Whatever you bring with you to your divorce will color your experience. Make sure you’re bringing what you want to have!
My husband and I are going through the process of selling our home and buying a new one. If you’ve ever gone through the sale and purchase of a home, you know how stressful this process can be.
We’d been talking about moving for a couple of years, but hadn’t done anything else about it because it was easier to just stay put and complain instead of being willing to do what we knew to be right for us and move.
Luckily, when we were making some minor remodels to our home, we mentioned to our contractor that we were thinking of moving. Well, this woman heard our deep desire for something different and challenged us to put up or shut up.
We rose to the challenge – mostly. We still had some bumps in the road to getting our house ready to put on the market and fully committing to the work necessary on our parts. But, we did get our work done.
And you know what happened? We had a full-price contract on our home within 48 hours of putting it on the market.
Now you might think that’s the end of the story, but it’s not. You see the fellow buying our house didn’t seem to be fully committed to the purchase. Throughout the 10-day option period, he did strange things including, but not limited to, putting an offer in on another house.
Well, all these strange things the buyer did finally got us when just hours before the end of his option period, this fellow asked to change the closing date into the next month. He wanted to change the date because he didn’t want to have to start paying his mortgage this month – at least that’s the story we told ourselves. We were furious! He had originally requested a closing date that was within 4 weeks of his offer and we jumped through hoops to find a new home that could also close very quickly. Of course our plans were contingent upon the sale of our home to him. It seemed like all of our dreams for a new home in the country were crashing down around us.
Jim, my husband, and I talked and yelled and made up more stories about this guy who supposedly wanted to buy our home and we made up stories about his realtor too. We were furious and miserable that someone else seemed to have complete control over whether or not our dreams came true. We were also feeding off of each other’s negative energy which escalated things even more.
Then a funny thing happened. In the midst of all this drama and misery, we both had a memory – a memory of what it was like to get divorced. We realized that what we were experiencing was almost identical to what we felt when we were going through the legal process of divorce.
Luckily, this is when my training kicked in. I realized three important things:
- I was too close to what was going on and making the worst of what was happening. I needed to step out of all of my emotions and look at the sale of the house as the business transaction it was.
- As an adult, no one has control over my life unless I give it to them. I could still choose what I want to be, to do, and to have in my life even if this first attempt at selling our home didn’t work out. I just needed to be willing to work for it and accept the consequences of my decisions.
- My perception of what was going on was creating my reality. As long as I believed the buyer and his realtor were jerking us around, I was being jerked around. As soon as
I changed my belief and the story I was telling myself, I could see that this buyer just might be afraid of the responsibilities of home ownership and I could more easily put my anger and frustration aside.
These three important things are exactly what I work with my clients on to help them identify what they’re bringing to their “divorce party” and then change their experience to one that feels better and more hopeful.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
If your divorce and the legal process have you tied up in knots, here are some ideas for loosening the knots.
Develop the skill of moving between your emotional self and your logical self. There is a time and place for experiencing the rollercoaster of emotions that typically accompany divorce. There’s also a time and place for putting them to the side so you can make the business decisions that need to be made during divorce.
Decide what you want to be true about your life one year from today. For most of us who go through divorce, the divorce can be all consuming. We can get in the habit of just doing the minimum to get by because of all the energy and effort involved in getting divorced. What we tend to forget is that our lives will go on. By developing a sense of hope or desire for something in the future, you’ll be able to get through what needs to happen with the divorce because you know things will be better.
Which of your beliefs are keeping you tied up in knots? The wonderful thing about beliefs are that they are all yours which means you have complete and total control of whether or not you keep them. If you have a belief or two that are contributing to your misery, you might want to consider what you life would be like if you changed or dropped them. If you recognize that your life would be better without these beliefs, you might have just discovered the oomph you need to change them.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And if you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.