A friend of mine recently told me she was separating from her common law partner. They have two children together. I've found myself giving her a lot of basic information and just day to day advice on the practical steps to get through a separation and she's been asking a ton of questions. Cause - lets be honest - who knows what separation really entails until you are in it?? So I figured, I’d post them up here as well, for anyone who’s just new to the whole thing. Here are 7 things that'll get you started, if your marriage is ending.
1. Find a good lawyer for yourself: You need to know your legal rights. From there you can make decisions on what would be fair for your family’s situation.
2. Find a great mediator for you both: In my experience, a mediator is almost more important than your lawyer. Especially, if you and your ex really aim to have an amicable split. The mediator can essentially write up your separation...
After my separation I literally fell off the map...for years!
I hardly kept up with any of my old friends, and even when I did, the contact or the communication was very brief and usually inconsistent. Thinking back on it, I felt a lot of shame and anger and grief about my marriage ending and how my friends would take me and what they would think! (Honestly: I was also flat out overwhelmed with just basic day to day things like raising kids and working full-time.)
And so, apparently, my way of working through all those feelings (while keeping a job and raising good kids) was to become a bit of a hermit, and re-discover myself in solitude.
As in, what was it like to be me, with as little outside influence as possible.
I had to really get confident and straight about what was working and what needed to be let go of. I needed to break it all down, way back to the very beginning, and just find myself again. Or actually, find myself completely for the first...
I’ve been on vacation for the past few weeks, and as I sit in my parent’s kitchen in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, I have been trying to make some sense of how it’s been 20 years since I graduated high school.
20 years is more years than it takes to be a legal adult for god sakes! At least in Canada :) And that’s just my life SINCE I’ve graduated high school – I lived plenty before then too!
But I don't feel "old".
I think I’ve been trying to wrangle my literal age with the fact that it feels like just yesterday that I was heading off to university and moving out of my parents’ house. And boy oh boy, did I ever think I knew everything! Everything was possible, with some hard work and determination. That sort-of thing.
Thankfully, most days, I feel as young as ever and have been blessed with good health - so far so good as they say! I think it also worries me that this life passes by so quickly...
The first year after separation is the hardest, simply because of all the changes that need to be weathered! Whether you initiated the split or not, life is definitely different than it was when you were married. So, here’s my take on 10 things that helped me get through that first year, and into the future:
1 My kids: Honestly, their love for me was really healing. Their love for me and their energy and excitement for life, carried me through some rough times. It was trans-formative. It still constantly inspires me to bring my best self to my life – for them.
2 Old resurrected hobbies: Doing more of the things I enjoyed and rediscovering long lost hobbies or activities I hadn’t done in years, made me happy. It was sort of the start of finding myself, in-amongst all the drama and going on around me with regards to my separation.
3 My routine: Being needed really helped keep me going. Whether it be at work, or for...
I hope that one day, all families of separation/divorce can truly live each of these items wholeheartedly.
1) I believe that you can genuinely love/care about your ex-spouse. You can fully respect them and have a peaceful relationship that includes a healthy dose of respect and loving care. You have a lot of history together and you both have a serious interest in raising your children.
2) I believe you love your children more than life itself. Everything you do - and especially, and likely most difficult at the beginning, how you relate to your ex-spouse - should come from a heart drenched in the love of your children. How can you hate your ex when your kids think he/she is as awesome as you?
3) I believe amazing things can happen when you act from a place of love. It's all about love. Always. No matter what the circumstance or scenario. Do you react from a place of love or hate? It's entirely up to you. Even if the other...
I absolutely love this quote – it helps me remember to lean towards hope and not shrink back into fear. And that’s a constant check and balance I have to make with myself.
I’ve been separated from my ex for just about three years now and of all the bazillion lessons the whole process has taught me, the number one would be this: Dare to live your Truth
Separating a family is so impossibly hard on innumerable levels and affects the children so directly, that if you are courageous enough to take action and separate from your ex (or if you are simply dealt this hand) – then my God – dedicate the rest of your days to doing whatever is in line with your life’s purpose. Separation and Divorce is so messy that you might as well aim to have a happy life after all the dust settles! It’s your responsibility to your children, if not yourself.
In the end, we all just want to feel satisfied and complete in some way....