COLLECT WHAT YOU CAN BEFORE YOU LEAVE

We sometimes leave relationships and the family home because we have to, because we have no choice. This decision is never made lightly and is often fraught with fear, urgency and some panic. Before you leave for good, there are some extra things you will need to gather up before leaving: financial records.

When the time comes to formerly end the marriage you will need to complete a financial statement in order to divide the property between you and your ex partner. This statement requires that you declare your assets and liabilities. When you view what your ex partner has recorded on the financial statement they have submitted, you should undertake to prove that it is correct. To do this you want to have to hand third party documentation to prove, for example, that the assets (savings and investment bank accounts, superannuation accounts, share certificates etc) and liabilities (credit cards, loan accounts, debts to third parties) actually existed during the marriage.

What could happen is that your ex partner may attempt to diminish the amount of assets they have and increase the amount of liabilities. You want to be able to prove all the asset accounts held during the marriage have been disclosed, so prior to leaving the family home you want to be able to collect as much supporting evidence as possible to prove what was held. You can always ask your ex partner through their lawyer later on for statements proving current balances but you need to have a good idea of what assets and liabilities exist because parties are not above hiding things or telling untruths when it comes to money. When disclosing liabilities some ex’s may claim loans extended by family or friends. This is a common tactic and having some proof to refute the claim is dynamite. Let’s says your ex partner was given a large gift of money by a parent for their birthday, if you had a birthday card or some type of note reflecting the giving of this gift, that would be proof the claim of the money as a loan was incorrect.

Before you leave the family home, take stock of what you will need in terms of financial records to prove all assets and liabilities. If you cannot remove the documents, then you can either photocopy them or scan them onto a USB stick. Remember…think strategically.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 16.06.40

My name is Elizabeth Camillo and I am a forensic accountant specialising in family law. My role in your divorce is to value the family business, to prove the truth of the financial statement provided by your ex partner and to investigate any suspicions you may have relating to your partner hiding or devaluing assets purchased with your martial money.

If you hold concerns about the lack of honesty displayed by your ex partner and their failure to disclose their use of family money, I am able to provide you with some solutions to identify what has occurred.

My passion for financial investigations stems from my own experience with divorce. As a child I grew up in a divorced household knowing that financial pressures impact upon our happiness. It was a day-to-day worry that we never escaped from.

Call me on 0401662727 or at Elizabeth@ecamillo.com.au to arrange a consultation to discuss the financials in your family law matter.

 

WHERE DOES FAITH COME FROM?

The words blind faith or trust are often referred to in the context of religion however noted atheist Richard Dawkins’ view of faith states that ‘blind trust is the absence of evidence,’ conversely W.H. Griffith-Thomas states that faith is ‘not blind, but intelligent’ and that it commences with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence.

I believe that it is both of these things in different contexts, yes the absence of evidence in many situations and also intelligent in those situations where you have past references that support and guide you through this new experience.

HOW DOES IT SERVE US?

Placing our faith or trust in another person or situation means that we must suspend our need to control an outcome to be able to move toward achieving something important to us. Whether that be a new career transition, relocating to a new town or country to live, navigation our way through the divorce process or deciding to take that next very big step toward finding love again. There are no guarantees that it will be a smooth or enjoyable ride but if be are firm in our belief that it is the right thing for us to do then faith and trust are required for us to continue.

WHAT STOPS US BELIEVING OR TRUSTING?

Life gives us plenty of experiences that will at times completely shatter our beliefs and trust not only in other people or situations but in ourselves as well.

Divorce is right up there with the most challenging for so many people.

People let us down, betray us and treat us in ways that we never imagined possible and these factors are highlighted in separation and divorce situations. We ourselves respond in ways that in some situations we don’t even recognise who we are and we violate our own values in our struggle to make sense of what is happening around us.

HOW DO YOU FIND FAITH IN TIMES OF STRUGGLE AND CHANGE?

This is where I might appear to be putting myself firmly in the ‘faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing or belief not based on facts or proof. In fact, I live much of my life in this space and I refer to it as ‘a knowing that all will be well.’ When I have been at rock bottom in different periods throughout my life the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ have become my mantra and never, ever failed to be true.

Keeping at the forefront of your mind what it is that you want, knowing what sort of person you want to be and how you want to respond to difficult situations, doing what you can to put one foot in front of the other to continue to move forward, accepting that there will be times when you will fall down and struggle to get back up again and always remember that we are stronger than we think we are, we are braver and bolder than we think we are and that within each and everyone of us we have what we need to help us through difficult times.

And finally but most importantly surround yourself with people who inspire you, people who see you for who you are and who will be there to support you through your times of struggle and change.

Share your comments or personal story I would love to hear from you.

The best way to reach me is via email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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WHEN DO YOU DATE AGAIN AFTER SEPARATION & DIVORCE?

First, let’s get clear about what dating is!

There seems to be a whole new meaning given to this word these days and I think it’s important that women really get what this word means because unrealistic expectations may lead to feelings of inadequacy and battered and bruised feelings around their self-worth.

Here is one definition of ‘dating.’

Dating is a form of human courtship consisting of social activities done by two persons with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse.

However, not everyone will agree with this definition and there are many variations of what dating means to each individual, online dating has added another level of complexity to the whole dating scene and ‘how to do dating.’

Back to the question, when do you date again after separation and divorce?

Certainly never within in first three to six months even up to a year after separation! Many women feel the need to seek validation that they are attractive, desirable and lovable to other men particularly if they have the view that their previous partner rejected them. They wanted out of the relationship without being able to explain why or perhaps they left for someone younger, older, smarter, more interesting, more attractive or even less attractive.

I strongly believe that if you head straight into another relationship before you spend time learning to be by yourself, exploring who you really are and what you want outside of a relationship how can you ever expect to confidently get to know someone else in just a few months of dating when your emotions will be overriding logic and common sense.

Some men can pick a desperate woman a mile off and see them as easy prey and this can include the husbands of your best friends. Just saying! That’s not meant to be a slur at all men, it’s the way they are wired! One of the biggest drivers for many of them will be SEX, for others it is companionship that does not include living together or marriage and for some it is about finding someone they would want to spend the rest of their lives with.

Before venturing into the world of dating be very clear about where you stand on this and assess the importance you place on being in a relationship. Only you can truly know yourself.

When you feel ready don’t look at every date as, is this the one? Relax and enjoy it for what it is, an opportunity to meet someone who you will click with or never want to see again.

If it works it works, if not then move on.

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” – Lucille Ball

Rather then focus on some dating tips in this article here instead are some powerful questions I share with my clients to help them begin to answer the question ‘who am I?’ Answer these over a few days or a few weeks. The important thing is that you spend time delving a little deeper with each question.

Buy yourself a journal and call it My Best Life!

Write each question on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall in front of you. Relax, breathe deeply and allow extended exhalations.   Sit with your question and when your mind starts to wander, bring it back by reading the question again, out loud.

Start writing quickly, don’t worry about grammar, spelling or censoring what you have written.  Just go with the flow!

  • When am most naturally myself?
  • What people, places and activities allow me to feel most fully myself?
  • What is one thing I could stop doing, or start doing, or do differently, starting today that would most improve my quality of life?
  • What is the #1 biggest change I could make, or goal I could achieve or problem I could solve that would have the biggest positive influence in my life. (As you think about the answer to this question, is this where you should be putting most of your energy, focus and intention?)
  • What have been my greatest moments of joy and fulfillment in life?
  • What are the greatest sources of joy in my career?
  • What activities do I absolutely love in my personal life?
  • Who are my most inspiring role models?
  • How can I best be of service to others?
  • What is my hearts deepest desire?
  • How am I perceived, by my closest friend, my worst enemy, my children, or my ex?
  • What are the blessings of my life?
  • What are my greatest talents and natural abilities?
  • What’s the single most important thing I would like to accomplish in my career?
  • What’s the ONE most important thing I’d like to achieve in my life?
  • What legacy would I like to leave?
  • What is the relationship between all of the answers to these questions?

Keep these questions and your answers in your journal and come back to review them over the next few months. You might feel inclined to update some of your answers as you begin to gain deeper awareness about who you are!

Share your comments or personal story I would love to hear from you.

The best way to reach me is to via email: jenny@divorcedwomensclub.com.au

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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BETRAYAL

Cheating, betrayal of a relationship and the betrayal of the promise of love. It was a promise made in the past that was a commitment to the future. A commitment that was made to another person, whether it be standing at the altar in a church, on the beach with family and friends or completely in private, from my perspective it makes no difference.

It is also a personal betrayal. Of values, self worth and self-respect. Many people who cheat on their wives, husbands or partners will find themselves doing things and acting in ways they would never have believed possible.

The word ‘cheating,’ will also mean different things to different people and much of this is where conflict in relationships arise. For some women, their husbands or boyfriends even admiring a beautiful woman will bring up feelings of insecurity and self-worth issues, however they often forget about what goes on when they are out with the girlfriends and eyeing off the good looking guys.

For some women, their partners having a special friend who they were previously in a relationship with and now reassure you that they are just friends, only to find out that they meet up occasionally, text each other regularly and it’s all done covertly. Finding out will ring some alarm bells, even if it’s not a sexual relationship it’s a violation of trust, respect and not being completely honest with themselves or their partner, some people would call this cheating.

I regularly see women who have been cheated on. It has come as a complete shock with no immediate signs that there was ever any indication that the relationship was in trouble and these are the women who hurt the most. A happy marriage, happy family and in an instant their lives and the lives of their families are torn apart.

“I was steeped in denial, but my body knew” Suzanne Finnamore

Some people can’t live up to the commitment they made. Some people betray themselves, they have affairs, things start to get out of control, it is all too easy to underestimate the forces of attraction, be it lust or love, until it’s too late. It is also too easy to take what we have for granted or let ourselves be taken for granted and then to lose what we treasured the most in our lives.

The thing that is rarely considered when a relationship ends because of infidelity is the price that must be paid. Hurting deeply the very people in their lives that often mean the most to them and the damage these actions do to their souls.

Many people continue to live with regret for their indiscretions, when we betray ourselves, our values, our beliefs about who we as a person, we become like lost souls searching for something externally to fill the empty space within us that can only be healed by asking for forgiveness from those we have hurt and forgiving ourselves.

For those who have been cheated on it is an incredibly painful experience that will often take people to the depths of despair.

I wanted to share with you a very personal story by Elli Boland and how she helped herself heal the damage betrayal caused to her soul. This betrayal had transpired, unknown to her, over a period of 10 years, with a number of different women, including one of her dearest friends. I can only imagine how it would feel to be betrayed by two people you loved.

Elli

I spent most of my time alone. The pain was so intense that occasionally I felt as though I had left my body and my legs would give out. All I could do was surrender, to get really vulnerable, and to let spirit guide me through.

Then, suddenly, I got present once again. I found an aliveness and ocean of joy and peace. Clarity and freedom coexisted with sorrow, terror, panic, and deep sadness. But I was not afraid of feeling the pain anymore. I no longer cared about the good opinion of other people. I had to make choices.

  • How can I handle this in a way that is in alignment with what I believe to be true?
  • What would make me proud?
  • How do I want this story to end?
  • How can I show up for myself fully?
  • What good is coming from this?
  • What is my lesson?

I am falling out of love with my husband. I forgive him. I forgive myself. I know there is nothing wrong with me and that his choices had nothing to do with me. I know this happened for me, so I could let my soul dangle. It broke me open. I feel more alive and connected than ever.

You will find Elli’s story in more detail here:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14021/how-i-found-peace-after-being-cheated-on-ending-my-marriage.html

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

Jenny Smith is a highly skilled coach and facilitator with a passion for helping women gain control of all aspects of the separation and divorce journey. She has created a bespoke program for her clients and works closely with them each step of the way, including providing 24/7 access to her phone to address issues in the moment rather than allowing them to build into something bigger than they need to be.

This ensures her clients feel positive and remain focused on achieving the best possible outcomes so they can begin to create their new future in the shortest period of time. It is key to every decision and every choice her clients make that they are aligned mind, body and spirit, resolving any emotional issues that may be affecting them, alleviate stress, ensuring they know how to feel calm and resourceful in all situations.  Change can be easy, if you know how.

After four years of extensive training in Australia with some of the most highly acclaimed trainers in the field of NLP, including James Tsakalos, 5 years online training with Michael Breen, Britain’s foremost business and NLP Trainer, Jenny has earned certification as an NLP Master Practitioner a powerful and versatile set of tools both for communicating effectively and for facilitating behavioural and psychological change.

www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

WOULD YOU STAY IN A SEXLESS MARRIAGE?

I posted this question on the Divorced Women’s Club page a couple of weeks ago and it sure opened up some interesting discussion and comments.

It’s difficult or near impossible to establish just how many relationships are in serious ‘trouble’ due to the issues or conflict in the areas of sex and intimacy however I would have to say that from my experience working with a number of women it is right up at the top of the list of contributing factors, either directly or indirectly, of failed marriages and relationships.

Judith Steinhart, a clinical sexologist in New York City, says, “Problems in a marriage [like] lack of trust, anxiety, financial issues, misunderstandings, pressure from children, all can impact a couple’s sexual patterns.”  The question, of course, is whether refraining from sex causes other problems, or if the other problems stop the sex in the first place?

Yes, there are a zillion different reasons why some couples are not having sex, some still intimate, many of these are legitimate and it takes two committed people to manage this as best they can. What I’m talking about here are marriages that are more like sharing your life with a room-mate.

Many people are embarrassed or ashamed to admit that when it comes to all things sex and intimacy things are not that great and decide that it’s easier to just ignore the situation, cross their fingers and hope everything gets better all by itself!

We all know how that plays out!

If you find yourself as the one feeling sexually unsatisfied, or craving physical touch and caressing which is, certainly from my perspective, a very basic human need, what do you do?

Most unattended situations that arise become problems and then big problems due to lack of clear and honest communication between the people involved.  One or both parties holding back on saying the things that need to be said, expressing their concerns or desires for something to be different and asking for help from the other person to work through the problem together.  It takes two people together to want things to be different and if you find yourself being the only one who is prepared to do something about it then from my perspective you have two choices.

You suck it up and accept that this is the way it’s going to be for the rest of you life together or you decide that you want and deserve something better than this and would prefer to go it alone and get on with your life.

Some of the ladies who commented on my question “Would You Stay In A Sexless Marriage’ on our Facebook page had this to say!

  • Definitely sex and intimacy are two different things. Some people are “sex only” types and don’t understand how important other types of intimacy are to a relationship. But a life without intimacy is definitely roommate status. Intimacy can be anything from hugs – happy to see you hugs, shoulder to cry on hugs – or just snuggles to watch a movie and much more. But I don’t know many successful relationships with no intimacy and certainly couldn’t be in one.
  • I did for 8 years too long!! Until I found the strength to move on xxx
  • I did it for 10yrs, wishing & hoping it would magically get better – it never did – in fact got worse.
  • Leaving a loveless and sexless relationship was best decision I ever made!
  • Umm let me think…. No way!!

And just to keep things on an even keel from a male perspective my friend Bob Paff had this to say:-It’s a sad irony that sometimes it takes leaving the marriage to find the best sex! The reasons people withhold physical intimacy are complex and multilayered. Control, fear, embarrassment, prior abuse, depression, anxiety, etc. Unless they are dealt with, talked about and resolved, no one who seeks intimacy should have to live with a partner like this. It’s time to put sexual intimacy on the table for discussion, for both men and women.
It’s the most beautiful gift two committed people can give one another. For me, lack of this is a deal breaker.

I sometimes observe couples when I am in a coffee shop.  It’s easy to pick the ones who are in the early stages of a new relationship where they are hanging onto each others words and completely engrossed in each other and then there are the ones who have obviously been together for a number of years, have very little to say to each other and just seem to be completely disconnected. And of course there are the ones that fit somewhere within that spectrum that just seem to have ‘something special’ – they way they smile at each other or a look that speaks a thousand words and just watching them warms my heart.

Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic but why wouldn’t everyone want to be in a relationship where what you share with the other person is a very deep and special connection unlike any other in your life?

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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FINDING STRENGTH AFTER A SUDDEN BREAKUP

If you have just had one of those life-changing shitballs come completely out of the blue and totally rock your world and how you see yourself then I have a few things to share with you!

One minute everything seems great with your relationship, sharing intimate moments, making plans for the future, enjoying being together, had great sex that morning and wham! Your partner arrives home and says, ‘I need to talk to you about something!’

The actual words they are saying are not registering as you struggle to hold everything together in an attempt to comprehend what the hell is going on. Then the words ‘someone else’ start to register as they tell you they have met someone else, they are leaving oh! and adding pathetic words like, “I really do care for you!”

How women react in a situation like this will very much depend on the person involved. From erupting like a volcano and spewing forth all manner of profanities, to falling into a hopeless heap on the fall begging for this not to happen and everything in between.

It’s interesting after the fact to observe yourself in this situation, (well I thought it was!). Once the words actually registered with me I erupted like Mount Vesuvius and I let fly with a string of profanities that even shocked me. When he left, because that was the ‘thing’ to do, I went into a frenzy of collecting everything he owned and all the things he had given me that I could lay my hands on, piling it up in a big heap on the floor. Then I messaged him and said he had an hour to come and collect it all or I would trash the whole lot. The saying ‘hell hath no fury like a women scorned,’ that was me. If they were making a movie and needed someone to play this part I would have nailed it!

And, yes I then took the really mature approach of having a few glasses of wine that night which ignited a tirade of slandering text messages. Seriously this is one approach that I would not recommend, ever!

I’m the cut and run, ‘fuck you’ kind of girl as a response in some situations, not always useful when the reality is that we have to maintain some sort of communication on a fairly regular basis just to sort through all the practical issues that have to be addressed and the decisions to make on ‘how to separate’ (with our dignity intact :))

Here are some practical tips to help put you in control of a situation that could potentially have you operating ‘out of control much of the time.

    1. You will need those special people in your life now more than ever. Make sure you keep talking, ‘a lot,’ and have them close by to listen, to help you think more clearly and see possible alternative approaches to important decisions you will be required to make
    2. Look at your situation from a practical point of view to determine how you want to move forward. Your self interests come first!
    3. Write down a list of what needs to happen, what you are prepared to do and what you are not prepared to do
    4. Get sound legal and financial advice on exactly where you stand
    5. If you need to see a coach or a counsellor do so! They will be able to give you some tools to help you manage your emotions, practical tips and an impartial ear to really listen to you
    6. Accept that this is real and that the only way out to the other side is by moving through it and the sooner the better
    7. If you prefer not to have any communication other than through an intermediary then do this
    8. Many people are just too upset to eat anything because they are feeling so nauseous. If you are like this force yourself to have a nutritious smoothie with all the goodness you need and sip it over a period of time during the day
    9. Every single day do something for yourself that will help you manage the emotional overwhelm that you will be experiencing
    10. Going to the gym, getting out for a walk, spending time with people who make you laugh, having a massage, begin to feel OK about spending more time by yourself when even the mundane chores can be helpful.
    11. Recognising and acknowledging your feelings! There will be many and they will engulf you from time to time. Allow yourself to really feel them.
    12. Their leaving will rarely be about you!  Working in this field for several years now I have began to recognise a pattern in many people. There is something missing in their lives and instead of doing the inner work they look for a new partner, or a new ‘something’ external things in the hope they these will make them ‘feel better’.

Within a few months, things will begin to settle down and although you have a little way to go to really get back on your feet again implementing some of these tips will make a big difference.

In time we all find our way through it, some of us left feeling a little battered and bruised from the experience, life lessons that we can take on board to ensure we move into the next relationship more discerning in who we chose to share our life with, an inner strength to support us as we shape our new lives and the gift of wisdom that comes from any life changing experience.

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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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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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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