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.

 



Investing in yourself


Pics - stones

 

My favourite phonecalls are the ones from people who have heard about Healthy Chat or have searched for a coach, a counsellor or a psychotherapist in their area and are taking positive action to change their lives. If a company isn’t paying for their coaching, or an organisation isn’t funding their personal development, or a person’s medical insurance isn’t financing their psychotherpay … it can only mean one thing … the person calling me is committed to investing in themselves.

 

If that’s you I can tell from the outset you’re a motivated, forward thinking, realistic individual who knows that sometimes progress can only be made with some highly-focussed support. That knowledge puts you ahead of 90% of the planet. Much can be learned from parents, teachers, peers, colleagues and books, however sometimes there’s just no faster way of understanding where you want to go and making a clear plan to getting there than working with a coach for a session or two.

 

I hired my first coach when I was 32 years old. I had interviewed 6 in all (each in the US because in the early millenium there was no such thing as an executive coach in the UK!), and ultimately I picked a wise man in his 60s who was calm, intuitive and positive. He’d had 40 years of corporate life, he’d set up his own businesses and he was now semi-retired and living in a lake-view log cabin with his wife and near their children and grandchildren.

 

I selected him over the other coaches partly because of his life and career experience (which I could see myself emulating) and mainly because he hadn’t tried to supply me with suggestions or solutions. He just said – ‘if you think something’s possible, it likely is’.

 

I worked with him for over a year as I grew my first business from a single client to my first hundred clients and beyond. I spent those sessions detailing ‘I want the next part to be like this’ and my coach would ask great questions:

  • what does that feel like when you see yourself signing that contract / serving that team / making a difference to that group of professionals
  • what are you willing to let go in order to achieve that
  • what are you unwilling to sacrifice to get that result
  • how can you add more value and go the extra mile
  • how can you remain authentic as a single mum, a new business owner, a student and a teacher

I stretched way beyond what I was comfortable doing – marketing my coaching services, asking for recommendations, growing my business every month, meeting with CEOs and HR Directors, presenting from a stage, running diversity programs for 100s of people at a time.

 

It wasn’t at all easy. I cried often. I challenged my limiting thoughts and stepped into each fear as it presented itself. I live now with the benefits of all that stretching. And I’m still doing it. I’ve had 8 coaches between that year and now. Each one was valuable for the life chapter I was in. Some were extraordinarily powerful … others I moved on from pretty quickly. And so is life’s journey. A process of visions, trials, stretches, lessons and victories.

 

I’m ready now for a next chapter of change. I’ve selected the coach to partner me with staying clear, motivated and authentic. What about you?

 

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.

 



Enough with tolerating


38. Freedom

 

This afternoon I chose to leave work a little early and go down to the pool for some exercise and some mind clearing. After 30 minutes and with 64 lengths done and dusted (that’s a mile exactly if you’re wondering about the random number) I headed to the showering area.

 

As I was washing my hair a woman with a young son and daughter pushed the buttons of the showers opposite. Whilst the mum and son quietly got on with their shampooing, the daughter felt the water on her back and said ‘burning, burning, burning …’. Strangely though, she didn’t step out from underneath the heat of the shower. She stayed in there chanting ‘burning, burning, burning …’ over and over again as her mum encouraged her to ‘get on with it, get your hair washed’ and re-pressed the water button for more.

 

Clearly the child wasn’t genuinely burning or anywhere near it, but it got me thinking …

 

How many of us tolerate ongoing discomfort on a daily basis without taking action to change things? How many people speak to friends and family about how demoralising is their job, or how disrespectful is their relationship, then get up the next day and tolerate it all over again. How many adults suffer weeks, months and years of repetitive, joy-less ‘burning, burning, burning …’ in their life expecting someone else to show up and rescue them? Far too many is the answer.

 

The dictionary defines tolerating as ‘allowing the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one dislikes or disagrees with without interference’. So why do we do that? Where do we learn that that’s ok?

 

In my experience there are 2 main reasons: the first is that we’ve seen tolerating modelled to us from a young age (parents in an unhappy marriage for example) or society tells us there’s one right way (‘divorce would be failing’) and we haven’t thought to challenge those models; and the second is that tolerating creeps up on us so slowly and over such an extended amount of time that we’ve forgotten that the contrasting experience really exists.

 

Whatever the reason, if you’re reading this and you’re an adult tolerating stressful, depressing, disrespectful days on end, then it’s time to stop it. And the first step’s already occurred – you’ve noticed. Sometimes that’s all that needs to happen because then you’ll begin to spot that choices are available to you.

 

Choosing not to tolerate means making a choice for change.

 

And change doesn’t have to be sudden, severe or painful – I’m not advocating job quitting or relationship ditching (although they could be valid choices – only you’ll know). I’m saying this:

  • Start to pay attention to your discomfort
  • Use it to create a contrasting thought (eg. if I DON’T want to be given the routine tasks at work every day, it means I DO want to get involved with some special projects. Do you feel the empowerment of shifting a don’t to a do?)
  • Write down the outcome you want to achieve (it’s good to be reminded should you have some weaker moments)
  • Take action (talk to someone, research your choices, skill yourself up to get the result you want, be patient (your partner might take a while to get up to speed) and be persistent (don’t go back to how things were)
  • Review every day whether your thought changes, new conversations and action taking are getting you closer to the vision

You’re a valuable, smart, worthy human being. Choose every moment to believe that. When you stand up for happiness, you’ll be surprised who’ll show up to stand with you.

 

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.

 



Stress relief


299. CalmnessStress and its side effects are on the increase. The worst-case knock on effect of acute or ongoing stress can be depression, illness and a sense of being out-of-control of your life. So what are the stressors you need to look out for? How do you spot them? Then manage them in order to stay calm?

 

I was at a weekend conference recently and one of the topics was an exploration of how our world and cultures have evolved. Turns out that while you have more choice than every before in history – where you live, what you eat, which relationships you commit to and how your career progresses – you’re actually not always fully equipped to manage the range of choices too far beyond what you’ve been taught are ‘normal’ and ‘right’.

 

So if your parents did a church, white wedding, you’re more likely to want the same regardless of whether you’ve been active in developing your faith up to the point of choosing marriage. Equally if your peers all commit to university as the right next step after high school, you may well be swayed that way even though the best choice for you could be to go straight into work, do an apprenticeship or start up on your own from day one.

 

Each of these compromises, the choices that take you away from where your intuition is guiding you, increases the stressors in your life and impacts your health and sense of wellbeing. So how do you navigate your own path? How do you get to a place where life has success and meaning for you for now and for whenever you view your future?

 

The key is calmness. Keeping an emotional equilibrium allows your brain to filter in the best choices for you at any given time. Investing time in knowing what you want from life will also fast track your decision making and your ability to achieve. So get some clarity around who you most like to spend time with, what your career goals are, where you want to travel, how fit you want to be, how you want to contribute to your community and what activities make you most happy in any given moment.

 

Developing calmness – which leads to awareness – can be done in any number of ways. You can do it through breathing, mindfulness, running, swimming, mediation, prayer, reading, writing, talking, quiet contemplation, exploring, painting … the list is endless. You can work out what’s most effective for the person you are and the lifestyle you lead. Then as you practice integrating conscious calmness into your life you’ll notice that your thoughts remain clearer, your decision making becomes more targeted, your compromising reduces and your sense of self-worth and achievement are daily celebrations.

 

Relief from stress is a positive choice. It’s a necessary part of achieving in today’s increasingly complex world. And it’s your route to opportunity and meaning in a way that only you would resonate with. Your life, your life choices, your calm happiness.

 
 

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.