Regardless of why you got divorced, boundaries are Key to help build a peaceful and grounded future for yourself.  It is even more so important if you have children together.  Since you have no control over what your ex might do, you want to establish what boundaries are important for you so you can stay true to yourself.  The first question most women ask me, is how do I really know what the right boundaries for me are? My answer to that is to get to know your external and internal necessary boundaries. Our external boundaries protect us from being taken advantage of or imposed upon by our ex. Our internal boundaries protect us from ourselves, where we wouldn’t allow ourselves to do too much for our ex.

Although boundaries really vary for each individual person, here are some that I thought would be important for you think about and ideally implement.

Effective Communication:

Effective communication is key to every relationship, including the relationship with your ex-spouse. For most of my clients this is a huge trigger point. They react strongly saying something along the lines: ”If we would have been able to communicate we might have not gotten to this point!”, or “How do you expect me to communicate with him/her, there is no one home to listen!” However, my belief is that even if you were unable to effectively communicate during your marriage it doesn’t mean that you can’t start doing so now.  Focus on yourself only and learn how to express what you want and need clearly, so you can avoid confusion and misunderstandings.  Stay away from pointing fingers at your ex, criticizing and judging. Just focus on how you feel and what you need and express your feelings and thoughts calmly.

When not to communicate with your ex:

You might have had a really hard day and then came home to a leak or your boiler breaking down. You feel exhausted and drained and are about to break down and cry and feel the need to reach out to your ex for help. This is when you should NOT be communicating what you want, since you are in crises mode and are thinking emotionally. You want to make sure to maintain solid boundaries and reaching out at inappropriate times will blur them greatly.

Miss independent:

The week after I got separated, I got my very first credit card. I never had one under my name since my ex wanted to be in control. I also enrolled in driving lessons, (I know I was late in the game), since he never wanted me to drive. My goal was to get myself as independent as possible, emotionally and financially. I set out to look for job opportunities (I had been a stay at home mom), and found a great opportunity. The sooner you become financially and emotionally independent from your ex the better. Even if you are getting maintenance and child support that is court ordered you want to work towards your own independence. The more dependent you are the more your ex will feel in control over your life, which is not something you want him to have.

Let go:

It is hard to let go, especially if you were married for a while and shared a beautiful home with ex. As hard as it is however, it is important that you learn to let go and not hold on to things that will keep you in your past. Regardless of how attached you might be to some things, if the court has decided that it belongs to your ex, it is time to let go. Don’t hold onto things, as it means that you are holding on to your past and it will just keep causing conflict and issues between you and your ex.

Keep out:

It might be hard for you to transition into living your life independently and allowing your ex to live his, but you want to do whatever it takes to stay out of his/her business.  Keep conversation cordial, but respect their boundary of privacy. Don’t question them about their dating life, or what that did this past weekend.  You are no longer a couple and what he/she does really doesn’t concern you.

I know some of these boundaries may be harder than others to implement, but remember you and your ex are no longer a couple and the sooner you establish healthy boundaries the sooner you will learn to live your own independent life. Turn the focus on yourself and let go of what was and could have been.

If you are struggling and feel overwhelmed and alone, feel free to reach out for your complimentary “Unleash your power” complementary session. Click here to schedule your appointment.

 

 

You found out your ex moved on…. What was your reaction? What did you feel? For many of us it comes as a shock to our system. Why ? Because you don’t quite understand how he is ready to move on so fast after a deeply committed long term relationship. You probably felt sad and almost sick to your stomach thinking about him being with someone who took your place.  So here are some tips that I strongly suggest you follow to lessen the pain and help along with the healing process.

  1. Allow yourself to feel

It is normal for you to have an emotional reaction to the news of your ex being in a new relationship and  feelings of anger, confusion, anxiety, rejection, depression, jealousy are to be expected. Perhaps you are stuck thinking about what went wrong and are confused as to how he could possibly have moved on so fast, while you are still reeling in pain. Or maybe you feel an overwhelming sense of jealousy towards the new woman in his life. Promise yourself to honor your emotions and give yourself permission to feel. When you don’t fight painful feelings they tend to subside sooner. And yes it will get better…  I  promise!

  1. Do NOT turn yourself into a stalker

Back in the day when I got divorced we didn’t have social media or facebook, so stalking ex’s wasn’t as easy as it is today. With technology making it so easy for us it is very tempting to check out your ex’s FB page and find out information about the girl who stole your ex’s heart. But think about it… what good will it do for you? What will gain by it?  Once you find her profile you will have a million things running through your mind, such as “What does she have that I don’t?”, “what does he see in her?”, “why her and not me?”… these questions will just drive you crazy and end up holding you back from moving on. Go out there, grab a cup of coffee with a friend, go to a yoga class or do anything else that makes YOU HAPPY!

  1. Newer isn’t always better

Here is the thing, a new woman is not like getting a new car, so don’t think of it as your ex got an upgrade. He didn’t! the person your ex is dating isn’t necessarily smarter, prettier, funnier, more attractive, kinder than you. The fact that you broke up wasn’t a failure on your part, it just didn’t work out. Some relationships are not meant to last forever, and you don’t know that things will work with this new person either. Your ex moving on is not a testament of your inadequacy.

  1. Focus on YOU

If it was your ex that initiated the breakup, or perhaps even cheated on you, you might still be in love with him/her. It makes sense that you are still obsessing over ways on how you could get him back. However, if he/she has moved on and is with someone new, you need to change the focus from him and what you the two of you had towards just YOU.  Don’t waste your thoughts and energy on him and his new girl, it won’t make him change his mind, instead start fully focusing on you.

  1. Reasons for your break up

One of the things that works really well for my clients is to make a list of reasons why your ex was not right for you, as well as why the relationship ended. Write down all the things that bothered and triggered you from him, from the smallest irritating thing to the biggest. For example: he/she was too loud, he/she had a short fuse, he/she was too into himself, he/she was shallow, he/she wasn’t romantic …. You get the idea. Now that you have your long list make sure you stick it on your fridge or next to your bathroom mirror where you will easily see it. Seeing and reading the list every day will help you stay focused on moving forward and allow you to build a future with someone way more amazing that will be a better match for you.

  1. Your ex didn’t WIN

My ex got engaged seven month after our divorce, his new fiancée had been divorced for a month. Granted it came as a shock, but I never ever perceived him moving on as him winning.  Moving on faster is not an indication of how desirable you are. If you look around you at people you know, you might notice that it’s not necessary the most desirable and attractive people who get into relationships easily. I was committed to healing and finding myself and nothing he did with his life really had an impact on me. Keep your focus on you. I know…. I keep saying it, but it’s the only way.

  1. Find things that distract you

It is normal for your mind to wander from time to time, thinking about your ex and his new girl. You probably picture them doing things that the two of you used to do together, or wonder how their relationship is different from what it was like with you. These thought are killers and really mess with our minds and heart since they reopen the breakup wounds. You have the power to shift your focus and find ways to distract yourself and keep your mind occupied with healthier and happier thoughts as well as things. Get a good book, hit the gym, pick up a new hobby, do things you wanted to do that your ex didn’t enjoy. The goal is to find fun distractions that are healthy so your mind can stop focusing on your ex.  Remember “where focus goes energy flows”, Tony Robbins.

It will take time to heal the breakup/divorce wounds, but as they say time heals almost everything. Give time time, and remember to stay focused on yourself and find healthy ways to occupy your mind with.

If you are struggling and feel overwhelmed and alone, feel free to reach out for your complimentary “Unleash your power” complementary session. Click here to schedule your appointment.

 

When faced with challenges and adversity in our lives, with have two choices and two choices only.

We can either become victims or the victors in our story. After my divorce I have to admit that I started feeling a little sorry for myself shifting into the self-pity zone. But after a while of being there I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere, and really hated feeling sorry for myself.  Yes I got hurt, yes I got the raw end of the deal, so now what? Would sitting in self-pity help change anything? I had to face reality and made a decision to snap out of it and to step into my victory mode. I sat down and took a good look at my story and said to myself: “I am now going to see what I have learned from this journey, and utilize it to create a better future for myself”.

Here are  five things that I learned from my divorce:

Realistic expectations: When I first got married, I was perhaps naïve in my perspective as to what marriage and relationships should be. I think I kind of had a fairy tale vision, where the princess gets rescued and they lived happily ever after.  I learned that relationships need work from both parties and that there will be times when the going gets rough, for which you need to have the skills and tools to better handle those times. As a women I learned that we have a lot of power and insight into aspects of emotions that men don’t really have, and we can utilize these insight to help improve our relationships and build something beautiful.

What really matters: After the divorce I got a much clearer understanding of who I am and what it is that I really need in  a relationship. The things that I was attracted to initially now seemed trivial, and it shifted my mindset to what truly matters in life. Sometimes we think attraction is the most important thing, while missing serious red flags, or we get swept off our feet by superficial things that in the long run won’t matter. You want to make sure that the foundation of building a long lasting relationship is there. Do you share same values? Do you respect each other? Do you share the same dreams? Do you understand and know the different love languages? Do you know your own flaws and triggers?

Get to know yourself: The most important thing I learned was why I ended up in the relationship to begin with, which led me down a long journey of self-healing and therapy. Going into my marriage I had no idea how my own self-image could possibly impact my relationship, but I learned that people will treat us the way we treat and see ourselves. I had to travel back to my childhood and deal with many uncomfortable and painful feelings and realities to gain a better understanding into myself, and how it may have manifested itself in my marriage. If you find yourself in a place in which you haven’t fully learned to love and embrace yourself you might want to work on falling in love with yourself before you pursue a new relationship.

You are much stronger then you know:  Humans are emotional being, and so we are greatly impacted by pain and hardships. However as fragile as we are we are a lot stronger then we realize. When I felt like giving up I had to keep pushing, you know why? Because I had a beautiful daughter and I had no choice but to keep going. As Winston Churchill said: “the only way to get through hell, is to keep  going”.  You might feel scared, lonely, sad, overwhelmed and panicked, but something deep within you will give you a sense of strength you never knew you had. Believe it or not, you don’t know what you are made of till you are pushed to the limits.

Change can bring gifts: When I first got divorced I stayed in the condo we had bought, but after a while I was desperate to get away and start fresh. I wanted to put that chapter behind me and find my new life.  The changes that divorce brings can really be a huge gift, a gift for new beginning, a new future. Take this time to honor who you always wanted to be in the marriage but couldn’t, take this time to truly get back to who you are at your best, at your most passionate and start living your dream. He may no longer be a part of your dream, but you can create a new vision and pursue all the things you never had in your marriage.

No journey is the same, and most likely yours might be different to mine, but I am sure there are things you can learn from your divorce. Take those lessons and utilize them to change your life for the better.

If you are struggling and feel overwhelmed and alone, feel free to reach out for your complimentary “Unleash your power” complementary session. Click here to schedule your appointment.

 

So, yesterday was my birthday a big number, one I try to kind of deny to myself even. So last night I sat down and asked myself what did I actually learn this past year? Am I really a year older and wiser? Taking a deep look at my soul and reflecting back on the past year I came up with a few things that I think really have shifted for me this year.  I wanted to share them with you, because sharing is caring and if I can just help one person out there it was worth all the challenges that got me to the lessons learned.

  1. My relationship with God. Here is the thing, my relationship with God hasn’t always been great. It was more of a love, hate relationship similar to the one I had with my father. It was filled with fear and awe, yet never really close and full of faith. A lot has happened over the course of my life in which I did some deep soul searching and healing and learned that God is nothing like my father. He is kind, compassionate, caring and all merciful, and that the challenges we encounter in our lives are there for our growth. (this is a long enough topic for a whole other blog). Some of the challenges really where bigger then what I thought I could handle and overcome, but looking back I see a clear pattern. During the hardest times of my life there where only one set of footprints in the sand, for it is in those times that God was actually carrying me, rather than just walking by my side.  One of the most difficult moments of my life  happened two years ago when my husband had a heart attack and a stroke! My world came crashing down and I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. Yet I clearly remember a force of energy within me while sitting in the ICU watching my husband on the respirator. I clearly remember a spirit holding me up when I felt like I was falling apart.  I clearly remember talking to God and asking him to please not take away the love of my life whom I found after many years that where filled with pain.  My husband eventually woke up and started a long journey of recovery. There were days where I felt like dying inside, the challenges ahead seemed like huge mountains and I missed the man I had married terribly. He had to relearn many things and spend a long time in therapy and rehab. It was during this time that I realized clearly that on the days that I had full faith in God that things will get better I CLEARLY saw the improvements and the shifts. On the days that I spoke to God, expressed my fears and trusted he would help us, I saw miracles.  I now know that when I encounter a challenge all I have to do is connect to God, talk to him, ask him for guidance and direction and I right away feel calmer, more at peace and regain my confidence.
  2. Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. I am sure you have found yourself at times focusing on what you don’t have, its natural, we are all guilty of it. I have noticed a clear pattern in myself. Anytime I get feelings of frustrated or discontent they are a direct result of my focus. “Where Focus goes, energy flows” -Tony Robbins, and so when I find myself focusing on what I don’t have rather then what I do have I noticed that all of a sudden frustrations kick in and everything seems bleak. I actually just experienced it last week, while traveling with my family on a vacation. We were spending some time with other families and all of sudden it seemed like this couples life was just picture perfect, all smooth sailing. I starting focusing on the challenges my husband and I had to overcome after the heart attack and stroke and immediately felt myself shift into a negative place.  I right away said to myself “Stop, focus on what you do have”, he could have not made it all, he made it and he is alive and thank God well. That is why I am a big believer in having a gratitude journal or joining a gratitude support group. I find that when we express what we are grateful for in writing we train our minds to focus on the positive which makes all the difference in the world. The same goes for focusing on what you can change, rather than focusing on what you can’t change.  This mindset directly impacts the outcome of your life and relationships. I became strongly aware of the things that are out of my control and constantly remind myself to stop wanting to change them. Instead I focus on what I can change and think of solutions and strategies based on that.  Make a conscious decision to focus on what you can control. Focus on solutions instead of the problems. Focus only what YOU can do to change a situation, not what you wish others would do that would change the situation.  This mindset has helped me shift my mindset to happier more content place.
  3. Focus on the future.  We are all impacted by our pasts, childhoods, negative or painful experiences, but what we chose to focus on will determine the level of our success.  There are times when I would allow my past to define me and hold me back from what I truly want in my life. I sometimes feel that my failures or my story are ME and forget that it’s just a part of my journey. I learned that I can re-write my story and not be a prisoner to my past, perceived failures or painful experiences. Granted it takes a lot of inner work, healing and serious self-motivation, but I refuse to let myself be defined by my past and am on a mission to re-write my story. If you want to change your life then change your story.

Sharing these lessons, is a gift from me to you on my birthday and I hope that it helped you somewhat and perhaps gave you some food for thought….

If you are struggling and feel overwhelmed and alone, feel free to reach out for your complimentary “Unleash your power” complementary session. Click here to schedule your appointment.