I have been inspired to write about this by our friend, divorce coach Tosh Brittan, who I spoke to recently for the YouTube channel (out 15th October 2021) and podcast (out 29th October 2021). We talked about kindness in divorce. We spoke particularly about being kind to yourself, which is always essential
This has got me thinking about a number of clients that I have worked with recently who have been really keen to ensure that they are both ok. This isn’t always possible, especially in abusive relationships, but elsewhere, perhaps we can make it happen more often.
Being Kind to Your Ex
I am working with a couple at the moment and have worked with a number of similar clients in the past. One client, let’s call him John, owns and works in his consultancy business which they set up together. He is the consultant, and she, let’s call her Janet, has been responsible for administration in the business. They are now separated and need to work out who will get what in terms of income, capital and pensions. John is very keen to know that Janet will be ok, as well as to know that he will be as well.
In the first flings of separation, when there is anger, guilt, resentment, hurt, huge emotional responses on both sides, it can be difficult to see how it might be possible to feel kindness towards the other person. You should work through this with a therapist, counsellor or divorce coach initially (let us know if you need a recommendation). Then, hopefully, you will be able to think back to when you first got together, when you fell in love, and some of the good times you had together. These memories may be able to help you to work through your divorce negotiations remembering that there is a person on the other side who you at some stage wanted to spend your life with.
Benefits to you!
There are personal benefits of being kind to your ex in divorce. You are likely to be able to co-parent with your ex more easily if you have been able to compromise on a reasonable financial settlement. You are also more likely to be able to attend events together if you have avoided slanging matches in a courtroom. Finally, you will probably spend less on lawyers, barristers, and other professionals if you can resolve your finances without the need for court. This will give you both a bigger pot of money to begin your new life with.
Being kind to yourself
Sometimes this is the hardest part. The things we say to ourselves in our heads are not things we would ever say to our friends or family. I also heard someone say recently that just because we feel it doesn’t mean that it is true. We often look for confirmation to support our thoughts and prove that we were right to feel a certain way. The internet is certainly responsible for easy access to this information. We won’t look for things that disprove how we feel.
As well as emotional kindness, we need to remember the physical needs that we have. You need water, exercise, sleep, and relaxation to function properly. Those things are even more important during times of high stress and potential anxiety.
Divorce is emotionally difficult. Tosh talks about Divorce Monkeys. We mustn’t let them take over. Whether you jointly decided to separate, it was your choice or it was their choice, the emotional journey is one of the hardest you will take. Be kind, to yourself and to your ex if possible.
If you would like our help to separate your finances as a couple or an individual, please book an initial conversation using the link https://calendly.com/tamsin-caine/15min.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also enjoy “Supercharge your money mindset for divorce”.