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

THE TOP TEN PARENTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR A LESS STRESSFUL DIVORCE

Most separating parents are very concerned about how divorce affects their kids whoever far too many underestimate the real impact of divorce on children, teenagers and adult children as well.

In Australia nearly half of divorces involve children under the age of 18 years of age and these are the ones who suffer the most into adulthood.

Anyone who believes that their children will be unaffected by their divorce may be surprised to know that ALL children of divorce suffer emotional wounds. The question is never whether they will be hurt the question is how badly will they be hurt?

The responsibility for how badly they will be hurt comes back to the people who love and care for them the most – their parents! Are they prepared to put their differences to one side, avoid having heated discussions within earshot of their kids, talk openly about the divorce giving their kids reassurances that they haven’t done anything wrong, that it’s not their fault and speaking respectfully about the other parent in front of the children.

In an ideal world separating parents would finalise the divorce quickly and amicably to avoid dragging their children through an emotional battleground and have plans in place to keep any major upheavals, like living arrangements, school routines and social activities to a minimum. Of course we don’t live in an ideal world and the reality is that many kids are involved, not just in the separation and divorce phase but the ongoing disputes, arguments and conflicts that many parents engage in as co-parents giving very little thought to how this is impacting on their children. They get blinded by anger, resentment, hatred and revenge and are hell bent on hurting, harming or demeaning their former spouse.

When couples are really struggling with their own issues and concerns about the future, how they will divide property, possessions and finances it becomes all consuming and emotionally charged.

As the adults in this situation you do have the power to put your differences to one side and focus on giving your children the reassurances they need so desperately need. They are loved, this is not their fault and that they will still be a family but doing it differently from how it used to be.

Before I share my tips to help parents make the separation and divorce process less stressful please don’t assume that your kids will OK with the whole thing because they just want you to be happy! I have heard that said so many times and if thinking that makes you feel better and that your kids won’t have any problems with the family splitting then think again. Yes our kids want us to be happy, but what they really what is for their parents to be happy together and the family unit to stay the same. I’m not suggesting for one minute that couples stay together just for the kids, what I am saying is look at this massive change in their lives through the eyes of a child, teenager or adult it doesn’t matter how old they are.

Here are my top ten parenting considerations for a less stressful divorce

    1. At least one parent, preferably both, is prepared to put aside personal issues and focus on discussing and agreeing on the wellbeing of their children in the short and long term
    2. Seek help from professionals to get advice and guidance when there is conflict around decisions or arrangements that will affect your children. An independent third party will provide a different perspective and allow you to find solutions you hadn’t previously considered
    3. Sit down with your children together on a regular basis to reassure them that although there are going to be changes in their lives you will always be there for them. They will want details of what is happening and how it will affect them
    4. Be honest with them about any changes as they arise so they have time to talk about them with you both and express any fears and concerns they might have
    5. Accept that you will not always agree with how your ex parents ‘your’ kids or like the fact that a new partner now has a role in parenting you kids. This is one of the most difficult challenges for many separated parents
    6. If possible both parents attend special events like birthdays, school and social activities, and other events together. Your kids will love that you are both there ‘for them.’ There will come a time when they will be getting married and having children themselves and it is what you do now that will ensure it’s a very special part of their lives that you can both share
    7. Just because you and your partner are divorcing from each other does not mean that your children are too. They have a right to love and spend time equally with both parents, their grandparents and extended families as well
    8. Be careful how you speak about your former partner in front of your children. Take some time to think about how you would like your ex to speak about you in front of your kids and even if that is not happening, then remember that you are role models for your kids, and your behaviour and actions will always speak louder than anything else you will ever do
    9. Never use your kids as a means to get revenge for hurts inflicted on you by your former partner. All too often kids are used as bargaining tools in situations where there is absolutely no winner
    10. Life is constantly changing, often challenging and rarely goes according to plan but when we remember the good times we shared as a family and cherish these memories it might just make a difference in how we write the next chapter in our lives

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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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PAST STOPS YOUR PRESENT

As we move through our lives there are occasions when we recall the good times we had, remember the people who were influential in the creation of beautiful memories, the funny things we did as kids, sleepovers with the cousins, camping trips, grandparents and the very special memories of the times spent with them.   Throughout all of our lives right up until now we all have stories to tell.

On the flip side there will also be for many people very different memories that bring up a different range of emotions and memories. Feelings of guilt, shame, remorse or regret will come bubbling to the surface and the story of what they did or didn’t do will be replayed over and over in their minds.

I don’t believe I have ever met anyone who hasn’t at some time wished that they had made better choices and decisions about some circumstances or events in their lives. From mistakes made as teenagers, marrying the wrong guy, cheating on a romantic partner, stealing from an employer, investing all of their savings in a dodgy get rich scheme, failing to take better care of their health, allowing a heated discussion with a family member to completely fracture the relationship and decisions that perhaps even caused great damage to our reputation and pain to people we love.

For the people who have spent years carrying the burden of past mistakes it can impact on their health, their jobs, and their relationships, dictate where they live in constant fear of being found out.  It seems to be a less than ideal way to live so all I can assume is that they see this as being easier than facing the unknown consequences of their actions.

For those people who carry past hurts from betrayal it’s not that much different. The story they tell about what someone ‘did’ to them, how much they hurt them and declare that they will never ever forgive them are also chained to the past. These people have allowed themselves to become ‘victims’ and people who stay stuck in the past there is usually a payoff, using the story about what happened to relive injustices or past hurts and they get to play the blame game. Essentially they are victims of their circumstances and have handed over the control of their lives to someone or something else.

If you have a particular view of the world you are able to see that in every situation that is challenging there is always a silver lining even if it takes several years to see it. It doesn’t take away what happened or the roles we played in what happened but we can spend some time and look back at who we were then and recognise that we are no longer that person. When we can see in hindsight how if given that time all over again the different choices we would have made and thinking about it no longer stirs up unpleasant memories it becomes more about the information than the emotions or meanings we may have attached to the circumstance.

Some ‘well meaning’ friends (usually the ones who love a bit of drama) love to tell their divorced friend what their ex-husband is up to, and what the new girlfriend is like. This can be quite painful if there hasn’t been sufficient time for someone to put distance between themselves and their ex and it is something than many women find themselves conflicted with want to know more about it all and wanting not to talk about it at the same time. If you find yourself in this type of situation you have to stand your ground and tell people what you will and will not accept and ask that they respect your right to move on with your life.

The brain also has it’s own way of keeping us trapped by means of associations that we have made to certain events. Although we may not be consciously aware of what is happening these associations use our senses, sight, sound, feelings, taste and smell to become triggers that fire emotions attached to circumstances from the past.

Not all of these are necessarily problematic! One of my favourite triggers for example, is when I smell freshly mown grass I always think about my dad who pasted away many years ago. If I ask you to remember a particular song from your teenage years, when you recall the song there is every chance you will also remember the people who you were with, what you were doing and perhaps even what you were wearing. This song is a trigger for you to pop back to a different time in your life.

Not all triggers are particularly pleasant. If your father was an angry man and always used a particular tone of voice when he was angry with you and you became very frightened all it will take is for you to hear someone else using that same tone of voice and you will also get those same feelings of fear in your body and wondering what the hell just happened.

If you find that there are aspects of your past stopping you moving forward with your life and you really want to turn this around seek out the services of professionals who are skilled healers, coaches and change facilitators – there is help available for you.

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 DO YOU COPE WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR BEST FRIEND?

GIRLFRIENDS ARE THE BEST FRIENDS EVER, UNTIL THEY’RE NOT!

Relationships can be tricky to maintain and I’m not talking about romantic relationships here, I’m talking about relationships with our girlfriends. Those very special people in our lives who are always there to listen to us prattle on about a new boyfriend, help us decide what to wear on a date, a shoulder to cry on when we have a fight with a husband or boyfriend, jump in without question at a minutes notice to help us out, talk on the phone for hours about ‘everything,’ share the bottle of wine and take our phones of us when we break up with a boyfriend to avoid making a complete idiot of ourselves, in other words they are there for us no matter what!

Hangovers after a friend break-up: eating the whole post-drinking pizza by yourself and holding your own hair back while you’re sick

They are our confidants, our soul sisters, our very best friends! They are also the ones who will tell us some harsh truths about ourselves when that is what we need to hear. That is really what a true friend is!

But what do we do when we fall out with a girlfriend, when this very special relationship comes to an end.

There can be hundreds of different reasons why a friendship comes to an end, from changes in our own values and beliefs, violation of our trust, or the fact that the relationship has simply run it’s natural course.

Welcome to the brutal reality of friendship breakups.

Women can be real bitches, I think that little trait is in most of us and when we are hurt we really want to hurt back. How do we cope with the loss, with the empty hollow feeling inside us when all we want to do is pick up the phone and talk like we used to.

As humans we are constantly evolving, growing and changing, people come and go throughout our lives and the friends that remain close right to the end are very few by comparison.

Coping with this loss is no different to coping with any loss and to put it simply.

Tears and time!

  • It is incredibly painful to break up with a bestie, it’s much harder to explain the loss you feel and how hurt you feel
  • Give yourself time to grieve, the heart and soul need time to heal
  • Avoid checking up on what they are doing and who they are hanging out with, it only adds to the pain and will keep you stuck
  • Keep a journal, writing can be therapy in it’s own way
  • If the breakup was because of something that you contributed to, send a card and apologise
  • Accept the fact that things will never be the same as they were
  • Stalking on social media or interrogating your friends will prolong the healing, stop you moving forward and more than likely annoy your friends

Rebounding after a friend break-up: drinking the whole bottle of shit wine you used to share and watching your favourite Sex and The City episodes all alone.

Where to from here?

  • Get out and about and make the effort to meet new people.
  • Think about some new interests you might like to explore
  • Go to dance classes, art classes or other creative activity
  • Exercise! It’s a natural way to heal and have you feeling alive

Tears and time!

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 MEN AND WOMEN MISUNDERSTAND SEX

Here’s the scenario!

It’s early morning, the guy rolls over, kisses his partner. She gets the message and starts to cuddle into him. Next thing he is on top of her and 3-5 minutes later it’s all over. As he gets up and starts walking out of the bedroom she says, ‘Where are you going?” He replies, “To make a cup of tea!”

Which leads me to ask the question. Is there a link between many couples separating and what I would call the basic human needs of sex and intimacy, either through ignorance, selfishness or lack of interest not being met in a relationship or does it go much deeper than this?

What part does ‘sex,’ and the difference between how men and women view and feel about sex, play out in the number of couples who started out together in loving and caring relationships and end up becoming yet another statistic in the divorce courts? Or is this just another piece of the relationship puzzle that was left unattended and pushed away rather than being dealt with head on.

We all know that there are significant differences between the male and female brains which I think is just another part of ‘the grand design’ – when you put the two together it really should make for a very powerful combination from my perspective.

In most cases, men and women do not behave, feel, think, or respond in the same ways, either on the inside or on the outside.

What if a major difference with men, unlike women, was their inability to express their emotions, worries, sexual issues, and problems to their friends, family or colleagues and never to their partners?

What if some men stopped seeking sex from their partners because they felt furious, criticised and insignificant in their marriage but would not or could not talk about it with their partners?

M. Gary Neuman found that 48% of the men he interviewed reported emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason for cheating. They reported feeling unappreciated and wished that their partners could recognise when they were trying. They did not talk to their partners about this.

  • They fear talking will only cause more anger and rejection
  • They anticipate that if they start talking about issues in the marriage, their wives won’t stop talking–a reality that may simply reflect the clash of gender differences in handling stress
  • They fear hurting their partner with their honest feelings.
  • They feel self-conscious about performance issues and unwittingly send a message of avoidance, disinterest or rejection.
  • They silently blame their partner for boring sex but don’t consider verbalizing ways of enlivening the love life.
  • They don’t read the non-verbal cues or consider the cues they are sending.
  • They see the defensive posture their partner takes—not as a cover for her feelings of rejection; but as anger and accusation.
  • Paradoxically, they see themselves as protecting themselves, their partner, and their marriage with silence.

As such, many married men are emotionally alone. Unlike women who turn to other women to vent, garner support, and hear other perspectives and feelings— men too often “ suck it up”, remain locked in their perspective and can’t find a way to speak about what they need. This leaves them vulnerable to the attention, affirmation and complication of an affair.

Based on interviews with 200 cheating and non-cheating husbands, M. Gary Neuman, author of The Truth About Cheating, reports that only 8% identify sexual dissatisfaction as the reason for their infidelity.

A Rutgers study reports 56% of men who have affairs claim to be happy in their marriages, are largely satisfied and are not looking for a way out.

  • Sometimes affairs result in divorce. Statistics from 2004 suggest that 27% of divorces are due to extramarital affairs.
  • If both partners want their marriage, however, a marriage can survive an affair. Many partners have journeyed through the guilt and pain to mutually repair and renew their marriage.

If a man can find the feelings and words to engage with his partner in a process of apology and forgiveness, if he can speak and listen, reconsider the mutual rejection and anger, clarify the sexual needs and trust the love —he may well have a marriage he can speak about.

I have often been asked if I have a Divorced Men’s Club – and I see that like the Members Lounge I have for women, something like this for men would also be an incredibly valuable resource.

RECOMMENDED READING:  Married Men Don’t Talk by Tony Hawkins

RESOURCE:  An Unrecognized Reason That Married Men Have Affairs By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D.ABPP
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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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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ARE YOU A NUMB SPECTATOR TO THIS GAME CALLED ‘LIFE’?

This is a subject that is so very close to my heart!

I lived my life as a numb spectator for many years. On the surface it appeared to everyone that all was right in my world, I had the house, great kids, a good husband, and all the while I was slowly dying inside and I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT!

Sadly this is not an experience that was unique to me. I know that far, far too many women continue to simply exist from day to day, going through the motions of the ‘daily grind.’ Housework, meals on the table, raising kids, holding down a job, physical and emotional distance between themselves and their partner, completely numb to their feelings and crawling into bed at night exhausted, only to wake the next morning and begin the daily cycle all over again and silently hearing a inner voice asking “is this it, is this really what life is all about?”

Living like this is of course a recipe for physical and emotional disaster and no matter how hard, or for how long we continue to bury and ignore the internal messages that our body is sending us there will be a point when there will be an eruption and much like a volcano once it starts there is no turning back.  All the anger, resentment, grief, guilt and hurt will begin to spew out with a force that scares the most hardened of us.

Everyone will move through this period in their own way and in their own time as reaching this turning point begins the struggle to unleash the real ‘us’ that has been buried deep inside for far too long and as much it creates fear and confusion at the time everyone who has already been through this period of transition will acknowledge that it was also the beginning of their journey of personal discovery and self-awareness.

It is not however a journey without its challenges.

Creating any significant change in our lives will mean that there will be opposition and resistance from the people around us.

As we begin to make the conscious decision to discard all the beliefs that we have created or those that have been past on to us as we allowed the influence of our family and society to shape us into a clone of other peoples expectations those closest to us will feel threatened and fearful.

But …….

  • What if reaching the point of no return was exactly what needed to happen?
  • What if we were doing the very best we could with the resources we currently had available to us?
  • What if all the heartache and pain we had buried for so long was actually helping us to survive?
  • What if the eruption of the volcano meant the complete destruction of the road we were currently travelling?
  • What if it meant that for the very first time we could see a new road ahead, new horizons with a sign post that read ‘The real you, 100 miles in this direction?’
  • What if we discovered that with every single step we took we began to explore and discover our deep inner wisdom and new found belief in ourselves
  • What if we discovered our voice, our passion for life and began to live with a sense of peace, contentment and joy?

I firmly believe that this is our birthright.

In the words of Nora Ephron “Above all, be the heroine of your own life, not the victim.”

What are you waiting for?
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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