This is a guest post by Lisa Kaplin, a professional speaker and a life coach who meets LOTS of divorced men and women through her practice. She talks about two types of divorced women she commonly sees: “The Bitter One” and “The Scared One.” Before you jump to “Wait a minute! You’re totally generalizing!” mode let me explain why I love this blog post so much. It’s because I think that every divorced woman has a little bit of “The bitter one” and “The scared one” in us, and I think what Lisa is trying to do is show us the extreme. You can read this and say, “I’m neither.” or you can say, “I’m both.” Or like me, you can say, “Hmm…sounds familiar. I have been these things at certain times in my life.” Enjoy!
Divorced Women: Life Coach Talks about Fear and Bitterness
by Lisa Kaplin
As a divorce coach and therapist, I see all types of divorced women. I see everything from divorced women who exhibit erratic, unhealthy behavior to those who inspire me with their courage, acceptance and grace.
Each and every divorced woman handles her divorce in a different way. But, there are two types of divorced women I commonly see that I’d like to address, and then offer my advice: The bitter one and the scared one.
1. The bitter one. The “I’m going to hate him forever, make his life miserable, take him for everything he’s worth, and poison my kids against him” woman.
First of all, I get you sister, I really do. Who wouldn’t be angry and want revenge? Who wouldn’t want him to pay both financially and emotionally? I would. Sweet revenge, however, is not likely to happen, and someone will surely get hurt in the process (besides your children) and that person is you.
Resentment, anger, ruminating thoughts, plots, and bitterness will literally eat you alive. You’ve got to work this stuff out, and you might want to do it sooner rather than later because life is short and you could have a boatload of happiness in front of you if you go out and get it.
It would be easy to blame your ex for your unhappiness, for the way your life didn’t turn out exactly as you might have hoped but what good is that? Will it change the past and will it improve your future? Nope, it won’t. It will, however, just keep you in divorce hell. I know women in their 70’s still bitching about their ex-husbands. Do you want that to be you or do you want to be in your 70’s saying, “Yes, my divorce was a rough patch but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me because I changed the course of my life to find a happier place for myself.”
2. The scared one. The “This is not what I planned for my life, I’m not sure what the future holds and I’m seriously terrified” person.
The scared one realizes that she’s got some work to do. She needs to figure out how she got herself in this position. Did she marry the wrong man? What role did she have in her marriage problems? What does she want to do differently next time around? Did she bring some old family baggage into her marriage and does she know what that is and how to leave it out of her next relationship? What does she want for herself versus what can she do for everyone else? What’s the story she tells of her life? Is it, “I’m not meant to be happy” or is it, “I know how to find and make my own happiness?” If her story is the first one, it’s time to learn a new one and start to live that happier story.
My advice for both the bitter one and the scared one:
It doesn’t matter if your ex is a cheating, stealing, low life, or just a regular old guy who wasn’t the right guy for you.
Your future and your story are in your hands. How will you rewrite them? If you need some help, I’m here to help and so are plenty of other great professionals. If you decide you want to do the work on your own or with the help of friends, that works too. Either way, do it. You won’t regret it.
Lisa Kaplin is a life coach, psychologist, professional speaker, and mother of 3. After receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees she focused on raising her children yet missed her career desperately. She recently returned to school for her life coaching education, started her own business, Smart Women Inspired Lives, and is both mothering and helping other women to her heart’s content.
Learn more about Lisa Kaplin here.