I have been working with divorcing clients for quite some time. I’m passionate about providing options for people in regard to keeping the marital home or buying a new home after divorce. So many women have come to me during contemplation or negotiations seeking help to make sure they are making good, informed decisions regarding the marital home or a new home. On the flip side, I have been approached a lot less by men who are getting divorced, either because the spouse is leaving or because they chose to leave. “My wife is leaving me,” “My wife and I are splitting up,” or “I have chosen to get divorced” are all very unique situations with one common theme: they need guidance, both emotionally and financially, which includes help with decisions regarding the marital home.
Jenny Stevens, LCPC is a divorce coach and therapist, who said she’s not surprised that so many more women seek help during a divorce. Stevens pointed out that typically, the person asking for the divorce didn’t wake up one day and decide they would like to end the marriage. The decision may have culminated after weeks, months or years of contemplation. It’s likely that this person has already processed many stages of grief to get to that point.
The other person, however, may have a different experience. Stevens explained that when someone gets hit with the realization that they will be going through a divorce, their brain gets hijacked by anxiety and fear and sends them typically into a “fight or flight” response. Also known as the acute stress response, this refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat, or to run away to safety.
Women inherently accept that they have emotions; they are tribal, conditioned to talk about their emotions, and willing to ask for help and support. This is largely due to societal norms and the way men have historically—and unfortunately—not been taught to deal with big emotions. Divorce is obviously something that has the power to trigger big emotions.
Once someone’s brain is hijacked, and the amygdala—the part of the brain that serves as the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation—is affected, the ability to make good decisions is no longer accessible. When this is happening, the first step is to seek out a good therapist and a divorce coach—like Stevens.
Therapy can help process the emotions and get you unstuck, and coaching is a support system to get you moving in the right direction. At the very least, one should seek out a trusted friend or family member they can trust to talk through these emotions. Choosing someone who may have been through something similar is often beneficial.
When it comes to divorce, whether it’s “my wife is leaving me,” or “I’m leaving my wife,” making well-informed decisions and surrounding yourself with a team of professionals is the very best way to ensure you will get through the transition and help guide you through decisions that will affect your future.
It takes work to separate emotion from the business aspect of divorce because if you think about it, a divorce truly is a business transaction—one that is flooded with emotions including anger, fear, anxiety, sadness and a broken heart. When I say “it takes work,” I’m referring to working on yourself–working with a therapist and/or a divorce coach who can guide you through the process, help you manage stress, and give you the tools to achieve the best possible outcome and life after divorce.
As a divorced mom of two teenagers, I can relate to clients who are going through the difficult process of divorce. I hold a certification as a Divorce Lending Professional and I’ve worked in the mortgage banking industry for 25 years. I welcome every opportunity to help those who are seeking the valuable guidance that I am so willing to offer, because these resources would have made such a difference for me, had I known they were available.
Tami Wollensak is a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) for Oak Leaf, a division of Mutual Federal Bank. Licensed to work in all 50 states, Tami has a heavy focus in Divorce Mortgage Planning, and a holistic approach to the process of evaluating mortgage options in the context of the overall financial objectives as they relate to divorcing situations. Tami has worked in the mortgage industry for 25+ years. To learn more, visit www.tamiwollensak.com.
Like this article? Check out, “Who Gets the House in a Divorce? 5 Tips to Consider?”