Successful divorce – is it doable?


14. respectful divorce

 

Best together? Best apart? Stay married? Get divorced? These are not assumptions I make when a husband, wife or partner comes to talk to me (either separately or together). Relationships are extraordinarily unique things and two (or more) people can be in one, be committed, yet still have entirely different perspectives about longevity, intimacy, sharing, friendship, ownership, control, roles and contribution within a household.

 

We learn models of what makes a ‘good’ relationship from what we observe when we’re growing up – parents, older family, couples we know from church, school or clubs. Possibly without conscious thought we hear stories and layer assumption after assumption onto ‘marriage’ or ‘living together’ and progress into adult life with those assumptions relatively unchallenged. Rarely do they match up when we get to the point of choosing a partner and moving to co-habiting with them.

 

The concept of ‘forever’ is hugely tied up with a successful relationships. But is that really the case? Or can we put this in a personal choice category along with: quantity of time spent with each other; common interests; matching faiths or philosophies; cultural or socio-economily similar backgrounds. These topics could be highly relevant or not at all – there’s really no right or wrong answer.

 

Some of the most common assumptions I hear are:

  • Yes, they’re happily married – they’ve been together for 30 years
  • They have 4 children and one on the way – they’re so committed
  • She’s his wife – of course she knows how he feels
  • Women are just better at nurturing and raising children
  • They must be happy … they never argue
  • They got divorced – that’s a failed relationships

This list is inexhaustible because no people who choose to live a chapter of their life together can ever fully know how that’s going to play out over the months, years and decades to come. One of the biggest challenges to a partnership that I see is when a person or couple reference their success against other couples, then register dissatisfaction because their relationship isn’t as supportive, happy, exciting or authentic as the couple they ‘think they know’.

 

It’s important to note that:

  • generally couples don’t disclose or dissect  their full experiences with other couples (there perhaps isn’t the time, isn’t the right trust, or there can be a sense of not wanting to be seen to be ‘failing’)
  • most couples are happy to share the fun, special or unusual event or experiences of their relationship – and not the routine, painful or challenging bits
  • often the people we seek advice from (older family members or friends) are having or have had similar challenges within their relationship. They may still together because they’ve developed tolerance (not a bad thing) but perhaps not always a deep understanding. They’re perhaps not fully equipped (or expert) then to offer you a well-thought-through strategy that will turn your relationship around

 

Successful relationships have a life cycle – they might well have ups and downs be destined for ‘forever’. They may equally have ups and downs and reach a point were one or both parties no longer see their futures together. Either way it’s the respect, the hope and the ability to communicate that will ultimately define whether successful divorce follows or whether successful togetherness continues.

 

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.

 



Change your thoughts – change your life


As Healthy Chat evolves and begins to morph and manifest into the vision I’ve been holding for nearly 5 years, the process has encouraged me to look at how I’ve been resourced personally to get to this point.

Since 2009 my pace of life has changed as has my family shape, my home, and my friendships. I’ve moved from a garden-flat in the energy-packed city of London to a house in a quite village on Scotland’s east coast; from independent living with my daughter, to collaborative living as an extended family. And that’s not all; my sports have changed – from squash and running to tennis and swimming – as has my fitness, diet, finances, confidence, spiritual practices, education and volunteering time.

If you’d told me even 3 years ago that my life would have sustained such all-encompassing changes I’d have said ‘no way’. And so I’m here now asking myself how it’s possible that I’m not a quivering bundle sobbing in the corner? What has sustained me, what has kept me trusting and taking just a single further step forward? The answer is multi-faceted but at the core it involves resourceful thinking, an ability to reframe any situation as positive and faith in my vision.

For years I’ve wanted uplifting, life-changing, hope-filled conversations to be as normalised and as accessible as a good gym. This culture of ‘oh he’s seeing a therapist, he must be in crisis’, or ‘she’s working with a coach, there must be a problem’ is so 1900s. In 2013, coaching and theraputic conversations are underpinned by science, research and extraordinary professionalism – they’re going to make an impact.

This new ‘personally–unlimited’ era embraces a Healthy Chat as one of many success tools – specialized, empowering, breakthrough conversations.

Living life successfully is more complex in this millennium than ever before in history. We live in a world of increased choice and where we used to filter hundreds of choices we now filter millions.

From childhood, through teens to independent living our experiences influence how we look at our world. Then on through relationships, children (or not), work choices, travel, time investments in health, fitness and fun, finances, free-time, sport, food, technology, home life, self expression, peer groups, new interests, what to let go of, what to commit to … phew … endless choices. And understandably it can all be a bit overwhelming.

Where we used to be taught by our communities that there was a ‘right way’ to live life; the evolving world culture is one of multi-levelled acceptance of difference and an embracing of diversity. Developing a new skill set of personal clarity, respect and non-judgement is key.It makes for a more colourful world canvas that way too.

New thinking means that some of the old ways have to be let go of – you get to choose which received ‘wisdom’ has value and which is baggage. Keep one, dump the other. Change your thoughts and you change your life.

 

Jennifer Broadley is the founder of www.HealthyChat.co.uk. Since 2012 she has worked full time delivering therapeutic, life-changing conversations from her private practices in Aberdeen, Dundee and the north of Scotland. She additionally works with UK clients by phone and European clients by skype. In 2002 Jennifer set up an executive coaching company supporting the continued high performance of business leaders and entrepreneurs working for medium and large companies – she is still active in this sector through www.JenniferBroadley.com.

 

Jennifer was brought up in West Africa, educated in Scotland and lived and worked in Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia before returning to a London base in 1997. She and her daughter now live on the UK's east coast, where she continues to coach and write. Jennifer is a writer and a published author. Her first book 'The 7 Steps to Personal & Professional Freedom'®, is available on www.Amazon.co.uk. For therapy or executive coaching enquiries please email, message or call Jennifer via her websites.