Divorce is hard. There’s no getting around it. Some are harder than others, but whatever the circumstances, it can feel incredibly isolating. Podcast guest Jillian Lydell helps us understand the stages of divorce, how we can better show up for our friends and family members who go through a divorce, and she explains how a divorce coach can provide really specialized support.
Jillian Lydell is a certified professional coach, with specializations in trauma informed coaching and divorce & divorce recovery coaching. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Jillian serves clients around the world through 1:1 coaching, on an online tele-health platform.
You can connect with her at cultivatingjoycoach.com
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[00:01:09]Lilly: I am here with Jillian, Lydell, a certified trauma informed divorce coach and divorce recovery coach who helps people navigate this really difficult life transition that divorce brings. And we’re going to talk all about. Kind of the process of divorce, the role of a divorce coach and how they can be a really supportive partner.
[00:01:33] And then also what people can do if they know someone who’s going through a divorce and how they can be more supportive to them as well. So I’m really excited to cover all of this with you today. Jillian, welcome to the show.
[00:01:45]Jillian: Thank you. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be here. This is a tough conversation to have sometimes, but it’s a very important and needed one.
[00:01:54] So thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here. Yeah.
[00:01:57] Lilly: Yeah. Thanks for being here. So I love to start with people’s story. Would you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you into this role that you’re in now?
[00:02:10]Jillian: Yeah. Sure. So to begin with, I went through my own a traumatic life event, and that was followed up very quickly by a divorce from my husband of 21 years.
[00:02:20] We have two kids who were 15 and 18 at the time, and I’ve been divorced for four years now. Um, probably goes without saying, but it was a very hard time in my life. Um, it was painful and I often felt lonely and confused and overwhelmed by the process and just everything that was happening in my life.
[00:02:42] But after coming through the other side of it, I knew I wanted to use my experience to help others and really to give purpose to the pain that I just walked through. And it was actually on one of my hardest days, that I signed up for a coach training program. And I think it was just knowing, even in my lowest times that there was more for my life and I wanted to be committed to helping people in the most effective ways.
[00:03:12] And I just, I didn’t want any woman to have to walk through trauma and divorce alone. I just, I believe that life is both beautiful and really hard and. When it’s really tough, we have, a choice to make. We can either kind of stay stuck in the yuck, uh, which is really easy to do, really tempting to do.
[00:03:36] Or we can cultivate a new beginning, which isn’t always easy to do, but it brings us to such a beautiful place of growth and, discovering new opportunities in life. And just through my process, I really believe that we can cultivate joy in life’s toughest chapters. And I really wanted to help other women do that in their lives as well.
[00:04:02]Lilly: Yeah. Well, can you tell us about the role of a divorce coach and what’s, what does a divorce coach do? It’s a relatively new thing. Yes,
[00:04:14]Jillian: it is. It is new. And, when we think of divorce, we usually think of hiring an attorney and possibly an accountant. And oftentimes that’s the extent of the risk, the support that we receive, and.
[00:04:28] Both of them are both of those roles are wonderful and they’re absolutely needed for sure in, divorce. But they’re oftentimes relatively expensive and their zone of genius is really interpreting the law and negotiation, finances and things like that. And. The divorce coach is specially trained in all aspects of divorce and can serve as your thinking partner, even like a confidant, emotionally supportive to you and guide you through the entire divorce process.
[00:05:03]If you could imagine. Being in your attorney’s office and, you know, getting emotional support from your attorney, although some may have absolutely wonderful abilities to do that, um, that might not be their zone of genius and it might be expensive to sit there for hours crying. So, really being able to utilize each professional for, what they can help you with the most, and then having a divorce coach, you can really kind of help all the aspects.
[00:05:31] Lily, you and I have talked about this before that when people get married. They hire many professionals to help usually like a pastor to marry them. So many, a venue coordinator, a personal attendant, a DJ, a caterer. my daughter’s getting married, so I’m really familiar with all of this right now.
[00:05:49] Um, you know, you have your wedding party that throws you bachelor and bachelorette parties and showers. And then on the big day, all your friends and family come to support you while at least pre COVID times they could do that. Um, but when we get divorced, we do a largely alone and, it’s really good to have a team surrounding you.
[00:06:10]During that time, because it’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through. And, um, it also is a legally binding event and produces a legal document that really. Can affect your life for a long time. So it’s important to have attorneys, financial planners, accountants, mortgage, bankers, therapists, and divorce coaches there to help you get through that really, really hard time.
[00:06:35] Lilly: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s such an important point to make and just like how we kind of, as a society don’t like to. Talk about tough things. I think grief is another big one. And death and, you know, losing loved ones too, but like that really hit home for me when you brought that up of like, okay.
[00:06:55] Think of all the things that people do to support a couple. That’s getting married. I mean, it’s crazy. I mean, there’s just so much, and then you think about, okay, even just as a. Person who knows someone that’s getting married, you know, the things to do, you know, the things to show up for, you know, you need to buy gifts at certain times for certain things when to send cards, you know, to say, great, congratulations, all of that.
[00:07:21] But when someone says they’re going through a divorce, it’s like, what did we do? What we don’t have, you know, the.
[00:07:30] Jillian: Cultural
[00:07:31] Lilly: moments that we all are familiar with to say, okay, here’s how we show up for this person or these people that are. Partying ways, you know? Yeah.
[00:07:41] Jillian: There’s no roadmap like there is other life events.
[00:07:45] Lilly: Yeah. So I’m also excited to kind of like talk through this more and just help more people understand it. I mean, myself included, I don’t have a lot of experience with, people going through divorce and how to support them. So I think, and I mean, I’m sure it’s not going to stay that way. I’m in my, like, You know, late thirties, I’m sure.
[00:08:03] At some point I will have a close friend that goes through this.
[00:08:07]I think it’s good to just have more information and help people be prepared and just really be able to see it from a different point of view.
[00:08:15] So you mentioned that a divorce coach is, is almost like. Like a doula in some regards where like they have a lot of information. Um, I’m thinking about like a birth doula. They have a lot of information about birth. They can help people make decisions. They can also be, you know, emotional support partners and, you know, postpartum doulas can be there after the fact, And so when I think about how you describe a divorce coach is supporting, I think about kind of two other partners that people may think of as like, well, I have this, so I don’t need a divorce coach.
[00:08:50] And I’d love to talk more about this with you. So if someone’s like, well, I’m seeing a therapist and I have some good friends. So do I really need a divorce coach? You know, do you want to talk a little bit more about like the unique role that a divorce coach can play? That’s different from a therapist or from, you know, supportive friends or family members?
[00:09:13] Jillian: absolutely. First I’d like to say that it’s. Wonderful. If people have a therapist and if they have supportive friends and family, everybody going through divorce needs, supportive people in their lives. So those are really good things to have. Often when we utilize our friends as our support, while that can be completely wonderful.
[00:09:34] We can just be met with kind of confirmation bias. Like, yeah, he really is a jerk and you should leave him. Or maybe people in our family may say, you know, we’ve been married for 50 years and we had troubles too, but, um, you know, we stuck it out and you can do, there can be shame with that too. It, the divorce process can also be somewhat long and difficult.
[00:09:57] And so we can also kind of wear out our friends and our family. Um, if those are only methods of support, um, It can be hard for our friends and family to show up to our axed, um, every day that we’re feeling, um, so super, super important to have supportive friends and family. But if it’s there, your only support, uh, those are just some things to be aware of.
[00:10:21] Um, when it comes to therapists, therapists are extraordinarily important and helpful, and I believe a needed member of the divorce team. Um, clients can be faced with issues that therapists are experts in helping. Uh entreating so things like clinical depression, anxiety, um, family of origin issues or stuck trauma, um, therapists can also, uh, treat and diagnose mental health issues that may be coming up.
[00:10:52]And many of my clients actually work with me and a therapist. Probably about half of them, um, have both. Um, and I will also encourage and make referrals to therapists. If I feel like a client is really suffering from just a heavier emotional trauma, maybe they are having some PTSD or just emotions that are feeling stuck and pervasive.
[00:11:16] Um, I mean, Going through a divorce can be very hard and things can come up, you know, even like suicide ideation and, and that can be very scary. And so therapists are very important members of the team. Um, now we’re kind of the divorce coach is a little different. Maybe then both friends and family and therapists is that due to their specialized training, we can walk clients through the entire divorce process, which includes.
[00:11:45] You know, the legal aspects of it, which are really important, but also the social, emotional and financial parts of the divorce. So, , we can kind of be the bridge of all of the professionals, um, and bringing all of that together for a client. And while therapists can help deal with kind of those deeper emotional issues.
[00:12:09] Divorce coaches are also quite capable of, working with people that are going through kind of the normal ups and downs of the emotions of divorce. Um, that is something that, that is very important to the divorce coach, because that is kind of the basis for every other decision that needs to be
[00:12:30]Lilly: That makes so much sense. So what are the stages of divorce? Can you kind of give us a layout of the, the main stages and then, um, we can dive more deeply into each one.
[00:12:44] Jillian: Sure. So, um, kinda most simply there’s three stages. And within those stages, there’s a bunch of nuance and there’s a bunch of circumstances, but simply stated there’s three.
[00:12:56] So there’s the contemplation stage, which is the, do I don’t die stage, which is the opposite of the getting married stage, which is the, I do stage. So do I don’t die the divorce itself, which is the legal and financial decisions and the process. And. The outcome is the legal document. The final judgment and decree, and then there’s healing and recovery.
[00:13:19] And I call that the cultivating joy stage and that’s, a great part that clients get to when it’s it’s, the most beautiful part, wrapping all of those things up together and coming through here. Hmm.
[00:13:35] Lilly: Yeah, I mean, I imagine it’s not just like, Suddenly you decide you’re going to get divorced and then you’re divorced and then it’s over.
[00:13:41] Like how long do these three stages typically lasts? Maybe what’s the range on either end of the story.
[00:13:49] Jillian: Yeah. So, kind of the continuum of divorce is that there’s, you know, high conflict divorces and then there’s like, even like, do it yourself. Collaborative type divorces that have, you know, are really much more straightforward.
[00:14:06] So the stages, it’s really tough to say like an exact time, because it can be high conflict divorces can take years to work through. And so, you know, something. To note too, is that within these three stages, it’s not like you, you contemplate and then you just move into divorce. It, um, you can kind of go back to like, okay, now that this is becoming more real, is this really what I want to do?
[00:14:29] You can kind of look back to that and all along, you’re dipping a toe and healing too. Um, so there’s, there’s overlap. Um, and it’s kind of like the, the metaphor of going around a mountain. You know where we’re going around this mountain, we’re doing, we’re contemplating, we’re in the process for healing. Um, we may go up a few steps.
[00:14:50] We may fall down for a little while. All of that is really normal in this process.
[00:14:56] Lilly: Yeah. That makes sense. How do you support people in that first phase where they’re still thinking about it and not sure if they want to go through with a divorce or if divorce is the answer for them? Yes,
[00:15:10] Jillian: that is an agonizing stage.
[00:15:13] Um, before we jump into that though, I just, I want to qualify a little bit, um, my answers, because, um, as we just talked about there’s that continuum of divorce, where there can be really high conflict divorces that may have components of mental illness, addiction, and or abuse. And then the other end, like I said, is more of a.
[00:15:33] You know, amicable collaborative, do it yourself, uncontested divorces. That may be very simple, but, um, for the purpose of the podcast, I’m going to address my answers to kind of that middle ground. And although a lot of the things that I do will fit for clients at all stages of the continuum. There may be some modifications or things that are done differently for high conflict divorces.
[00:16:00] And certainly if somebody is in, a marriage that is, experiencing abuse. And if you, if you’re listening to this and you’re in a marriage that is experiencing physical or emotional abuse, or maybe you’re a friend and you know, somebody’s going through that, I just want you to know that your fear and your feelings and your future matter.
[00:16:21] Well, you’re in a really hard spot. And, you may feel alone. You may even feel scared to reach out or like, this is your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s understandable that you’re fearful. And there are people in organizations that want to help you find safety and security. And I just want to offer that there is hope there is life, on the other side of this and you matter.
[00:16:48] Regardless of how you might feel today, you matter. So, some of my answers may feel like, well that doesn’t maybe fit for me because I’m in an abusive situation. And I want to, um, to respect that and for, for everyone to know that, that those situations do require modifications and additional support and, um, coaching may look differently in those situations.
[00:17:13] Lilly: Yeah, that makes sense. We can also include in the show notes, you know, support lines and places that people can find support if they feel they’re in that situation and are looking for resources. So we can include that in the show notes. Absolutely.
[00:17:27] Jillian: That would be wonderful. There’s more of this going on than we realize.
[00:17:31] And especially in these COVID times that we’re in right now, when we’re recording this podcast, um, we’re seeing a really big uptick in. In those situations. And so it’s very important that people receive that care.
[00:17:43] Lilly: Yeah, thank you for making that point. So thinking about kind of that middle of the road stage, um, or people that are going through a divorce that may feel more middle of the road in terms of conflict and intensity, how do you support people that are in that first phase of contemplation and the Dwyer don’t die phase?
[00:18:03] Jillian: Yeah. So, um, well, it can be super clear in some situations that our marriage needs to end. It’s it’s never a single decision. It’s never, um, just like, okay. Yep. I’m going to do this. There’s always, there’s many ties that bind there’s many different factors and part of it that. Is that you’ve, um, you’ve invested a lot in a marriage, whether you’ve been married for five years or 21, like I was, or, or even longer, you’ve invested your heart, your emotions, you’ve invested trust, um, your finances all into another person.
[00:18:41] And you also may have children to consider. You may have to consider your employment status, whether you’re able to take care of yourself financially. And if you’re not how you’re going to, um, address that. So there’s no simple answers. Um, and there’s much to consider. So when I’m working with clients, we, we’ll ask questions such as, you know, am I ready to see my children only half the time?
[00:19:08] Hmm. Um, how am I going to live with my ex spouse remarrying and my children having a step parent or step family when my lifestyle changes due to finances, how am I going to adapt to that? Um, and if, I don’t know, if I don’t now provide for myself, how will I, um, when I’m by myself and also, how is this relationship going to benefit me?
[00:19:33]If I leave it. And then also what’s going to be really hard to leave, um, and lose when I leave this relationship. So we really walk the path and we don’t just answer those questions for right now, because honestly when sometimes when people are in extreme conflict, the thought of just getting out, provides so much relief.
[00:19:58] And we can focus on, I just want relief from this. But what does that decision look and feel like a year down the road, five years down the road, 10 years down the road. So it’s really important to, to truly walk that road and, consider the long-term impacts. And like every marriage has trouble.
[00:20:18] Um, they’re, they’re never perfect. And, Even when you go through things like betrayal or addiction or a marriage that has very little respect in it. Those things can be tough to overcome, but if both partners are committed, those things can actually be healed and the marriage could even grow stronger.
[00:20:39] So when my clients come to me and they’re in the stage, I just want them to know, yes, I’m a divorce coach, but I’m not pro divorced because divorce. Is very hard. Divorce is trauma, divorce changes everything about your life. Um, if it’s absolutely necessary and the right decision, then, then that’s the path that we walk.
[00:21:01] Um, but if it’s not, I’ve also seen marriages, grow together and. You know, they, they started with a divorce coach and, and now they’re still married. And so there is hope, um, that healing can take place. And there’s also hope if it doesn’t. Yeah.
[00:21:23] Lilly: So then moving into that actual divorce process phase, what is that phase like for people?
[00:21:31] What are some of the things that. Come up that maybe, you know, are unexpected. And how do you support people going through that stage?
[00:21:42] Jillian: Yeah, well, it is always an unexpected road and there’s no roadmap and sadly, there can be lots of, detours along the way, but there can also be a lot of good things that come with it too.
[00:21:54] So my clients and I. Covered a lot of ground, because as you can imagine, the divorce process includes so many things. So, , kind of five main areas that we might, navigate is number one, the business of divorce. That’s the legal process, working with attorneys, and coming away with a legally binding document, that they, will have, you know, for the rest of their lives.
[00:22:19] Being able to, Prepare for those meetings so that they’re organized and they, can kind of use that time best with the attorneys and the other licensed professionals. That’s really important. We also process through the decisions. So we’ve processed through the fact that we’re going to have the divorce, but now there’s decisions like, Spousal maintenance amounts, co-parenting schedules, you know, just dividing assets, things like that.
[00:22:47] So we process through what’s what’s besides the decision for today, what again, does that look like five, 10 years down the road. And then also, because, this is legal and binding and also has emotional consequences. We just really, uh, take our time. And like I said, kind of process that road, and, make sure that the client is aware of all of the options.
[00:23:12] Sometimes we can be drafted down one path, but we don’t realize that there’s all these other things that we could include in our divorce decree or other ways we could look at it. I also teach clients how to negotiate respectfully. Of course the pen negotiation is the key to divorce. And, it’s important to learn how to do this effectively so that you have a more likely chance of getting the things that are important to you.
[00:23:40] And, one thing that’s important to note and, and can feel like a surprise to people is that there really aren’t any winners in divorce and not one person gets everything. So helping clients become clear about really what’s important to them and then what they can let go of. Um, it might not feel good to know that the spouse is going to get something that they want, but one person probably isn’t going to get everything.
[00:24:05] So what’s important to you. And what can you let the, the ex spouse also have? Another important thing that we cover is untangling. Difficult conversations and managing conflicts. Um, this is helpful, you know, when you’re not divorced when you’re married or if you have coworkers, right. But we can learn this too.
[00:24:24] You’re taming hot buttons and sometimes learning the best words to use. And this can also help them become a more credible and respected negotiator and clients. And when you’re going into a courtroom, if you’re more composed, judges tend to be a little bit more favorable to that directions.
[00:24:45] Well, that can be a very helpful thing. And then for divorces that involve children, I help my clients communicate to the children about the divorce that can be extraordinarily hard at many different stages of their development. We can deal with issues of co-parenting and then really the skills and the ways to help your child thrive in this new family possible for them to thrive and do well.
[00:25:10] And then last we work on managing boundaries and this can involve boundaries for yourself. There can be things like not allowing yourself to stock your ex ex’s social media platforms, because it may make you feel jealous or angry or start playing the comparison game. So deciding on boundaries for yourself, but then also.
[00:25:32] Boundaries with others, boundaries with your ex spouse, things that you’re just not going to talk about together, ways that you’re going to communicate parenting needs. And then also, if you can imagine, um, there’s going to be a lot of people who are going to be curious about your divorce and learning, what you want to say, what you don’t want to say and how you’re going to respond to kind of those curious people who just want to know what happened.
[00:25:56] Sure. So there’s just many ways that we support clients. There’s so many things that they’re going through at this stage. Um, and just, we just tailor. Um, the coaching to what they’re experiencing.
[00:26:11] Lilly: Yeah. That makes sense. So telling the story of what happened, does that kind of spill out into that third stage also of healing and kind of cultivating joy and kind of finding your next chapter?
[00:26:26] Jillian: absolutely. You know, you’re writing your divorce story the whole time. And so, um, You know, a lot of times clients will want to get through their divorce with, integrity and respect, and those can be really hard things to do. But you’re writing the divorce story all along and absolutely when you get to the recovery stage, and you can look back and see that you showed up how you wanted to, that can be a very healing thing.
[00:26:54] And also giving yourself grace and forgiveness, if you didn’t. Cause it’s also very tough, hard. So supporting people in divorce recovery. One really important thing to note is that there’s no emotional justice in divorce. If you think you’re going to divorce somebody and it’s going to make everything okay, the sad reality is it doesn’t, there’s no amount of money, possessions or parenting time that will take away the hurt.
[00:27:23] And, That that’s a really hard thing, because I think a lot of times we think if I can just get away from this person, everything will be better. And yes, a lot of things can be better, but the aftermath of divorce after going through all of that, is that a lot of clients just need time to unravel.
[00:27:42] Um, just need time to like start grieving. A lot of times they need to just reprocess everything that they just went through. Sometimes I just need to cry. Remember what was, feel sad about what isn’t going to be. And so while it may seem obvious, the first step to recovery is really acknowledging that the divorce happened.
[00:28:06] Um, it’s a legal process. It’s busy, there’s a million decisions to make there’s emotions. You’re a lot of people are working, taking care of children, showing up for friends, doing things for themselves while also getting a divorce. And it isn’t until the, uh, spouse moves out or you have to sell your house or, um, your bank accounts are divided.
[00:28:32] And then the real kicker is when your kids are at your ex spouse’s house for that first time and you come home and it’s just quiet. Um, and then the, the reality sinks in. And so. A lot of clients want to just kind of continue to keep busy. Like if I just keep doing stuff, I’ll be okay. And the good news is, is that works.
[00:28:58] Doesn’t work for long. Um, grief will wait for you. And, um, if you don’t slow down and feel it, it will, it will find you. And it’ll probably find you at times that are really inconvenient or maybe even in toxic ways. So I really encourage my clients as hard as it is, is to take that time, to unravel, to grieve, to feel it, to really understand the depths of their feelings, um, as a really solid base for moving forward.
[00:29:31] And that’s the exciting part is when clients get through that, we get to start dreaming and we get to start thinking about what’s their new normal going to look like. Um, What do they want in their future? Um, we take inventory of their values, their strengths, their passions, uh, their bucket list, if they have a bucket list.
[00:29:53] Um, and then we just start playing, we start playing with ideas, like new traditions and routines. Those can be tricky the first couple of years. But we just take, take an opportunity to, try things on it might not work the first time. Let’s try something else. So the first three to five years are often the hardest.
[00:30:14] There’s still a lot of change that happens in divorce, but, Once clients are able to start healing. It’s amazing how quickly their smiles return laughter becomes more normal and easy again. And then they wake up and they just feel like, you know what, today today’s like a normal day. Like I feel like myself again and, um, And it’s, it’s hard work, but it, it happens every time and it’s beautiful.
[00:30:41]Lilly: That’s really great. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah.
[00:30:45] I mean, what a gift you are to your clients. I just like hearing you describe how you are there for them and show up for them. So you talked a little bit about how you help clients cultivate joy during times of grief and change.
[00:31:01] Is there anything else you want to add around that?
[00:31:05] Jillian: Yeah, well, cultivating joy is, that’s the name of my practice. And it really was my anchor and my hope when I was going through my trauma and, and my divorce.
[00:31:17] And so, um, I do, you know, it’s sometimes when people see cultivating joy and then they see divorce coach, they’re like, well, that’s an interesting mix. Um, and. Sometimes clients at the beginning can feel like there is no way I’m going to have Joey again, you know, it can feel so far out there. Um, but they do and they usually have it deeper and more meaningful than they did before they went through this incredibly hard experience.
[00:31:47]And I’ll just take a second because this is, is my passion, but, um, cultivating is a verb. So it’s an action. Um, it means to prepare to break up in preparation for planting to acquire or develop. And I can think of no more fertile ground than the ground of divorce for, um, preparing for breaking up in preparation preparation for planting and then acquiring and developing.
[00:32:15] As you go through divorce, you’re acquiring and developing skills that you just never knew. You had strength, reserve, resilience, patience. There is so much that is being cultivated in that time. And then joy is a hard, fat, deep peace. And I call it a knowing that in times of goodness or in grief, that life is still good and you’re still the author of the next chapter.
[00:32:40] So I help my clients cultivate joy by asking them, and then working through the answer to the question, what do I need to do? To care for the part of me that’s been injured. And this question acknowledges the pain, the grief, the injury, because that is there. But at the same time, it reminds the person that they get to be the one to heal themselves.
[00:33:09] What do I need to do to care for the part of me that’s been injured and it really takes a person from paralyzed victim to the empowered, creative creator of their future. Hmm. Um, and the transformations in this time are just strong and powerful and beautiful. And I just know that if somebody wants to do the work, they can absolutely cultivate joy, even if it’s really tough.
[00:33:38] Lilly: Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that. That is so nice. Thank you. So let’s wrap up and talk about, about what it’s like to work with you. So you’ve talked about all the ways you can support clients through all of these stages. I would love to help people understand, you know, what does this look like?
[00:34:01] How often do you meet with people? What does that support typically look like? And how long does it last, do you want to describe a little
[00:34:10] Jillian: bit about that? Yeah, sure. So I work with clients on a one-on-one basis and we meet through an online tele-health platform. Um, and typically we meet once a week at the beginning of this.
[00:34:22] Divorce process. Um, and it can be more or less depending on what the person is going through. Sometimes if they are going into a mediation, they may want a midweek session just to make sure they’re fully prepared. Um, and then as we move through recovery and healing, um, that frequency may change. Divorce is the gift that keeps on giving.
[00:34:44] Um, as clients go through like anniversaries and as ex partners, remarry, or as children move into new stages, they may require extra support. And so the length and duration is totally up to the client. Um, I will be there for them.
[00:35:00] Lilly: Makes sense. Awesome. Well, What advice do you have for people who maybe know someone who’s in one of these stages of divorce and what are some things that people can say or how they can show up for people?
[00:35:15] And if you have anything that people should stay away from in terms of topics or things not to say, I think that would be helpful to share as well.
[00:35:23] Jillian: Sure. So, you know, everybody does. Um, processes they’re divorced differently. So sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly how to show up for your friend.
[00:35:34] Um, but everybody that goes through it needs a loving non-judgemental support of their family and friends. So, showing up in that way is always going to be helpful. Divorce is said to be the second, most traumatic life or stressful life event. Coming in just behind the death of a loved one. And I wouldn’t argue that that’s not true, but, I would suggest that divorce is a close, equal because, Divorce is the death of a relationship, a very important relationship, and you’re losing a person and also much of your own identity.
[00:36:08] So unlike death, which is met with, you know, a lot of support, like funerals are celebrations of life cards, food hugs. Divorce is often grieved in isolation and it comes with a shame stigma to it. Um, so if you have a friend going through this, um, I have come up with a number of ways that you can support them.
[00:36:31] Um, and the first being asking and really being interested in how they are, oftentimes. They’re coming home to an empty house, maybe with where they, you know, they had their partner, they had somebody to talk to after work, to just talk through things. And now they’re coming home and they’re alone or they’re alone with small children or any children, and it’s not appropriate conversation to have with them.
[00:36:53] So asking and being really interested. And being patient when they maybe repeat stories or they need to vent anger. Um, it can be hard. It can be hard to be present to that, but as much as you can be, that’s really helpful, supporting their self esteem, especially in situations where there may have been betrayal or addiction or things like that.
[00:37:14] But even when there’s not, reminding them of their strengths, their worth, their belonging and their beauty. And how much they’re loved by you. Including them in gatherings being invited, they may not always say yes because they may not have the energy to do it, but inviting them to go out with the girls even to go out with couples.
[00:37:35]It may feel awkward, but let them decide if it’s awkward and if they don’t want to do it being included and inviting really helps. And also if you know, a single parent family, that’s still a family. And a lot of times, if we think that there’s not a mom and a dad, so we’re not going to invite them.
[00:37:51] That can be really hard on single parents. So seeing single parent families as a complete unit and inviting them to be with you on, family events, gatherings at the park, whatever. I also like going on walks with your friend, it’s important for them to be moving their body through this trauma, bringing them healthy food or snacks.
[00:38:12] One thing that’s helpful is maybe offering your husband’s time if there’s like. Household things that the person just doesn’t know how to do yet. Like where do you turn off the water main, you know, where do you, how do you change the furnace filter? You know, just little things like that, that they might be afraid to ask
[00:38:31] Lilly: I imagine that goes both ways too, for like different. I mean different skills around the house. Like when you’re in a partnership, typically you kind of divide and conquer how to take care of the house, things done and keep it all, you know, everyone fed and moving through the house, but like, yeah, that’s a really great point to make of like, what skills did they lose or what responsibilities got lost in that partnership.
[00:38:59] And do you have, you know, support that you could lend. In that way, you know? Right. Yes. And
[00:39:07] Jillian: that was probably gender biased of me to say it that way, but
[00:39:10] Lilly: I mean, it’s, I think it’s just good to think about it.
[00:39:15] Jillian: Yeah. Yes, yes, absolutely. You’re right on Lilly. There’s just so many things that you do, you just trust the other person to do and you never have to worry about doing it.
[00:39:25] So, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. So those are just some ways that, um, you can provide support, um, really just, you know, being, being able to listen and do it, not just non-judgmentally is, so, is so healing for your friend. There’s just a few things on the don’t do list. Um, and I would just say like, don’t prior ask questions about things that they’re not ready to talk about, you know, asking people, how did it happen or, you know, Did, did he have an affair?
[00:39:55] You know, if they don’t want to share that it’s best to not ask. And then just don’t tell anybody else about the things that she’s told you in confidence. Usually trust is, is a thing that gets really triggered at divorce. Then it can be hard to trust people. And so really keeping her confidence.
[00:40:12] And if you’re not sure that you can maybe just saying, you know what, I’m not sure I want you to tell me this, cause I’m not sure that I can keep it to myself and being honest with your friend. And then, It can be hard to see a friend in pain and it can be tiring to, uh, receive that, um, a lot, but trying to avoid bright citing her, which is things like, well, at least you have two great kids.
[00:40:36] Well, at least you still get to keep your house. Instead, maybe just reverse that and say, you know, what’s something good that happened this week. Is there anything good? Remotely smell that maybe happened and let her come up with maybe some of the good things that are going on. Sure. But mostly just be love and support.
[00:40:56] Um, and she needs you. She needs you to be there.
[00:41:00] Lilly: Well, thank you so much. Um, if people are listening to this and they’re thinking. They would like to work with you or maybe they know someone who might benefit from working with you? What is the best way for people to get started?
[00:41:16] Jillian: Yeah. So, um, people can find out more about me on my website, which is cultivating joy coach.com.
[00:41:22] And there is my email, my phone number as well as information about my practice. Um, and I’m also on Facebook, under cultivating joy and Instagram at cultivating joy coach. But we just start by having a confidential, complimentary call. And, um, if it’s a fit, um, we can move forward. And if it’s not, I have other colleagues that I can also connect you with.
[00:41:45] Lilly: Great. Well, thank you so much, Jillian. This was great.
[00:41:49] Jillian: Thank you very much. It’s really been an honor. Thank you