Wala
divorce tips | The Naked Divorce
How long to get over divorce - Adele Theron - NakedDivorce

How long does it take to get over your divorce?

Ever wondered just how long it’s going to take to heal from your divorce? I know I did when I was going through my divorce. 

I was also given this challenging and critical question live on-stage by my interviewer recently, and I wanted to share my answer here, and also go into a little more detail and a little more science than I was able to at this live event. So here goes…

First of all – I need to define what ‘Getting Over Divorce’ actually means?

Getting over divorce is like having an orgasm…

In this regard Getting Over Divorce is a bit like having an orgasm… It’s hard to define, but you know it when it happens!

My clients often describe this as feeling ‘themselves again’, ‘complete’, ‘in-control’, ‘the best version of themself’, ‘the real me’, ‘empty and free’.

There are many different expressions but there is also a similarity between them.

What I see is a real and healthy sensation of clarity and void of emotion which I shall call ‘space’ or ’emptiness’. A mental space that was previously full of sometimes rage, confusion, anger, loss, sadness and more has been vacated that provides the space for opportunity and hope.

They realise that the future IS back in their hands, that they ARE in control, and that EVERYTHING is possible, and achievable. It’s a very special moment.

3 friggin years! That’s not acceptable.

A lot has to happen to allow this kind of transformation to happen, and when it happens it is like a switch has been flicked. It is not a gradual and slow process. There is also 7 years of intensive work which goes into creating the environment for these kinds of breakthroughs and transformations. It’s no accident.

If I may return to the unlikely orgasm analogy, there may be some gradual build up before, but when the breakthrough happens it happens very powerfully and very profoundly. You will absolutely know when a breakthrough has hit you.

That said, this does not mean that you will never ever think about your ex-partner ever again. It does not necessarily mean that you think your ex-partner is your best friend BUT it does mean that you are past it. You have accepted that your divorce happened, and that it will always be a part of your history, but very critically it is NOT a part of your future.

Traditional Therapy

When I was going through my divorce I spoke to several traditional therapists. The three I spoke to all used a similar ‘calculation’ to give me an answer to this question – here’s their maths…

1 year of marriage = 6 months of therapy (min 1 session per week).

Additional connected trauma will extend the duration further.

So at 5 years of marriage, plus the additional trauma that I had as a child (I was born without fully developed hip sockets), and the infidelity (18 affairs), it would take at least 3 years of on-going therapy.

3 friggin years! That’s simply not acceptable. Given my background in corporate change management and my commitment to producing results quickly, this antiquated thinking just didn’t jel with me.

3 critical elements

I now know that there are three critical elements that dictate the duration of time it takes to heal from divorce. They are;

  1. How motivated you are to do the necessary work to transform
  2. How evolved emotionally and personally you are, this may include how exposed to personal development you have been in the past
  3. How intensive the coaching / therapy is

For the purposes of this article I will focus entirely on number three – intensity…

Another approach

Let’s take a different look at this same question using a different topic. Let’s look at fitness…

How long does it take to get ‘fit’? It’s hard to define, right? You could argue it takes years, or indeed a lifetime of regular work to get ‘fit’.

The work is in reality never ending.

This is the thinking of the traditional therapists. It’s ongoing, often a lifelong pursuit. There is no finish line, there is no agreed result, there is no end date. The work continues indefinitely – or until you run out of funds.

Now let’s ask a slightly different question – let’s ask how long does it train to run a marathon?

Because we have given the question more definition, we can better answer it. A few questions also may arise:

  1. Are their variables that effect your training?
  2. Does everyone improve their fitness at exactly same rate?
  3. Will they all achieve the same race time?
  4. Do they all start from the same position?

The answer to all these questions is of course No.

However, we can still say with some justification and a significant amount of proof that if one trains 2-3 times per week, one can get fit enough to complete a marathon with 6 months of training.

3 times the intensity can equal 5-10 times the results!

Aside from the initial fitness level the biggest influencing variable that defines how long it takes to achieve the result is one thing. “Intensity”

Intensity

It stands to reason that the person that trains once per week will not advance at the same rate as someone that trains three times per week.

It is also worth noting that at just once per week the fitness levels progress at a very slow level indeed. I would argue that anyone only training once per week will never ever ever ever be fit enough to run a marathon. Think about that…

At three times per week, the fitness level does not increase at three times the rate – it increases exponentially. SO you might even progress at 5-10 times the rate.

So very realistically 3 times the intensity can easily equal 5-10 times the results.

The Science

Scientists tell us that most of the universe is filled with nothing.

Tom Stoppard explained the emptiness of atom like this, ‘if the nucleus is like the altar of St Paul’s Cathedral, an electron is like a moth in the cathedral’. Even in something as small as an atom, it is mostly full of nothing.

If all the ‘emptiness’ was removed, the entire human race could fit into a volume less than the size of three sugar cubes (ref: http://www.physics.org/featuredetail.asp?id=41). Isn’t that amazing??

So if we could remove all the emptiness out of a the transformational healing process is it not possible to condense that down from 3 years into just a few weeks? In a word Yes!

Heal in just 21 days

The Naked Divorce’s most popular course is completed in just 21 days. We achieve this because it’s intensive. Work and exercises are completed each and every day. It’s a demanding course, it takes energy, commitment, focus and support to complete it.

To be absolutely clear, I am NOT saying that we can achieve 3 years of therapy in just 21 days. What I am saying is – you achieve much greater, much bigger results, with much more mental fitness in 21 days than can ever be achieved by 3 years of non-intensive traditional therapy. We have many participants who were stuck in therapy for over 6 years who finally healed within the Naked Divorce.

The reason I created this programme is because no one has 6 years of life to spend it suffering. Time is the one commodity you can NEVER get back. So rather than wait for time to simply pass whilst assuming it will heal the wound – just get on with the process intensively and MOVE ON. There is life to be getting back to.

When 21 days it just too long

A year ago I launched the Naked Divorce Haven Retreat. A seven day version of Naked Divorce for our elite/ executive class participants who really don’t have the luxury of time to be suffering. Where, and yes you have guessed it, the course is even more intensive.

This is for the high achievers, for those that are very committed to their better future. We have a lot of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, country managers, business owners, judges, lawyers, doctors, etc. that join us on the Divorce Haven Retreat (I’ll reveal the most popular profession that attend a little later).

We achieve this by defining the space, the location and the environment better. All consultations are completed face-to-face, in-person, and in private. As a result the intensity is much higher.

The results are even more powerful, even more profound, and even more swift. For total disclosure I should point out that whilst the retreat is only 7 days, we do start build-up work prior to the retreat, and there is ongoing support afterwards included so it does take a little more than just 7 days to achieve the full result.

This reality of course is very confronting to traditional therapists. I’ll be open and tell you that many do not believe in this process. Not one of these doubters have actually done the course!

You also might like to know that the most popular career of all our customers are, did you guess?

Yes therapists, and physiologists. Now doesn’t that say a lot? We have had psychiatrists send their patients to us (with doctor’s notes), medical professionals who advise patients to do our programme and psychologists who do the programme quietly without ever saying anything about it.

Here are a few words from what they said about the course…

Testimonials from therapists and physiologists that have completed the Naked Divorce programme:

“Really, really cool experience. Utterly life-changing”
Cecile Fontan, Psychologist

“Naked Divorce was the answer to my prayers”
Elizabeth Q, Emotional Therapist

“You can’t go very far without dealing with your emotions rather than suppressing them”
Dr Sindiyo, Clinical Psychologist

“Incredible structure… I really did experience a complete state change by the end of the course”
Mandy, Life Coach and Financial Therapist

“I am simply blown away by the powerful transformation”
Stephanie Burton, Love Coach

“Incredible experience. I learnt more about relationships from Naked Divorce than in 22 years practicing as a psychologist”
Dr Ayse Sahin, Clinical Psychologist

“The more time you take to heal, the more self indulgent you get. Better to do something like Naked Divorce to focus on healing”
Dr Nea Clark, Clinical Psychologist London

So, the bottom line is if the award-winning Naked Divorce is their chosen programme for healing and they refuse to take the time to heal, why aren’t they telling you that healing faster is possible? Possibly because the average person going through divorce therapy spends USD 6,799 to heal from divorce…

Food for thought.

Get busy living and take positive pro-active action to get over your divorce. You can learn more about me as a divorce coach here.

 

With lots of love and lightness

Adele

Read Article

A Tale of Two Singletons: Part Two – Let Down Your Long Hair

This is the second part of a two-part series. To read the first part, click here.

The other eternally single friend

In my last post, I talked about one kind of eternally single friend that we all seem to have: the type who we know is awesome, isn’t shy about meeting people and always seems to have the next hot date lined up – but somehow, never ends up in a “proper” relationship.

In this second part, I want to talk about the “other” type of eternally single friend. The friend who is just as lovely and amazing, but never seems to meet anyone at all.

I know someone just like this. Let’s call her Jennifer.

Jennifer is a great friend and a great all-round catch. She’s clever, she’s fun, she’s cultured, she’s pretty. Professionally, she’s doing very well, with an interesting job in a highly competitive field. Despite a humble start in life, she’s carved out a great future and she has every reason to feel proud of herself. Prospective partners have every reason to be impressed.

So why is it that I can count on one hand the number of dates Jennifer has been on in the past three years?

Why is it that she hasn’t even had a whiff of a serious relationship since the last one ended years ago?

Negativity and disappointment

The thing with Jennifer is, we all know she’s awesome.

But does she believe she’s awesome? Does she hell.

Ask Jennifer what she’s up to and she will play it down. Play it down to the point that you’d think her career was about to go off a cliff, when in reality she’s doing better than just about anyone in our friendship group. In a field she’s always dreamed of working in and that’s she’s genuinely passionate about.

Five minutes into catch-up drinks with Jennifer and she will tell you how much weight she’s put on (she hasn’t). Or how bad her skin is at the moment (it’s not). Or how boring she’s been lately (her life is one big social whirlwind). How she’s doing so badly at whatever project she set herself, or how bleak things are looking, or how she’s worried about being irresponsible and overspending (again, she’s a deeply practical and organised person who gets more done than just about anyone I know).

Jennifer’s friends can obviously see past this. We sigh and roll our eyes and tell her to stop being ridiculous. But we still love her.

Because we know that Jennifer is what I like to call a Rapunzel.

She builds a huge tower of negativity around her to protect herself against disappointment.

We know that to get to the “real” Jennifer – the fun, brilliant, witty Jennifer – we have to do the emotional equivalent of getting her to let down her long hair, so that we can climb up.

Jennifer’s exes reflect this. They were all long-term friends before they were boyfriends. People who took the time to really get to know her. Who made that long, arduous climb, even when she made it tough for them.

But that’s not how most dating works.

When you meet someone new, or head out a first date, you don’t have the luxury of five years’ friendship behind you. This person has no idea what is on the other side of the wall. All they are seeing is the wall.

And why would you go to all that trouble when you have no idea if it’s worth what’s beyond?

Sure, if you’re a Rapunzel, you can blame your date. You can dismiss the opposite sex as shallow and not recognising your worth. For failing to get to know the “real you”. But why make it so hard for them to see the “real you” in the first place?

After all, would you go to all that trouble to win around a stranger who might turn out to be totally wrong for you anyway? Would you jump through all these hoops for someone you don’t even know yet?

Because the thing is, too, that all this negativity is kinda selfish.

Watch your emotional state

When we meet or go out with someone new, we tend to be nervous. We want to be put at ease, to relax, to feel comfortable chatting and opening up.

But as emphatic animals, we quickly “catch” the emotional state of the person we’re with. So, when the other person does the opposite – when they project a mood that makes it feel inappropriate to be cheerful, happy and positive – it puts us on edge.

That’s not to say that you have to spend an entire relationship pretending to be happy. You don’t necessarily even have to spend an entire date pretending to be happy.

As you get deeper into conversation and start to trust one another, it might feel perfectly fine to start touching on subjects that are a bit darker, rawer, more serious. Vulnerability is a big part of intimacy, and as a relationship blossoms, you will inevitably reveal things to one another that frighten you, are painful to you, or that paint you in a less-than-confident light. Revealed at the right time, these things will bring you closer together.

.. But that’s very different from making this your opening gambit. Launching into a stream of
negativity in the first few minutes is exhausting, even alarming, for the other person. It makes it impossible to take any pleasure out of the situation. It will probably make them want to escape pretty sharpish.

And, worst of all, it makes you even more convinced that all this misery is justified, because It makes you even surer that you’re unlovable.

Pinpoint the problem

Excessive self-deprecation is largely about diminishing yourself before anyone has a chance to do it for you, so when someone seems to agree with your poor-self image, that only encourages you to keep jumping the gun.

And that makes you even more likely to keep building up your negativity wall.

But it’s the negativity wall that’s the problem – not you.

Take a recent date of Jennifer’s. She met up with a guy with similar interests. Who she’d been chatting to through a dating site for a while, and seemed really keen. He was witty and interesting and good-looking, and he clearly thought she was, too.

They met for a drink. The conversation was flowing and Jennifer thought it was going fine. She didn’t even realise how unrelentingly negative she was being until the guy looked at her in bewilderment and said “Jesus. Who hurt you?”

Needless to say, the relationship did not progress.

What should I do?

If you don’t stop yourself from building up your negativity tower, pretty sure you’ll find yourself stuck Inside. You won’t remember how to actually get out of it. You might forget that you’re even in it.

Like Jennifer, you’ll stop noticing that you’re being miserable about everything. You might have stopped noticing the effect this has on other people.

And then, from a relationship perspective, you’re really in trouble. So where do you start if you’re a Rapunzel? How do you learn to let down your long hair? The easiest way to begin is to stop making everything about YOU.

Be positive!

If your bad feelings are dominating the conversation, stop talking about yourself so much. Ask the other person lots of questions. Get them talking about what they’re excited about and interested in. Do your best to be excited about and interested in it, too. Bounce off their enthusiasm. Notice how it feels to be talking to someone who is passionate and positive about something. Notice how it puts you at ease.

And then, when the conversation comes back around to you, work on mirroring this mood. (As a side note – there’s loads of evidence that mirroring another person’s behaviour and body language actually builds rapport and helps people warm to you, too!).

Don’t fake passion for things you hate, but rather focus on the things you really like and why they make you tick, rather than ways in which they might be lacking. Allow yourself the pleasure of being upbeat as you talk about things that make you happy. Pay attention to how pushing yourself to focus on the positives actually changes the way you feel.

You don’t have to talk yourself up, but that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself down.

Plus, if you can’t refer to your achievements without feeling sick to your stomach (and if you’re British, you’re probably familiar with this phenomenon), talk about what you enjoy about your work instead. Talk about what you loved about that last book you read or that last film you saw. Talk about something really fascinating or exciting thing that you heard or read about today.

So Rapunzel, go ahead and let your hair down. You will enjoy yourself much, much more – and, of course, so will your date.

Adele

 

Know a Rapunzel who needs a dose of real talk? Send this blog post to them!

Read Article

Are You Using Your Kids As an (Emotional) Human Shield?

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that trash-talking the “other” parent is hurtful to your kids. I don’t have to tell you that fighting and hurling insults at each in front of them will cause them distress.

I probably don’t even have to tell you that kids naturally blame themselves when their parents break up; that they will look to their own mistakes or shortcomings for clues to the tension, or that they’ll worry that the loss of love between their parents means that their parents no longer love them.

But what you may not realise is that by obsessing over your kids during your divorce, even with the intention of showing them how much they are loved, you can do them – and yourself – just as much damage.

overbearing-parent-300x200I saw this problem rear its head just recently with one of my clients. This client (let’s call her Julie) was racked with guilt over the breakup of her family, but adamant that her personal trauma wouldn’t eclipse her relationship with her children.

Even though she was exhausted and needed time to process her feelings, she packed the days with activities to do with her children. She took tons of photos and flooded her Facebook feed with all the fun they were having together.

A picture-perfect, Instagram-tinted broadcast of what a great mother she was and how well they were all coping for the benefit of worried family and friends. And how did her kids respond? Were they thrilled to have their mother’s boundless attention all of a sudden? Were they grinning happily into the camera, relieved to see how “fine” their mum was despite the divorce?

It had just the opposite effect.

They could feel that mum was being needy. They didn’t want to be rushed around and harassed all day long. They didn’t want their mum to live her life vicariously through them.

They felt awkward, suffocated and unable to live their own lives.

They were worried about their mother, but didn’t feel they could express their concerns. Worse, the more time, energy and money Julie sacrificed, the more unappreciative of her efforts they became, making her feel sulky, rejected and alienated from her kids – exactly the opposite of what she was trying to achieve.

She recognised in her session last week that she was using her children to fill a hole within her – to make herself feel loved. This shocked her to her core and she has chosen to take a step back.

Children aren’t stupid.

  1. They perceive a lot more than their parents ever realise.
  2. Being on the receiving end of over-intense emotions or behaviour sets off alarm bells no matter how old you are – you sense that the other person is unbalanced, or emotionally volatile. It puts you on edge.
  3. You might think that you’re being selfless by making your kids the centre of your universe in the aftermath of your divorce, but you’re actually stressing them out.
  4. You come across as weak and needy, putting huge amounts of emotional pressure on them to perform in the way you want them to.
  5. Instead, this is the time to model independence. It’s the moment to make your kids proud of you for your strength, not your martyrdom.suffocating-300x232

You need to get a life so that your kids can live theirs.

  • Be there for your children – and avoid dragging them in to your battles – but don’t obsess over them.
  • Trash-talking about the other parent will backfire, they will end up hating you for doing that.
  • Give them space. Don’t hang around them 24/7. Demonstrate that you can cope with and without them. That they can run off and be kids without worrying about you the whole time.
  • Make plans that don’t involve them. Encourage them to do their own stuff, without you, too.
  • And when you are with them, be with them. Enjoy the quality time you’re spending together. Don’t photograph every moment of your day, or keep up a running commentary online. Don’t chase the attention of social media “friends” when you could be nurturing the real relationships in front of your face. Kids can see right through this stuff and they’ll resent you for it.
  • And lastly, you don’t need to spend a ton of money or obsess over doing bigger, better activities all the time. After all, kids crave continuity, love and security over constant variation. Don’t stress yourself out trying to win Best Parent of the Year. Who are you trying to impress?
Adele

 

Do you know a parent going through a divorce trauma and struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with their kids? Please share this article with them today.

Read Article

Things To Never, Ever Say To Someone Going Through A Divorce

It happens to us all

At some point in our lives, most of us will go through a divorce, or at least a very painful breakup. Most of us will also experience being a shoulder to cry on when it happens to someone we love.

So when someone close to you tells you they are getting divorced, what is your first impulse?

Is it to give them a pep talk and focus on the bright future they’ll have without the ex you’ve always secretly hated? Is it to take them out on the town to forget their pain through the miracle of alcohol?

Perhaps you take a tough love approach, telling them to drop the drama and snap out of it. If any of these sound familiar, this post is for you.

No matter how kind you think you are being, in the long run, these responses will make things worse. They push the divorcee to displace the legitimate emotions that they are feeling and prolong the pain far longer than it needs to be.

It’s not them, it’s you

What’s more, these responses are really about you, not the person you care about. When we ask someone to stop feeling what they are feeling, it’s because we are uncomfortable with how that makes us feel.

We panic because we don’t know how to process the pain that the other person is experiencing. It’s easier to shut it down than to deal with it.

Even when we think we’re trying our very best to help that person, we’re actually making things worse for them – in order to make ourselves feel better.

Even if you truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that this will all work out for the best, is that really going to stop a person experiencing the initial shock and trauma of divorce from feeling rejected, anxious, frightened, hurt, or overcome with grief? Absolutely not.

All it does is stop that person from believing that these feelings are legitimate. It makes them press those feelings down inside of them, where they’ll continue to fester.

If they aren’t allowed to feel these emotions, they will not heal and they will not be able to halt any cycles of self-destructive behaviour in their tracks. On top of the pain of the divorce, they now have the shame of feeling that their pain is unreasonable!

What should I do?

So what should you do if you really want to help someone going through a divorce? Hear them. Hug them. Reassure them that you’ll be there for them whatever happens, that they are amazing and loved, and that there will be an end to the pain that they are feeling.

Listening without judgment or interruption is a surprisingly difficult thing to do, especially when the natural urge is to try and “fix” anything which is hurting those we care about.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, one really useful tool is the “bucketing your frustrations” exercise that I talk about in detail here. This shows you how to encourage your loved one to “pour” their emotions into a physical bucket by talking through all the things that are upsetting, frustrating or scaring them, then throwing it away.

Once you’ve dealt with all the negative emotions, focus on the positives without undermining the way that they are feeling. Name five things each that you feel glad or grateful for in your lives.

End with one (manageable) thing each that you will achieve tomorrow. This will help them to counter their destructive emotions with a sense of creating and being in control.

Whether you decide to try the bucket exercise or just really, genuinely listen, the key is to remember that the person going through the divorce needs to feel the things they describe. If they avoid them, they will hurt for longer.

While it might be hard for you to hear, letting them do that is the best way to be a friend right now.

Adele

 

Not sure where your loved one is in their healing process? Ask them to take this quiz to work out what support they need the most: www.nakeddivorce.com/test

Read Article

Are You Trapping Yourself In A Divorce Disaster?

Brutal breakups

Every breakup is hard. Every breakup hurts. But there are some times when a breakup is so all-consumingly awful that it’s hard to do anything but wallow in the agony of it.

A vindictive, vengeful partner can add tyranny to a situation that is already fraught.

These are the people that use threats, ultimatums and other weapons against you to try and control your behaviour or simply make life seem intolerable.

Take Sarah. Sarah finally built up the courage to kick out her bullying husband, but the strain is taking its toll – she’s a nervous wreck. Now, he’s capitalising on her low point by trying to have her declared too incompetent to care for the children, so that he can gain full custody.

Meanwhile Melanie, who put her career on hold to become the main caregiver for her two young children, has just found that her vindictive ex has frozen their joint assets and is refusing to transfer any money, leaving her with no access to funds.

Or take Edward, who has walked away from his control freak wife after years of misery, terrified because she’s made it clear she’ll do everything in her power to stop him seeing his kids.

Betrayal is another major factor.

Brent’s relationship ended when he found out that his wife was cheating on him with his best friend – the best man at their wedding – and now he’s trapped in a cycle of self-torture, dissecting and distrusting every aspect of both his marriage and his friendship for the past 15 years.

If any of these sound familiar, waiting and hoping that time will heal your wounds is a luxury you can ill afford.

Take control now

You must empower yourself to take control of the situation. You need to stop feeling trapped and destroyed fast, so that other parts of your life – your career, your friendships, your relationships with your kids – don’t become collateral damage of your trauma.

When my marriage ended, I went to a therapist who told me that it would take 18 months of (expensive) weekly sessions until I started to feel better. Then we talked about abandonment issues stemming from an extended hospital visit when I was two.

It’s not that I don’t believe that this experience made me feel abandoned: I do. It may even have had a bearing on the way I’ve handled breakups since.

The problem was that, for me, talking about events that I barely remember didn’t help. I walked away feeling no more able to cope with my divorce, but laden with additional confusion and anger over long-forgotten events.

Rather than feeling in control of my healing, I felt dependent on my therapist – a figure I could only see once a week at a pre-arranged time, rather than at short notice, when I needed them.

This is not a proactive way to heal.

It’s a drawn-out, painful way for your wounds to fester. It’s a way of becoming resigned to your pain, repressing rather than redressing it. Resignation is a strategy that exhausts and ages your body and destroys your lust for life.

Sometimes what we tell ourselves is resignation to our situation is really a case of deliberately holding on to suffering.

The validation that comes with sympathy or righteous anger can feel like payoff for the pain we’ve been put through – and holding on to that suffering can seem more tempting than feeling that the other person is “getting away with it” through our forgiveness.

The trouble is, we end up more hurt than they do.

We sacrifice our chance to feel joyful, vital and alive, because we think we should feel martyred and bitter.

At Naked Divorce, we focus on guiding you out of this resignation and letting go of suffering. We help you to confront your feelings and work out what’s really at stake if you let them rule you.

We work through a carefully constructed “healing formula”, taking a sustained, proactive approach to build momentum and make breakthroughs along the way. We don’t sit around waiting for time to pass while we hope for the best.

Time passes whether you’re healing or not. Time passes whether you’re hurting or not. It’s what we do with our lives while time is passing that helps us, heals us, or locks us in the past.

Hugs,

Adele
Adele

 

Are you feeling trapped in your divorce disaster? Book a complimentary clarity call with one of our divorce angels today to talk through your issues and find out how we can help.

 

Read Article

Divorce Can Bring Out The Worst In Us. Don’t Let It Turn You Toxic!

To say that divorce is a nasty time is a serious understatement.

Your world is crashing down around you. You’re feeling hurt and betrayed by the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. You’re angry and upset. You sure as hell don’t feel like being mature and understanding right now.

Trouble is, the way you act when you’re going through your divorce can have a lifelong impact.

It affects the way you manage your relationships with your ex, your children, your family – and even future partners. It affects how well you’re able to stay professional and productive at work, or even whether you’re able to hold down a job at all. And perhaps most importantly, it affects how quickly you’re able to heal and recover.

Getting stuck in a rut of self-destruction or harm with respect to your children or ex-spouse is harmful to yourself and to your healing process. If you don’t nip it in the bud, it can develop into a cycle of behaviour that dooms every new relationship before it’s even got off the ground.

If you don’t take the time now to address those negative and self-harming behaviours, chances are your relationships will end up the same.

I’m not saying this to depress you. This doesn’t need to be depressing – because you can change it. You might feel like your emotions are spinning way out of control right now, but in fact:

Learning how to handle your trauma with grace will make you stronger. 

It gives you the power and poise to prevent yourself from being a victim of your own emotions and pain. It helps you to protect yourself and the people you love from the ugliest elements of divorce.

There are all kinds of ways to change behaviours and responses that feel ingrained – Leo Babatua over at Zen Habits has 29 excellent tips  – and it’s got nothing to do with ignoring your emotions or dulling your pain, as I explain here.

In fact, much of it comes down to having the courage to listen to your self-doubt, allow yourself to really face up to the feelings that hurt you, and to take care of yourself even as you’re pushing yourself to change for the better. This is hard enough in general life, but when you’re going through a trauma, it’s seriously tough.

While coping with my own divorce trauma and over my years of working with people who are going through similar situations, I’ve seen some of the same damaging behaviours crop up again and again.

To help tackle this, I’ve created this 10-step report on divorce etiquette.

In the report, I talk you through the biggest pitfalls that people face when they are going through a divorce – and show you how to avoid them.

  • I help you to deal with your ex’s (inevitable) emotional outbursts, and to learn to forgive them while staying strong and composed.
  • I give you the tools you need to handle the awkwardness that springs up with family members when they just don’t know what to say or how to be supportive, as well as how to address some of that awkwardness in yourself.
  • I suggest practical things that you can do to improve your physical and mental wellbeing when your heart is aching and you just want to scream at something or someone.
  • I empower you to develop ways of behaving that prevent your trauma from spilling over into your work life, so that your career doesn’t become collateral damage of your divorce.
  • I help you to spot behaviours that are harmful to your kids, so that you can keep them shielded from the worst of it and make sure they can have a healthy and resentment-free relationship with both their parents.
  • I explain how to identify the BS that you’re being fed by therapists and other well-meaning people about how long your recovery will take and how you should be dealing with it, so that you can avoid “false healing” and destructive behaviour.

And I help you to get yourself ready to fall in love again.

Adele
Adele

 

Want to dump the emotional baggage for good and commit fully to your healing and recovery? Click here to download your free Divorce Etiquette report.

Read Article
Waiting Around For Pain to Heal Won’t Work

Waiting Around For Pain to Heal Won’t Work

One Sunday in November, I sat down in a busy coffee shop in Los Angeles. Four women were sitting alone, each quietly drinking their coffee.

I observed their postures, their body language, their facial expressions… their sadness.

All of a sudden one woman jumped up, wiped her eyes and dashed off. After a while, the second woman did the same: just as she seemed to become aware of a painful emotion, she jumped up and left. It was eerie to watch, like seeing someone burn themselves on a hot stove and pull away.

Now, if there’s anywhere in the world where it might be considered ‘normal’ to approach strangers in a coffee shop, it’s Los Angeles. I decided to be bold and introduce myself to the remaining two women. Both opened up.

One confided about the pain she experienced when her husband left her, the other choked back tears as she relayed fears about supporting her two children alone after her divorce.

When I asked them what made them want to jump up and leave the moment they tuned into those feelings of despair, the answer was blurted out almost simultaneously…

“I cannot fall apart. I just don’t have the time.”

That Sunday in the coffee shop changed everything for me. It was then that I realised how much human beings struggle to face up to their feelings.

The busier we get, the lower our tolerance for pain.

Many professions see painful emotions as dangerous threats to be neutralised. We are overwhelmed with a plethora of medications and therapies which are all geared towards removing, blocking or avoiding the feelings that hurt us.

But healing is not about avoiding pain. Emotions are not to be feared. They tell us what is happening in our psyche. They tell us that there are things below the surface that need to be dealt with.

What many psychologists don’t know because they don’t study pharmacology is that emotions cannot be ‘dialled down’. Chemically, if you suppress one emotion, you suppress them all.

Numbing yourself so you don’t feel makes you suppressed, depressed and sick. Healing does not need to be a drawn-out nightmare.

Does time really heal?

I often hear of counselors telling people: “you just need some time.” The problem with believing that time heals the wound is that people wind up doing nothing, passively waiting for healing to happen to them. True healing takes place when you engage in active enquiry, feel all the emotions and resolve each loose end.

Without this, the old emotions become stuck and leave a chemical blueprint in your body. After my own divorce and in my years of change management, I felt irritated that no one could map out a clear healing pathway that I could follow.

It was like walking around with a dislocated shoulder while the doctor explains that yes, it hurts, but eventually it will feel normal, you’ll learn to live with it, it’s all part of the healing process. But I didn’t want to learn to live with it. I wanted someone to pop the shoulder back into the socket – even if it hurt like hell.

Discover yourself

Healing can be a journey of self-discovery. It can also take less time than you can even imagine. In my first four years of running the programme, I found that healing is not a passive process. Real healing means active engagement with the subject matter with focused intensity.

The Naked Divorce is not about waiting or wondering what to do. It’s about taking action and taking your healing into your own hands. And doing it in 21 days.

After four years of careful tweaking, I’ve helped nearly a thousand people on the path to healing, cutting out years of therapy and self-blame. This book is an invitation into a world where life is not a struggle and healing doesn’t take forever.

Why not allow yourself to tumble down the rabbit hole with me and discover the person you deserve to be? This might sound like a fantasy. But I promise: no matter what brought you here, or what your personal story is, success is possible.

It won’t be easy, but I will walk alongside you every step of the way.

Adele
Adele
Read Article

Don’t Do It! Why You Are Not YOU In a Trauma

I’m still chuckling from a hilarious call with Teresa, one of my Angels-in-Training in the States.

We could not stop laughing about the things we have to do to keep our groups on track on the 21-day program.

Just the other day someone posted that they were ‘just settling into the garden chilling enjoying a beer’. I was on it immediately with a clear ‘NOOOO REMEMBER NO DRINKING DURING EMOTIONAL RELEASE PHASE’ and they said ‘oh yes, totally forgot’ and then promised to stick to the rules.

Only a week ago I stopped someone from ruining his financial negotiation as he was ranting about all kinds of ultimatums. I had to stop someone else from going on a £7000 credit card spree.

Basically, YOU are NOT YOU in a trauma.

And one of my angels Teresa was telling me about intercepting her client minutes before she was about to cut up all her ex’s shirts and hang them up on the washing line!

Phew. Keeping everyone on track so they exit their relationship with grace and ensuring that they are safe and their transformation is guaranteed is both amusing and a core part of the job.

Why you are literally a different person during trauma

Whenever we go through tough traumatic times, our brains actually function differently. With heightened stress, the amount of adrenalin and cortisol in our body increases and cortisol suppresses our hippocampal function so we literally cannot think straight.

Basically, YOU are NOT YOU in a trauma. This is why people behave a bit weird when going through a divorce, bereavement, or they lost their job or trying to get out of an abusive relationship or they had an accident; they cannot help it.

A little compassion please

Although there are many things which can be done to restore equilibrium, for some people they get stuck in this place and it’s a horrible place to be in – not being you or feeling like yourself.

Compassion for anyone experiencing a weird time is critical, so in a trauma it helps to have someone who keeps you from shaving your head, selling everything to find yourself in Bali, or leaving those bunny boiler voicemails.

Remember to have compassion for yourself in those weird moments, and for anyone else who’s going through one!

When the auto-pilot takes over

During weird times, we are often on auto-pilot and not even conscious of how we behave, what we say or the Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics we adopt to cope. It’s only once you have processed everything that you are YOU again.

Without strong guidance and rules in place, the processing and transformation just doesn’t get done. This is what makes trauma therapy SO epic. So if you’re struggling, find yourself an Angel who embraces #sheepdogging who will help you reclaim your life again.

It’s the best job in the world holding people to who they really are.

Adele

Adele

 

If you’d like a little compassion and guidance right now, get in touch. We’re here to help!

Read Article

What is the Naked Divorce program?

In this video I would like to explain you a little bit more about our program.

It’s a structured approach to healing from divorce, which helps you navigate through the divorce healing steps, find the source of your divorce and bring about lasting improvements to your emotional life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5K4I6DXL9A

Hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions, please ask.

I am here to help you in every step of your healing journey.

Adele
Adele
Read Article