as she lovingly decorated each room adding her own unique style and personality. I have been there a few times since to visit and these words say it all.

Home is Where The Heart Is, and creating a new home after divorce is just one of the hidden gifts we never expected to receive.

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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PUTTING SOME SPICE INTO A NEW RELATIONSHIP!

When I was trying to decide where to start writing I went straight to the dictionary to get some definitions of the words Spice and Spicy.

Here are some of the ones I found:

  • Something that adds zest or interest
  • slightly scandalous
  • racy
  • ribald
  • risqué
  • suggestive and titillating

Most new relationships will have elements of all of these definitions and yes, they all add to the excitement and fun, the difficulty however is how to maintain this as the relationship moves to the next phase when it might not be so quite so racy or titillating.

The conversation about intimacy and sex is I believe an ongoing one. It is something that needs to be talked about openly and honestly on a regular basis without fear of offending or getting defensive. Simply opening up the discussion so that you can talk through what you can do together to work through the ebbs and flows of sexual energy and intimacy needs.

It’s also important to know what each partner needs to know that they are loved and appreciated and taking the initiative to arrange a weekend getaway, write little love message to pop into a pocket for them to find or buy some lacy underwear to surprise your partner.

For women who have been hurt and feeling  vulnerable after divorce it’s not always easy to know how to approach a new relationship let alone how they are supposed to act.  It’s all new, it’s a bit scary and for so many it is taking them way out of their comfort zone.

So with this in mind I decided to put the question to the women in the Divorced Women’s Club Members Lounge and they jumped straight in to share their thoughts and experiences of venturing back into the dating scene and new relationships.

Here is what some of them had to share.

  • The most important thing is communication. You don’t need to bring up specific exes, but you need to speak up if your new, or not so new partner does something that makes you relive old hurt, shudder or excite you
  • I ask that our bedroom life remain totally between us, as when spicing up a previous relationship, the then partner told others and that got back to me.
  • One common ground is, we are all adults, therefore ‘should’ be able to talk about things, including sex. If sex has been taboo in the past, you should tell your new partner it’s new or sensitive.
  • As for spicing it up, talk through things beforehand, during and afterwards. Relax and go with the flow. Don’t rush and make sure you have plenty of time to ‘play’.
  • Run a bath, light some candles, turn the music down, or do the opposite, turn the music up and dance around…. you may just fall into a heap laughing and it may be the lead up to ‘fast, furious fun’.
  • Discover your partners likes and dislikes, explore possibilities, and going beyond the comfort zone. Ambience, involve all the senses.
  • Stop means stop!!!
  • If you are thinking of bringing toys into the bedroom, go shopping together and watch each other’s body language when you are in the shop.
  • Trusting each other comes when both partners work to give and gain that trust, to do this you both need to learn what your partner needs to develop that trust.
  • I believe that a relationship is not a 50%/50% partnership, it is 100%/100% giving to each other and it takes work on both sides to achieve this, which is commitment. Once you have this, being adventurous and going beyond your comfort zone is easier and exciting, and you get to share it with your amazing partner.
  • I believe that there has to be accountability to make who ever needs it to be comfortable to open back up!
  • Staying in touch as far as spice I think a couple needs to go away and get away from the everyday once in a while. Even if they think they don’t need it they do. How many of us have more sex and fun time when we are on vacation with our other half
  • Doing something the other really wants to do bringing real joy to someone else shows you really care and they are more likely to open up
  • Little emails and text during the day is a good way to the build up of seeing each other!

The reality is that intimacy and sex are critical components to both creating and nurturing a healthy and on-going relationship. It takes some planning and effort by both parties to ensure that this very important part of your relationship is cared for before one or both parties decide to call it quits and move on to add some zest or interest with someone else.

If you notice an incompatibility that causes concern early on in a relationship that’s the time to deal with it no matter how great you think the other person is for you.

The alternative is that you will probably spend the next 3, 5 or 10 years looking for something or someone else to fulfill these basic human needs of connection and intimacy.

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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WHAT DOES GOING HOT AND COLD IN A RELATIONSHIP REALLY MEAN?

Relationships – that intimate, or not so intimate connection with a significant other person that so many people struggle to get just right. It’s the merging of two independent and separate souls who come together to share their lives.

Simply being human means that none of us operate on a flat line from day to day, unless of course you self medicate, for most of us however we move constantly above and below the middle line throughout each day. It’s the ebb and flow that is influenced by what is going on with our thoughts and emotions, demands on our time, our energy levels, physical activity and the fuel we put into bodies that have a massive impact on what we have left in the tank at any given point in time to give our full attention to other people, especially those closest to us.

In any relationship this ebb and flow will rarely be completely aligned with the other person but when it is then, yeah! This is when the conversation and connection goes to a whole new level. Each person feels that they are being seen, heard and valued, it feels great and we are left wanting more moments just like this!

If you find yourself continually vacillating between feeling hot and cold about your significant other then there are some things you can do to set yourself straight, learn from it and do something about it. Moving through feeling hot and cold will be affecting your relationship whether you realise it or not and your body language will speak a thousand silent words.

Time to get real with yourself and what is going on for YOU!

Here is a 6-step process that you can use anytime that you notice that ‘something’ is not quite right with how you are feeling about your relationship.

1)     Sit up and take notice! If something is not the way you want it to be you this is an opportunity for you to change it.

2)     Ask yourself what is really going on here WITH ME?

3)     Pick up a pen and start writing whatever comes up, every little thought without stopping to read it until there is nothing left to write

4)     There will be some keys things on the list and there may be some that have been repeated several times. Use a highlighter to help identify the ones that are similar and address these first

5)     Now it’s time to ask some questions.

Why do I think this?
What does this mean?
How do I know this?
Is that true?
What else could this mean?
What would I like to be different?
Who do I want to be in this relationship?
What steps can I put in place right now to change this?

6)     When you have worked through the questions and really put in the time to get clear on what it is you want to be different – it’s time to engage in a conversation with your partner!

“If we want our relationships to be different then it is up to us to take the first step.”

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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REBUILDING YOUR LIFE AFTER DIVORCE

For many people the signs that a relationship is over or a least in big trouble have been hanging around for some time and to some degree the emotional disconnect if not physical distance doesn’t make the process that has to be completed any easier.

However for the women who just didn’t see it coming and would describe the relationship as great, compatible, happy and still enjoying a great sex life, are absolutely shaken to the very core especially when they discover that there has been another women behind the scenes for quite some time.

Regardless of the circumstances the first two to three years particularly when there are kids involved can be extremely difficult. Your lives are so deeply intertwined and to begin to unravel and separate from each other is a challenge.

For the first 3-6 months of separation and up to 12 months or more there are so many issues that just have to be dealt with to bring things to some sort of conclusion.

There will be countless moments and weeks of feeling overwhelmed with so many emotions ranging from betrayal, anger, rage, confusion, hurt, resentment, despair, fear you name it and I can guarantee that many people will be moving from one thing to the next and then recycling. The tears will come, sometimes for days at a time and sometimes at the most ‘inappropriate times.’

In the middle of all of this there are major life changing decisions to be made when we are probably in our least resourceful state to be even deciding what to wear and what to eat.

Who’s moving out, who is keeping the cat or dog, the record collection, the photos, worrying about the financial side of things, how to tell your family and friends, having some family and friends cutting themselves off from you, and if you have kids – well how do we make this work so that the impact on the kids is kept to a minimum.

It is a traumatic and confusing time.

There are things you can do to help you throughout this process.

Pull together a breakup support team.

  1. Seek professional help as soon as possible to know where you stand legally and financially. The better informed you are the better decisions you will make with money, property settlement and knowing your legal rights
  2. Seek out a trusted friend who will support you emotionally without buying into the situation
  3. Seek out a counsellor or divorce coach who will give you the tools and resources to move through the process much more quickly. Help you create a clear plan of action for moving forward and be on call for those times when you hit the wall to get you back on track quickly
  4. Get a kids coach to help them be able to express their fears and concerns
  5. Self-care is critical to your wellbeing. Get active, walking, hitting the gym, yoga, having a massage, or healing work. This is a time for you to make you and your emotional and physical wellbeing your top priority.
  6. Be careful with any making any major life decisions until you are really ready to do so.
  7. Remember that your relationship with your partner might be ending but their relationship with your kids is not. Work together to make this as beneficial as possible for all concerned. How you both manage sharing this responsibility will impact your children in some way, make it as amicable as you possibly can

REBUILDING YOUR LIFE

Everything in life has a season, it’s a law of nature.

Much like a tree that has now withered and died it’s time to let go of the old life so we can allow the new life to enter.

Rebuilding our lives after separation is a gradual process as we find ourselves cut adrift from what was familiar.

Some people naturally handle change more easily than others and for those relationships that have been 15- 20 years long it can be a struggle to find yourself outside of the relationship.

Moving on is not a one size fits all process and people will move through this at their own pace. It is however a much easier transition for the women who decide to take some control and get on with their lives, no matter how hard that may be, and those who choose to hang on to the past, unable to face an unknown future are often divorcing themselves from life. Little realising that an unknown future is essentially what everyone is moving into, we might have plans and goals we are working towards, but life can and does change in an instant.

We can choose to use this life-changing event as a positive situation to discover more about ourselves than we may ever have done within the relationship. Renew interests that have been lost along the way! Create a new circle of friends, new experiences, learn new skills, and even take belly dancing classes.

There is so much joy to be had when we not only embrace change, but we grab it by the neck and give it a bloody good shake.

When you are beginning to settle into living life more on your terms it will be the simple things that have new meaning, add real value to your life and life is good.

To read more blogs I have written on this topic pop on over to visit my website www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au/blogs

If you would like to connect with me personally and/or join our Private Members Lounge please email me directly jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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Are Soul Mates Wish Lists Total Bullshit?

Now I am no expert when it comes to relationships and nor do I have much experience when it comes to the topic of Soul Mates, however I do often hear women talking about their constant search to find their Soul Mate.

I get the impression that a Soul Mate is some illusive and exceptional being who only presents himself/herself to someone very, very special and certainly not to the majority of women it would seem.

Which prompts me to start with a few questions to help get clear on where I stand on this topic.

What is this whole Soul Mate thing all about?
What is the difference between a Soul Mate and a Life Partner?
Can one person be both personas?

American writer Richard Bach said, “A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are.”

Assuming that Richard has come up with a pretty fair description that most people ‘get’ I notice that nothing is mentioned about the gender of a Soul Mate so in that case I going to say that a Soul Mate is not necessarily a romantic partner nor a member of the opposite sex but a very special friend that just gets you and everything about you – a very special deep connection between both parties and plenty of people have that kind of special relationship.

Now let’s move on to the Wish List part of this question and practical terms around finding the ‘perfect for you’ life partner.   A Wish List is a carefully considered list of what is really, really important to you in a relationship, why these are important to you, what in return do you have to contribute to a relationship and what is absolutely non-negotiable.

When I have been working with a client for some time or chatting to some women who have been single for awhile the conversation leads to them telling me they are ready now to meet a man. This is a very positive sign that they have moved through the whole divorce process and ready to take this next big step, fantastic.

This is when I ask, ‘What sort of a man or will just any man do?’  People tend to struggle with knowing what they want or need from a relationship and I will get a long list of what they don’t want, usually based on everything they didn’t like about the person in the previous relationships they have been in.  All very useful information, the problem is knowing exactly what it is that they do want which is a much bigger question and this question requires some very careful consideration and exploration and is well worth taking the time to make it as comprehensive as you possibly can.

Yes, I absolutely recommend that you create your wish list but make it real, not based on some fairy tale ideal of happily ever after.

A few years ago I spent several months creating a list just like this. Yes it was very comprehensive and very detailed about five or six pages if I recall correctly. Yes, I did find that man, perfect in every way, well almost!   Just a few months into the relationship there were a few warning signs that he was not ready to fully commit to a relationship.  I chose to ignore these signs!

My parting words are – if it’s not a perfect fit have the balls to walk away and don’t pretend that the little things don’t matter.  In the long run they will!

To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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