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Soon after my husband left, I joined a divorce support group and found it very helpful. A year later, the facilitator stepped down and asked me to help facilitate the group. Emotionally, I was in a much better place then and agreed to help. It seemed like a good way to give back to a group that had given me so much.

Divorce support groups take many different forms but this one operates as a forum for people to share their stories, feelings and ask questions. The facilitator's role is mainly to make sure that everyone has a chance to speak. Over the past two years, I've seen a lot of people come and go, but I'm starting to identify the characteristics that help people move more quickly through the stages of this tragedy and those that slow down the process. Here's what I've learned:

  • Grieve:  People are often embarrassed to be seen crying but I think it's healthy. People who genuinely grieve the loss the relationship seem to heal more quickly than those who don't. Some of the people who seem tto me to be the most balanced reported crying a lot in the early months and were embarrassed that they "couldn't keep it together" more. People have reported crying in supermarkets, airports, sporting events, movie theatres and in the car among other places. 
  • Take action:  Getting a lawyer, dividing up assets, making a financial plan is tough, often excruciating but getting through it helps to get to the future. People who put off doing these things come to the group with the same concerns and anxieties every week. I find it hard to help these people because the problems always remain the same.
  • Listen and take advice:  Some people come with pretty clear ideas of what they will or won't do. "I won't use a lawyer." "My spouse would never.."  "I couldn't possibly take medication..." None of us thought we would be here. Willingness to listen and change your course of action can be a big help.
  • Money or lack of money doesn't seem to have much affect as far as I can tell on a person's emotional well-being. I've seen some people with nothing but debt emerge with serenity and those with enough assets to keep both parties comfortable remain stuck. After all, No matter how much money you have, there are lawyers willing to spend it for you.

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  • Comment Link Guest Arte Tuesday, 04 October 2011 21:38 posted by Guest Arte

    My Lawyer and the Judge made process to go for 3 years: Quckly after being served by my husband and his bimbo three days before Christmas, I asked everyone to recommend a lawyer who could represent me on January 5 pretrial conference. He promised not to waste my money and make process go smooth. He promised to help recover the money my husband stole to wine and dine his bbimbo and buy her a rock, a total of more than 120K. I later found that he knew the judge from Crooklyn Court who made the process go unnecessary slow, who selected days like 9/11 and one other, date when the Wwii started in Russia for appearances, and who helped to schedule my depositions 5 days after my surgery. My lawyer after taking all I had conveniently dismissed me as a client. The wonderful justice made sure her friend could go and be free after alledgedly using all my funds. This is why it took me 2 more years after the divorce ofinal date to feel better. I followed my divorce lawyer's advice to see a phsychologist who every session told me I was doing the right thing by having this lawyer. Now my kids know they did not get our money back nor did they get child support, so my advice before you meet with a lawyer, try to get all of your financials in order, even if you need to stall giving a divorce to your hated cheater soon to be ex. Make sure you have a control of finances first, and do not give in to tears, lawyers, crooked judges and your accountants. Learn from my painful experience. By the way my account was the one who redress me to this lawyer, aren't you surprised that she helies my ex to get more money on his returns? Thanks to my new accountant who helped me to amend previous returns. So stop crying, have a playbook ready. Make sure your and your kids interests are secure. Also try for a conscent divorce and rather than putting your laweird kids through college, try to work out a deal and compromise for kids sake.