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Where do we get the confidence, courage, direction, and reassurance necessary to have a successful recovery from divorce?

Divorce Recovery and Social Support – Everyone Needs a Change Buddy in Their Recovery from Divorce

By Jerald Young, Ph.D.

This article answers the question, “What do I do if I can’t make this recovery from divorce alone?”

Who do you select to help you through the divorce recovery process? Find out why the typical first choices will not be helpful. Find out who can actually help walk you through your recovery.

Recovery from divorce requires us to confront the emotional reality of lost hopes and dashed dreams. We also have to confront our fears of an unknown future. When we are immersed in this emotional process, often we can’t see our options or understand the reality of the situation as clearly as when the pressure is off.  We need someone whom we trust to help us handle this life transition effectively.

The Value of a Good “Change Buddy”

When effective, this person can significantly reduce the pressures and stress of change facing us. They can help you sort out the reality of the situation from our perceptions that are notoriously “squirrelly” during this time in our life. This person can clarify the “right-headedness” of our decisions and “right-size” the effects of our emotional reactions. I call such a person a “change buddy.” However, not just anybody will do.

Two Necessary Qualifications for Your “Change Buddy”

Change Buddy’s should have two critical qualifications.

(1) First, they should have NO PERSONAL AGENDA. Their only concern is your happiness and success – regardless of what the ultimate form or final arrangement may be. In addition,

(2) they should be able to tell you the TRUTH, even when it is not what you want to hear. That means you have to trust this person enough to give them permission to be honest with you, without endangering your relationship and friendship.

Ironically, this usually rules out spouses, family members, and bosses. Those people almost always have a preferred solution they would like us to accept.

An Example of The Pitfalls of Choosing a Change Buddy

A young acquaintance of mine had been married for four years. She realized the marriage was not going to work. They had no children and she knew divorce was the right thing to do. She needed someone to assist her through her transition. She chose her mother. Bad choice.

Her mother, having been through the pain of two divorces, had her own personal agenda for her daughter, which was to “protect her daughter from that pain and financial loss at all costs.” She pressured her daughter non-stop to reconcile with her financially stable ex, even though that was the last thing her daughter needed or wanted. After a few heart-rending weeks, the daughter “fired” her mother from the change buddy role, recruited an old college friend, and made a very successful recovery from divorce.

Having someone we trust to have only our own happiness at heart will make things much easier and saner while we march down the path of our personal recovery from divorce.


Divorce Recovery and Blessings in Disguise – Find the Confidence for Making a Smooth Divorce Recovery

By Jerald Young, Ph.D.

This article answers the question, “Where do I find the confidence needed to handle recovering from my divorce?”

Are you concerned you may not be able to handle your divorce recovery successfully? Find out why that is nonsense. And uncover the treasure chest of confidence you may not even know you have that will help deliver a smooth recovery from divorce.

Divorce leaves everyone, at some point, awash in self doubt. We wonder, “How am I going to deal with this? Can I deal with this? Will I get through it without life-long scars? What gives me the confidence to believe I can really pull this off?”

“Been There, Done That” – The Key to Building Confidence for Handling Life Changes

“Been there, done that.” The message is, if I have done it before, certainly I can do it again. But what if I haven’t done it before? What if I am being asked to do something that is brand new, unique, foreign, strange, unwanted, even surreal? Such is the experience of divorce for many of us, as well as its sequel, recovery from divorce.

We never planned to get divorced. We never received training in school in how to recover from divorce. In fact, we often thought divorce was something that happened to “other people.” However, here we are, knee-deep in our stuff, trying to make a recovery from divorce, and wondering: “Can I really do this?”

Blessings in Disguise – The Source of Confidence for Making A Divorce Recovery

It turns out, “Been there, done that” is good news for anyone wanting to make a recovery from divorce. Even though we may not realize it, we have “been there, done that” – even if we’ve never been divorced before.

Our life experiences teach us how to make it through major change. Whether it is getting over our awkward first love affair in junior high school, making a comeback after getting downsized, changing careers, etc. – everyone has gone through unwanted change and eventually has come out the other side. Almost always we are able to acknowledge we learned something valuable about ourselves we would otherwise never known.

We call it a “Blessing in Disguise.” A “blessing in disguise” is a change we did not want to go through, but did anyway, after which we realized that we derived some good for going through the experience. Acknowledging blessings born by change gives us confidence to face other life changes, including recovery from divorce.

An Example of How Your Blessings in Disguise Can Help You Recover from Divorce

Sally’s life was turned upside down when her husband of 10 years filed for divorce. She felt adrift, powerless, and relatively hopeless. She was all but paralyzed in making her recovery from divorce. Then it was pointed out that she has made it through a setback in a successful career, a long-term recovery from a chemical dependency, and the death of a child. These difficult life experiences had given her the blessing of knowing she was very capable of successfully handling difficult, unwanted, major changes in her life. And, that dealing with her recovery from her divorce was not that much different from what she had already weathered. Within weeks her attitude shifted and she began to thrive in her new life after divorce.



Divorce Recovery & the 5 Sources of Hope – How to Find the Courage to Make a Smooth Divorce Recovery

By Jerald Young, Ph.D.

This article answers the question, “Where do I find the courage to handle the uncertainty of making a recovery from divorce?”

Uneasy about stepping into the unknown future that is the essence of divorce recovery? Inside you will discover where to find the courage to move forward in the face of the doubt and worry caused by going through recovery from divorce. If you are currently going through a divorce, then make sure you find here the proper help from a divorce lawyer or a  legal separation lawyer.

Handling a divorce is a legal process that deals with family law, and as such it is pretty straight forward. You hire divorce attorney services and have them explain to you what you have to do in order to secure the best outcome possible. Indeed, what comes after that is a bit more complex. Recovery from divorce requires us to make a “leap of faith” into an unknown future. Since we haven’t done it yet, we don’t really know for sure how it will turn out. Our personal source of hope gives us the courage to move forward in the face of the uncertainty.

But the hard question is, “Where can I go to find my personal source of hope?”

Hope Can Be Found Within Ourselves

A person’s “source of hope” might include an implicit trust in him or herself. People use their belief that they have the ability to handle anything that they may encounter to give them courage to face their recovery from divorce.

Hope Can Be Found in Others

Hope can also be found in a belief in the trustworthy, good intentions of their friends. They have experienced what they consider “trustworthy” treatment in the past, and subsequently trust others to protect them from harm and help them as they face the challenges of divorce recovery.

Hope Can Be Found in Our Philosophical Belief Systems

Still others’ seek their hope in more intellectual areas, like philosophy. We all have been exposed to explanations about what life is all about. Sometimes it seems to “fit with our experience” and therefore “makes sense” to us. We may not have called it “my philosophy of life,” but that’s what it is, nonetheless. Search that philosophy for its basis for hope, especially where it addresses the reasons for being optimistic about life. It will almost always hold out hope for making future transitions, including divorce recovery.

Hope Can Be Found in Our Religious Or Spiritual Beliefs

Some find hope in their spiritual beliefs. It may be in an organized religion. It may be a non-religious, spiritual belief in the existence of good in this world. A strong spiritual belief enables us to “act as if” good is there waiting for us in all unknown future situations.

Hope Can Be Found in Nature

Others find a basis for hope in the infinite complexity and beauty of nature. Some find it in the cosmos. Others find it in the microscope. Others find it in flowers, lakes, mountains, oceans. I had a client whose divorce recovery had been stuck for four years. Then she spent a week enjoying the woods of New Hampshire. When she returned the logjam that had been preventing her from moving on had broken up, and she was able to make a “miraculous” divorce recovery in the next four weeks.

Which Source to Use Does Matter

However, what it matters on is what makes sense to you personally! When faced with making our recovery from divorce, we must FIND our source of hope and USE it! There we will find the strength to know things will work out for the good. The result is courage to confront the demons that threaten our successful recovery from divorce

Divorce Recovery and Personal Principles – How to Maintain Direction During the Chaos of Divorce Recovery

By Jerald Young, Ph.D.

This article answers the question, “How can I stay focused on what is important for my divorce recovery in the midst of the chaos of exploding emotions?”

Do you feel buffeted by forces you can’t control while trying to make your recovery from divorce? Inside discover how your personal principles provide a stable compass that keeps you on course despite the chaos and distractions that are associated with divorce recovery.

Divorce recovery often leaves us feeling lost, off-balance, disoriented, and vulnerable. Sometimes we feel as if we are careening off course and out of control. Our personal principles can give us confidence by reassuring us we are on course in our journey to a successful and satisfying life after divorce.

Divorce Recovery Is Like Driving Down the Interstate in a Fog

An image that made sense to me when I was neck-deep in the divorce recovery process was driving down the interstate in a dense fog. A very real question for me was, “How can I make sure I stay in the road and not drive into the ditch?” Fortunately, superhighways have a way of reminding us when we are straying off course – those rat-a-tat-tat bumps on the side of the road that warn us we are getting too close to the shoulder. Our personal principles perform the same function – warning us when we are veering off course.

An Example of How Your Personal Principles Can Help Your Recovery from Divorce

A client of mine was having trouble negotiating the choppy waters of life after divorce. Some of his issues were: “How should I deal with my ex?” “What do I do about dating?” “How should I manage the proceeds of the sale of my Soho loft?” These, and other related issues, were driving him crazy. He had trouble focusing on one without another wedging its way into his head. Metaphorically, he was trying to go forward in a fog. When asked what his primary personal principles were in dealing with this time in his life, he responded, “The welfare of my two children.” With that, the fog lifted. He realized that using his primary principle of “what’s best for my kids” as a compass gave him clarity for traveling the blurry road of divorce recovery.

The Promise – You Can Make a Successful Recovery from Divorce Because You Have Stability of Direction

The good news is, we all carry a compass we can use when lost and vulnerable. It will guide us through the maze of divorce recovery with a true feeling of stability and control. That compass is our set of personal principles. Our principles give us a way to determine if our decisions and actions are right or wrong for us in this specific divorce recovery situation. All we have to do is ask, “Is this consistent with or is it against my principles?” The answer will set you free to travel the murky waters of life after divorce.

Divorce Recovery and Your Hidden Strengths: Part 1

Find your hidden strengths for divorce recovery.

If you’re divorced or going through a divorce, you may be wondering how you’ll ever survive:

“I never thought I’d have to do this. I’ve never been in this predicament before.”
“Everything is new and threatening. I feel lost and afraid that things will never get better.”

These reactions are normal. Recovery from divorce is difficult at best. After all, it’s not something you personally do every day and feel competent at. However, it’s important to realize that you already possess all the personal resources you need to successfully recover from divorce.

What are they? I’m talking about the confidence that you can do it, a sense of the right direction in the midst of emotional chaos, the courage to press on when things seem unclear or even hopeless, and reassurance that you’re on the right track during the process.

And yes, I’m saying that you already possess them. In this first of two posts, we’ll take a look at two of your hidden strengths — and I’ll show you exactly how to find them.

1. CONFIDENCE: finding it in past blessings in disguise.
When it comes to successfully surviving unwanted change, we’ve all “been there, done that”. Think about it: getting over that awkward first love affair in junior high school, making a comeback after getting fired, or dealing with the illness or death of a friend or loved one: everyone has gone through unwanted change at some point in life. Eventually, when we come out the other side, we can still look back and see some good that came from the experience. In other words, we see the “Blessing in Disguise.”

Acknowledging a blessing born by change gives us confidence to face future change, including recovery from divorce. You may have no experience with divorce, but all life changes follow the same transition process. Therefore, what we learn from previous change we apply to divorce recovery. Blessings in disguise are tangible proof that we can do it again — because we’ve done it before.

The key to finding your confidence is simply to identify your blessings in disguise. These blessings are tangible proof that you can survive change again… because you’ve been handling change successfully all your life.

2. DIRECTION: finding it from your set of personal principles.
Going through a major life change, like divorce recovery, is like driving down the interstate in a fog. We try our best to keep the car in the road. However, when we drift too far to the left or right, we hear and feel the thump, thump, thump of the shoulder telling us we’re drifting off course. Our personal principles are the washboards that give us the thump-thump-thump warning we need when we start to drift off our desired path through divorce recovery.

Some principles will be especially important to maintain, while some of those important principles will be threatened by the divorce recovery process. To successfully navigate your recovery, you need to identify your core personal principles so you can protect and use them when faced with tough decisions in the recovery process.

Next week: Courage and Reassurance. Yes, you already have these, too.

In the meantime… to get a sense of the stressful reactions you may be having right now and how you compare to others in the same situation, take the Divorce Recovery Stress Indicator. And don’t forget that you can call me at 917-865-2710 for a free consultation in your smooth divorce recovery.

Divorce Recovery and Your Hidden Strengths: Part 2

Find your hidden strengths for divorce recovery, part 2Last week, we talked about Confidence and Direction: two of the four hidden strengths you already possess, and how they can help you navigate a successful divorce recovery.

This week, we’ll look at the other two:

3. COURAGE: find it within your personal source of hope.
It takes courage to go through divorce recovery, and that comes from hope. The more we believe in the potential for good, the more we free ourselves from paralyzing fear and loss. Staying focused on the hope for good allows us to thrive instead of merely survive. Nurturing an internal belief that some good exists in all situations allows us to use our recovery from divorce for positive growth.

But where does that hope come from? Your particular source of hope can be a solid belief in yourself, comfort from philosophical writings, faith in spiritual/religious beliefs, awe at the natural universe, or an unwavering trust in others who have already been through a divorce. The source itself doesn’t matter as long as it is meaningful and powerful to you. What does matter to your divorce recovery is that you’re actively seeking hope’s courageous promise.

4. REASSURANCE – find it in your gratitude.
You’ve already seen this in other situations, for example, the gratitude expressed by people who are mourning the loss of a loved one: they find comfort and reassurance by saying, “Thank goodness, he’s in a better place now” or, “I’m so glad his suffering is over.” Being reassured we are on the right track is essential, especially during the difficult times of divorce recovery.

Gratitude lies at the heart of accepting change and can give you that reassurance. Finding gratitude for the good in your divorce recovery affirms the fact that you are making progress. Gratitude opens us to be more receptive to accepting change and using it for good.

So… what now?

Know that you can relax in the knowledge that confidence, direction, courage, and reassurance are constant companions in your efforts to make a successful recovery from divorce. And if you need help digging a little deeper to discover them within yourself, be sure to call me a for a free one-hour consultation.