Welcome to one in a series of Dynamic Divorcee Method™ client stories. No names are given, and identifying details are masked in order to protect the privacy of the clients involved.
These are real women, not composite stories, and each one represents an individual, life-healing, divorce-recovery journey that the client undertook with me. Each one is a hero’s journey.
Meet the Dynamic Divorcee in This Story: A mother of two nearly grown kids feared what her life would be like after they moved on to college and careers (which was about to happen only a little over a year after her divorce). She had long forgotten whether she had ever had dreams of her own, and was distraught about having to continue to live in her ex-husband’s home town in close proximity to him and his new wife (the woman he had left her for).
Her Dream: To be someone’s first choice. To no longer be ignored by “friends.” To be valued and paid attention to by her kids. To feel that she doesn’t have to keep earning people’s love (and it never worked, anyway). To be strong enough to let go of a relationship with a married man who was the first person to treat her as if she is beautiful.
The Reality: Because she had never truly felt worthy of notice, she married a man who she now believes never really loved her. But not being loved was the way she had always felt, from her earliest memories. The desire for love and acceptance was so strong that it made complete sense that she would become attached to any person who gave her even a little bit of attention. This included friends who ran hot and cold, and a post-divorce romance with someone who was definitely not available and never would be. It had been impossible, so far, to break the pattern of “something is better than nothing.”
Before The Dynamic Divorcee: She said, in our first appointment, “I look in the mirror, and I don’t like what I see. I feel like I’m backsliding into a black hole. When I look back, I feel like my ex-husband was just settling by marrying me. For the last ten years of marriage, no attention, no intimacy. He was always going places without me, or on the computer or tv when he was home. Now, in terms of men, I feel I’m a jerk magnet. And I’m so scared of being alone.”
The Lightbulb Moment: When we were able to uncover some of her dreams — and when she was able to remember some of the things she had wanted to be and do — she was able to take her laser focus away from thinking that only a man could make her happy. She came to understand that no man could truly do the job of building her self-esteem; it would be exhausting. But if, instead of catering to someone else’s needs, she became fully herself, then friends, family, and men would have a complete, three-dimensional woman to relate to. They could take her or leave her — and she could take them or leave them — because, finally, they would see who she truly is.
Challenge: The fear of becoming someone that no one would like. She felt comfortable in her role of adapting herself to what others wanted from her. She kept giving and giving and hoping that someone would recognize her and give back someday. Since that had never worked, she was afraid that if she dared to be her true self she would be left totally alone.
Solution: Explore her worst fears. Be herself and see what happened. Make her preferences known. Ask for what she needs. She could always revert back to her old self, if she didn’t like the early results that we got in the first couple of weeks of implementing The Dynamic Divorcee. We took steps in a way that felt safe every time because we would implement, watch what happened, and then discuss in our next call.
The Transformation: We worked on so many things. First, getting respect and attention from her children by asking for what she wanted (things that had never happened in her life before: flowers for Valentine’s Day, time together on Mother’s Day . . .). She was shocked at how easy it was, and how much her kids really cared about her feelings once she talked things over with them. She used the same kinds of techniques with friends, and took the lead in scheduling get-togethers. She learned to set boundaries when she felt friends asked too much of her and didn’t value her time. She wanted, and got, fun time with her friends and no longer felt used as someone who was never called unless someone needed something. She easily made the move away from her ex-husband’s hometown to a place closer to a beloved area of natural beauty where she rekindled her love of nature photography. And, she got a better job nearby. Things she thought would be impossible fell into place because of step-by-step coaching in which she experienced her own abilities and value as a human being while we just took one thing at a time and built a new life from those steps.
Today: She recently made one more move: She is now living in her absolute dream location with a new job (again conveniently located). She’s free to explore the wilds of her favorite landscape while still near enough to many of her best and most supportive friends (who also live in the area). She leaves behind a host of other friends and co-workers who love her a lot. She now knows that she is first choice for many people. Will she find “the one”? It’s not as big of a priority now because total freedom is a nice thing to have. It’s fun not to have to compromise who she is for anyone. But, she also knows how to explore dating from a position of strength and let the right one find her, if he can.
Do You Identify With This Story?
Would you like to explore how to heal the heartbreak of your divorce and find a way to let those experiences light your way into the future? Your life so far does not need to continue to predict your future. It can help you create a happier future, instead.
Would you like to experience greater understanding of where your life has taken you, and how you can transform those experiences into beauty, power, and strength?
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