When experiencing a divorce, it is important not to isolate yourself from the available support. A divorce coach is a mental health professional that will help you be constructive during this painful process. Nancy Payne Lewis specializes in helping clients with the often difficult parts of getting divorced: feelings of hurt and anger upon finding out, sadness when thinking about breaking up a home, confusion about parenting plans, and so much more.
You don't need to go through this alone. While attorneys understand the legal aspect of divorce, a divorce coach is specially trained to understand the emotions involved in the breakup and reforming of a family.
Going Through a Divorce
Maybe you knew that your marriage was on the rocks, or maybe you just found out. Regardless of the circumstances, you're sure to have many questions and feel many different emotions. The majority of people simply feel overwhelmed. It's important to know that your divorce coach will help you through these moments of doubt. To best support you, Nancy takes the time to get to know you and understand your circumstances. She'll ask questions such as:
- Do you have children?
- What is your financial situation?
- Do you own a house and/or investments?
- Do you have emotional support—a friend, a parent, a priest or minister?
Dignity & Respect
You have no doubt heard about someone who has been vilified or humiliated during their divorce. The goal of divorce coaching is for you and your spouse to end the relationship with dignity and respect. Your marriage may be over, but your relationship isn't. You still know how to push each other's buttons.
When we feel threatened, we are likely to respond with one of two primal responses: fight or flight. Both of these responses are positional; they require a firm stance. Neither one is likely to support the divorce proceedings in a productive way. The process of coaching asks us to step back, gain perspective of the situation, and base our decisions on the needs of all parties involved.
These are questions you need to ask yourself:
- Can I learn divorce conflict resolution skills so that I am able to respond, rather than react to what the other party is saying?
- Can I create a parenting plan that is fair, flexible, and based on my children's needs?
- Can I learn to co-parent so that my children can easily go back and forth between our homes?
- What are our goals for our family after the divorce is over?
- Can I help my children understand that it is okay for them to have a relationship with my ex that is separate from mine?
Letting Go of Anger, Fear, & Shame
The state of California recognized "no-fault divorce" 30 years ago. But in Nancy's experience, one partner usually blames the other for the end of a relationship. Often, both parties bear responsibility. But the fact remains that holding on to anger, fear, and shame can slow down or even prevent you from forgiving yourself and forgiving your partner for whatever went wrong. Whether you choose to pursue a collaborative divorce or not, Nancy will help make your divorce less painful.
As a divorce coach, she tells her clients that the opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is indifference. By experiencing and working through your feelings, no matter what they are, you will find yourself more able to reach that place of indifference. Yes, you may still have feelings left for your ex, but those feelings won't be running your life.
The Effects on Children
Nancy is passionate about the need to protect children from the negative aspects of divorce. Children do not need to worry about money. They don't need to think that they are to blame. They don't need to hear your arguments, meet your new lover, or carry messages back and forth. Your children simply need to be loved and reassured. They need to know that you love them and that you will all get through this together.