Marriage is difficult and every marriage presents challenges. In your marriage the stress of celebrity made the path even harder. Sadly, in our society there is no real marriage preparation. Why? Well, when the pre-marital hormones are running high, no one wants it. But, how can young people learn what it takes to make marriage work when all they have it the romantic fantasy the media provides?
Your divorce may also turn out to be sadder than the average divorce. In longer marriages the partners have had a chance to emotionally detach and disconnect. Here you were in white one day and in the lawyer’s office the next. Oh, how I wish you had discussed your impending divorce with me prior to going public. We would have discussed marriage, timing, patience, and the feelings of being disrespected and devalued that accompany most divorcees.
For now, all that I can offer you is these nine pearls of wisdom. So, Kim, here is what you need to know as you enter into the tunnel of divorce.
1. Avoid isolating and tap into your support network. Your support network will be the key to your success as you move through the transition of divorce. Now is a good time to include a professional (a therapist) in your support team.
2. Assess, assess, assess. Divorce involves restructuring and rebuilding the physical, financial, social, psychological, logistical, and legal aspects of your life. That’s a lot to put on an already full plate. So this is the perfect time to assess and re-create your life as you want it to be. While you figure it all out, avoid making new commitments and keep your financial and time restrictions in mind.
3. Cut your losses. Don’t waste time arguing over the details with Kris. You will find that you get more when you go with the flow and give in. So be flexible and open to unseen possibilities when you negotiate the final settlement.
4. Let go of the past. Change is the only guaranty we have in life. Avoid dwelling on how things could have been. Instead look to the future and march on.
5. Don’t jump into a new relationship just because you don’t want to be “alone.” Instead, enjoy your time as a single woman.
6. Like all of us, your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. Your uncanny ability to make headlines out of nothing has served you well. But, your media magnetism will make it difficult to get the time and privacy that you need to quietly lick your wounds and heal.
7. There is a Universal Law that no one gets a free ride. High highs bring low lows. You know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Now is your time to feel the pain of humiliation. And, after all that glory, it’s gonna be big. But, don’t worry, everything in life is temporary and this too shall pass.
8. In divorce the fight serves a purpose and is a critical part of the process. (Of course, I believe that the fight is best staged in the mediator’s office and not in a courtroom.) The fight will (a) confirm that reconciliation is not an option; (b) provide a method for exposing past hurts; (c) keep the connection alive until the lesser connected partner is ready to let go; (d) allow each of you to point the finger at the other and so avoid looking at yourself and your individual failures; and (e) lessen your feelings of guilt and failure. So, yes, the fight is important but keep it as short and as private as possible.
So, that’s it, Kim. Call me if you need a mediator. And, remember I can do a sisters-in-conflict case too.
Best regards, Elinor