In this episode, Jaime talks with divorce and empowerment coach Beverly Price about the emotional challenges that women often face during the divorce process. In her work as a coach, Beverly helps women feel empowered to have a better life. Whether contemplating divorce, going through the legal and financial process to divorce, or struggling with negative emotions post-divorce, a coach can help navigate this daunting journey and avoid making life-altering decisions based on emotions.Beverly helps her female clients process their emotions effectively, particularly when the divorce process strips away a person’s identity as a spouse and mother. She encourages a shift in thinking from “Who am I?” to “I am an amazing woman,” promoting positive self-talk, gratitude, and mindset shifting. She explains that negative thinking forms negative pathways in the brain, reinforces negative responses, and shares how to create positive pathways to foster positive thinking. Tune in to this episode to better understand the significance of emotional well-being during divorce and how a coach can help navigate the process and rebuild self-esteem.Need help from Beverly? Contact her by visiting www.herempowereddivorce.com.If you are in need of legal assistance in North Carolina, contact us at Gailor Hunt by visiting www.divorceistough.com.Like this show? Rate it here!
Note: Our Podcast, “A Year and a Day: Divorce Without Destruction”, was created to be heard, but we provide text transcripts to make this information accessible to everyone. All transcripts on our website are created using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and could contain errors.
Jaime: Welcome to A Year in a Day. I’m Jaime Davis, board certified family law attorney at Gaylord Hunt. On this show, I talk with lawyers, psychologists, and other experts with the goal of helping you navigate divorce without destruction. In this episode, I’m talking with divorce and empowerment coach Beverly Price. While consulting an attorney can help you with the legal challenges of a divorce, I see my clients face emotional challenges throughout the process, too, and I often encourage them to talk with someone like Beverly. In this episode, we’re going to be talking about some of the emotional challenges that women face during the divorce process. Thanks for joining me Beverly .
Beverly: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I feel like it’s an honor.
Jaime: So, first off, what is a divorce and empowerment coach? How did you become one?
Beverly: Well, a divorce and empowerment coach combines the best of divorce coaching and the best of empowerment coaching to help women on their journey. Whether they’re just thinking about divorcing and want more clarity. Whether they’re separated and want to understand the overall divorce process and want someone in their corner. Whether they’re in the actual legal and financial situation. I help them with not letting their emotions hijack them or whether they are divorced for a number of years and feel stuck in negative emotions and want a better life. And I became a divorce coach, as many divorce coaches do from their own divorce experience. And I know you’re in North Carolina, and my divorces unfortunately, more than one, were in North Carolina. After I went through them and way back when I did it, we didn’t have divorce coaches or mediators or any of the experts that are available now. And it was painful and it took a long time, and I felt very alone. So I wanted to change that for women so that not only do they not feel alone, but they feel empowered as they come out the other side to live a better life.
Jaime: I say that to my clients as well. You not only want to survive your divorce, you want to thrive through it. So I think the work you’re doing is just wonderful, Beverly .
Beverly: Oh, thank you.
Jaime: How do you know if you need a divorce and empowerment coach?
Beverly: Some people think that a divorce coach is a luxury, but I think it’s a necessity, and many attorneys that I’ve talked to do as well. Number one, if you don’t have one, you don’t necessarily have someone in your corner to help you emotionally, logistically, technically, and skill wise. With a divorce coach, you have someone that will help you in every aspect of the divorce leading up to then contacting other divorce professionals. I’ll give women kind of a very high level overview of what the process looks like. The different professionals involved. I can refer them to professionals if they need, and I help them, most of all emotionally, so that we learn how to process our emotions, work through them, deal with them, and kind of push them to the side when we’re in that negotiation and legal process so they can really think clearly, make better decisions.
Jaime: I think that’s wonderful. I mean, it can be so hard for women to make good business decisions about their divorce, which is what they need to do. Right? We’re talking about money and finances. This needs to be a business decision. The emotion needs to be taken out of it. And that can be really tough to do if you don’t have someone supporting you through that process.
Beverly: Yeah, especially if you’ve come out and you feel really intense emotionally, whether there was infidelity, whether there’s bitterness, whether it was a total shock, whether there was abuse, or just any kind of really intense situation. But even if it isn’t, having someone to walk you through it, I think so many women think that divorce is this kind of event, but what they don’t understand is divorce impacts the entire rest of your life. And if you have children, the rest of your children’s life. And so how you go through it, what you learn and how you grow, really determines what in that life can be better than you’ve ever dreamed of. And a lot of people go, oh, that’s ridiculous. But it’s true. I’ve gone through it. I’ve come through the pain, I’ve come through the legal process, and I’ve come out the other side empowered and with a loving, wonderful life afterwards. So if I went through it, I know other women can go through it and I can show them.
Jaime: Absolutely. I mean, that’s the whole premise of this podcast and my book. You can go through divorce without destruction. It is possible with the right help.
Beverly: Exactly. And also, if it is the kind of divorce with destruction, you probably need even more support and more help and more work on your emotions than even with an amicable divorce. But I think I saw somewhere where only 3% of divorces actually go into intense, hostile litigation. I don’t know if you’d agree with that. So for the most part, while your emotions may feel intense and hostile, you can go through a divorce somewhat amicably. And maybe that’s a misnomer, maybe it’s more business like than amicable. As you said, approach it as a business decision. But I think that having that kind of help and support and guidance as well as opportunity for you to grow is really important. I wish I had that kind of support when I was going through it.
Jaime: Yeah, I would agree with you. I think it’s the rare case that ends up in the courtroom. There may be some small hearings along the way for other cases, but it’s the rare case that the whole case is being resolved in a courtroom. But I agree it’s not going to feel amicable even if you are, quote unquote, amicable with your spouse. It’s a change. It’s a big life change and that’s going to be hard for you regardless of how your spouse reacts. I mean, if both parties play nice, you can get through the process relatively unscathed. But it’s still a giant life event for you that you need to learn how to process and deal with.
Beverly: Yes, some of the most important things to a person are the home that they live in and the family vibe that they create and their children and their finances. So if you figure a divorce touches on all of these, it’s very natural that they’re going to have emotional reactions to it. And divorce being one of those major life events that are difficult to deal with. I think it’s second behind death of a loved one. You’ve got a lot you’ve got to deal with.
Jaime: When you and I spoke last, you mentioned to me that 79% of women don’t consider themselves confident and that four out of five women consider themselves to be less than other women. Exactly how can these self esteem issues impact the divorce process?
Beverly: Well, if you think about that means only 21% of women feel confident. So if you come into a divorce not feeling confident, not having self esteem, feeling less than, then imagine you put this divorce on top of it almost as another layer or what I liken it to is a trash compactor and it pushes it down and down and down. So if you start with very little self esteem, the divorce can push you beyond your limits and can push you into a very negative position with a whole lot of negative self talk, a whole lot of self doubt, no self love, no self care. So many of those things. Now there are rare women that are without help are kind of recharged by their divorce, but that is very rare. So that’s one of the reasons, I think having someone in your corner to show you that you are not less than to show you how to take baby steps to become confident and to raise your self esteem is so important. Because if you think about it, if you go through this divorce and you’re smashed so low, what are you going to be like when you come out of the divorce? And how can you build a life after that if you are so down on yourself? And it also I would say this lack of self esteem when it’s so low can lead to very intense depression which is certainly not healthy for anyone.
Jaime: No, definitely not. I mean, having a cheerleader when you’re going through your divorce is huge. Somebody that you can go to on your worst day, who is going to build you back up to that place you need to be. I mean, even in the nicest I’m going to put that word in air quotes, but the nicest of divorces, your spouse is likely going to say things about you that hurt your feelings, that make you feel bad, that make you feel like you weren’t a good wife, a good mother.
Jaime: You’ve got to have the tools to be able to handle those negative things from the person that was your partner.
Beverly: Exactly. And so many women, when their divorce happens and their marriage dissolves, feel like a failure because they have lived their life and their identity was mother and wife. And so if you take one half of their role away, then they’re left with emptiness. And that is just a terrible position to be in because you come out of it and you go, who am I?
Beverly: And what I like to do is shift their thinking from who am I? To I am and I am this amazing woman rather than I failed and I’m less than and I’m bad. I think as well. Teaching them tools such as practicing positive self talk, affirmations, practicing gratitude and mindset shifting can really help. There’s actually pathways in your brain that are formed based on the way you think. And when you think negatively, the pathways in your brain form very negative thoughts so that your automatic thinking becomes negative. So one of the things we have to do is we have to create positive pathways to shift our thinking so that the positive responses become automatic rather than the negative.
Jaime: That’s really interesting. It’s almost like it’s a self fulfilling prophecy that if you’re down on yourself, you’re going to continue to fulfill that and vice versa.
Beverly: Yeah. And it’s actually not too different from being down on your spouse. One of the things I tried to practice with my ex, who was the father of my children was finding something positive about him. And so what I found that was positive about him well, I didn’t even find something that was positive about him. I chose to think positively of him and I kept saying he is a good father and he is a good person. He is paying his child support. Now, I know some people don’t have the luxury of that situation, but I actually was in an environment of domestic violence and abuse. So I went to a therapist who suggested or told me that a child gets part of their identity from each parent. And she had a client whose husband create was in prison and had committed a heinous crime, but she was advised to try and find one redeeming point, no matter how small and continue to share that with the children because the children get a part of their identity from each parent. And so one of the things I tried to do was find positive things. And my ex grew from what I would consider a negative or a poor husband and a hostile situation. The more I looked at him as positive it almost became. The more positive he became in my eyes, the more I could find that something instead of focusing on that he was nasty or he was an abuser or whatever. And I could say he is a good father. It was amazing the change that took place. I wouldn’t say amicable, but we were professional about it, and we were actually able to coparent positively and had a very positive co parenting relationship versus an awful marriage. And some people even came up to us and said, why did you divorce? You all look like you get along so well. And the answer became, we can’t live with each other.
Jaime: So many parents don’t realize how harmful it is to the children when they speak negatively about the other parents. So kudos to you for being such a great co-parent.
Beverly: Well, it was difficult. You had to put your own feelings aside, and you had to prioritize those children the best you could. Now, there wasn’t a rulebook of how to be a good parent back then, and there weren’t parenting coordinators and there weren’t parenting coaches. And so I don’t think I necessarily did a great job as a parent because my children have told me now about what they felt was lacking from me as a parent. But I feel like I did the absolute best I could at the moment and wish I had a parenting coordinator, a parent coach.
Jaime: Yeah, things have definitely evolved in that arena, for sure.
Beverly: Yeah. And I just admire you for also taking on that parenting coordinator role in addition to your legal role because I think understanding that is so incredible.
Jaime: Well, thank you. I enjoy the work. I like helping the families. It’s interesting trying to help co parents learn how to communicate when they’ve had years of a pattern of not being able to communicate with one another.
Jaime: It’s not always the easiest job, but I enjoy it.
Beverly: Yeah, well, I’m sure you do a great job at it.
Jaime: Well, tell me, what are some of the problems you work to solve with your clients?
Beverly: Well, the first one is, we’ve mentioned before dealing with emotions. Most of them are negative when they come in, and they can be negative about the spouse, they can be negative about themselves. And those two things in either regard are very harmful, not only to the divorce, but to the people involved. Involved and the children. So we try and work on processing emotions, measuring emotions, setting goals of different types of things to do that can actually shift that mindset and shift those emotions. I think the difference some people don’t know the difference between a therapist and a coach and a dear friend of mine who is a psychotherapist and a trauma specialist. And I came up with this delineation that a therapist looks backward and looks at childhood traumas, childhood issues, domestic violence, other traumas, PTSD, narcissism. And a coach looks present and forward and uses somewhat of a goal setting approach to help move that person forward. And so it really depends and sometimes people need both because there might be a lot of their emotions are really the result of childhood trauma and the current situation is triggering it. And that prevents you from being this civil, professional person. One of the techniques I suggest to women is to visualize a box. They can make it as beautiful and elaborate as they want. And it has a lid and it has a lock. And so what I want them to do is when they have a meeting or a discussion about their divorce or an interaction with their husband, I want them to open that box, take all of their emotions and put them in that box, shut it and lock it so they can have kind of a neutral position. And then if they want, when they finish that interaction, they can open that box and take all those emotions back. But it’s important to know, and you’ve said it many times, that the most effective, the most inexpensive, the most positive, long lasting results. And happier lives come from when you can be neutral or civil or view divorce as a business transaction where there’s not the emotional attachments going on. And that’s extremely hard to do. A lot of women have to do a lot of work to get there. They can save a lot of money doing that.
Jaime: Yeah, definitely. I was going to say I love the metaphor of just sort of putting the emotions in the box and then taking them back out when you’re done. I do think it’s easier said than done. Right? And certainly a learned process. But I love that.
Beverly: Like you said, baby steps.
Jaime: Absolutely. So what does your process look like when you have a client?
Beverly: Well, my process is totally custom to the woman and it’s one on one and virtual. I have clients across the United States and internationally and essentially it begins with a consultation that is free. And I look at what stage the woman’s in. Is she contemplating divorce? Is she in the divorce or is it afterwards? And based on that and based on the things she tells me, I design something specific for her. For example, if a woman is full of fear, what we try to do is look at that fear, break it down, look at the sources of that fear and work through it. And divorce brings up tremendous fear. If a woman has huge triggers that the divorce is triggering, we look at those and analyze those, figure out what’s triggering it. If it is past issues, past trauma, I would refer that client to also see a therapist. If that woman is extremely fearful of finances, I may refer her to a certified divorce financial analyst so she can actually factually learn her position. Because a lot of times fear is a lack of knowledge and also self confidence and self esteem can be a lack of knowledge. So the more knowledge I can provide her, the higher the baseline we’re working from. I look at what skills she has. Does she have effective communication, time management, organizational skills? One of the biggest effects of divorce is massive overwhelm. And what we do is we try and break that down into small steps, as I’ve heard you say, so that you can not feel overwhelmed. Look at what you have to do prioritize. Do you really have to do all those things? Is the world going to come to an end if you don’t do all of those things? And there are other things we can evaluate. If a woman is experiencing domestic violence is fearful, I refer her to domestic violence professionals. I am very aware of what my strengths are and what other people’s strengths are. If someone is involved in a negative co parenting situation, I will refer them to a co parenting specialist. So it really, because it’s all custom. It depends on what that woman’s needs are, whether it’s emotionally, skill wise, education wise, or all of those. I can build it just for her.
Jaime: What are some of the greatest challenges that you have seen clients face in working with you through this process?
Beverly: The first one that comes to mind is when someone has suffered financial abuse. When they find out that the spouse has done things financially, that puts them at risk long term. For example, there was a client that had separated but didn’t have a legal separation agreement, and the husband had some investments in an IRA and he went and cashed in that whole IRA. And she got a massive tax impact because of that and she was unaware of it. He also was filing unemployment and not reporting his earnings. So she got the tax hit because of that. Other women, the men, have exclusively managed the finances and they’re totally unaware of everything. They can’t even see the bank accounts. They don’t know what the bills are, they don’t know where the tax returns are. And so those are really big challenges because there’s massive fear and there’s also that beat yourself up feeling, I should have known better. Particularly if a woman is a talented, educated, professional woman, she’s going, I really should have known better. I have the skills, I know finances. I shouldn’t have put myself in this position. So that’s one of them. The second one is shock. If you thought your marriage was wonderful and your spouse seemed attentive and loving, and all of a sudden he comes to you without any warning and says, I have filed for divorce. I want a divorce. And it’s important to know that when someone comes to you and files for divorce, they have had long time to process their emotions. If they come to you and drop the bomb on you, you haven’t had any time to process your emotions. So both of you are reacting from a different point of view. And that Shock kind of creates an even more intense emotional situation. So that’s one infidelity is always extremely difficult, particularly if it’s combined with shock.
Jaime: In my world, if a client came to me and said, all of a sudden my husband wants a separation, we’ve been happily married, I had no idea. This is completely out of the blue. I’d say you need to hire a Pi. Odds are good there is a third party involved here.
Beverly: Yeah, absolutely. So those, I think, are kind of the top three that I would say are challenges. Another challenge from another perspective is the woman who has been divorced, who can’t stop thinking about her husband, can’t stop thinking about the life they had, can’t stop thinking about the dream of what her marriage was, can’t stop hating her spouse, is so bitter that she almost needs a total emotional rearrangement to shift. I knew this woman who had been divorced from her husband for eight years, and she turned to him and said, you haven’t suffered enough. And she was so bitter and so angry that a few years later she passed from cancer. And there is science that shows that negative emotions do have an effect physically on your body. And I wonder if that didn’t contribute to her cancer. I’m not a medical professional, but I just can’t help but wonder.
Jaime: Well, and if nothing else, when you remain that bitter for so long, you’re just stuck and you can’t move forward and you can’t enjoy life and you can’t enjoy new relationships because you’re stuck.
Beverly: And think about it this way. If you are negative and you are talking about it or even just that you’re negative, who’s going to want to spend time with you? Your friends will walk away. No man’s going to want to be with you. So you can either change that thinking and have a wonderful life, or you can live your life the rest of your life feeling bitter. Do you want on your tombstone for somebody to say, I had a wonderful life or I hated him?
Jaime: Right, exactly. And that’s a choice you have to make.
Beverly: Yeah, it is. And sometimes people are so stuck in blame that they don’t accept their part. I call that the victim mentality. I’m not talking about domestic violence or an actual victim. I’m talking about when somebody holds onto and continues to blame everyone for their situation, then that lets me off the hook from doing anything about myself.
Jaime: Right. We see that a lot.
Jaime: So we’ve talked about the challenges that clients face. Do you have any success stories you can share from your years of coaching?
Beverly: Oh, absolutely. I have one woman that came to me just all confused. She thought she wanted a divorce. She didn’t know she wanted her husband back, and yet he wasn’t the kind of man that I would recommend for anyone. And so it took us time for her to process her thinking. Now, one thing that I think is important to know, and I’m sure this is true for you, I am not pro divorce. Divorce coaches are not pro divorce. We would love to be put out of business so that everyone would have a happy marriage, but when you can’t, that’s when you need help. And so we worked her through the process. She also had spent her whole marriage taking care of him. So she was actually more like a mother than a wife, to the point that the husband never had a job, never contributed to household chores, and had mental issues, and yet she felt responsible for him. And so one of the beautiful things that came out of that was her realizing she wasn’t his mother, she wasn’t responsible for him. She had to let him go, even if it meant that he was going to hit bottom and be unemployed and whatever. She had to let him have his own life to the point she came out a beautiful, independent, enlightened, happy woman, that her life was hers. Her life wasn’t living through taking care of him. That was just a beautiful experience. And another one was that as we talked about a woman that was horribly stuck in negativity, in blame and bitterness. And while it took us a good while, she was able to start looking at herself, becoming more self-aware, taking responsibility for her life and actions so that her life was beautiful and fulfilling afterwards. And then there’s always the woman going through divorce that if she hadn’t had the work, probably would spend twice as much on legal fees as she had doing the work. That’s one benefit. But the other benefit was she came out being able to civilly co parent with her ex.
Jaime: That’s wonderful. I love hearing all of these positive stories. I mean, yeah, people don’t always want to be divorced. They haven’t asked to be divorced. Sometimes it’s just dropped on them, like you mentioned earlier. But to hear that they’re able to understand that they have an issue that they need help with to get the help that they need, and then that they’re able to thrive through the process, I love that.
Beverly: Yeah. And one thing that’s happening that I’m seeing a lot of is they say that for people over 50, the divorce rate is tripling. And there’s a whole unique set of circumstances surrounding somebody in that situation. And there’s so many women that if they don’t have someone looking out for them, suffer really big financial consequences. I heard that there’s actually an increase in homelessness of divorced women. So having an advocate, both legally and emotionally and educationally, can help them perhaps come out of it with less damage.
Jaime: If you could only share one piece of advice with someone going through a divorce, what would it be?
Beverly: Put your emotions in that box I talked about. Put them in the box, put the lid on and lock. At any time you’re interacting about the divorce, then when you take them out, realize that what you’ve done is a major feat and that you should reward yourself and stroke yourself and praise yourself for being able to do that. You will be able to look back on your divorce and not necessarily be proud of how you handled it, but feel good, feel that you were your best self as you went through it. So put those emotions aside when dealing with it, and then have somebody to help and support you through that process, because you don’t have to go through it alone.
Jaime: That’s wonderful advice. I mean, my clients that struggle the most are those who are not able to take the emotion out of it, and they’re not able to make good decisions about their money and their children. And so to the extent that they can put those emotions in the box, I think that’s great advice.
Beverly: Yeah. Now, it takes practice. It’s not something you can just boom do. But again, like you said, baby steps. Question of baby steps in growth.
Jaime: Yes, baby steps are absolutely necessary, and they’re great for helping people avoid paralysis by analysis. I see folks out there, too, where they’re trying to evaluate every single possible thing that could happen in their divorce a year from now, two years from now, and then they’re stuck and they can’t make any decisions for today.
Beverly: Yes, absolutely. And then I also heard there’s some complexity. I think the word narcissist is thrown around so much that it’s not necessarily factually true. But if you are in a situation with a narcissist, I heard that those divorces can take eight to ten years to resolve. So you definitely need help in that. That would be incredibly expensive.
Jaime: Oh, for sure. Those are definitely some of the toughest cases that I have seen are where the opposing party is actually diagnosed with narcissism. I mean, it’s on a spectrum, right? Exactly. We all have a little bit of it, but for the folks that are truly diagnosed, dealing with that person on the other side of a divorce is extremely difficult.
Beverly: Oh, I’m sure I can’t even imagine.
Jaime: If one of our listeners is looking for help from you and their divorce, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Beverly: Well, on my website, which is herempowereddivorce.com, you can sign up for a free consultation, which is the best way to explore, or you can email me at beverly@herempowereddivorce and you can also listen to my podcast by going to my website and clicking on the podcast tab. And guess who’s going to be a guest? Jaime.
Jaime: Oh, yeah, you can’t miss that one.
Beverly: Yeah, absolutely.
Jaime: Well, thank you, Beverly, for joining us.
Beverly: Oh, thank you so much for having me. It was a true pleasure.
Jaime: Thank you all for listening. If you like this episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you get your podcast so you don’t miss. The next one. While this information is intended to provide you with general information to navigate divorce without destruction, this podcast is not legal advice. The information is specific to the law in North Carolina. If you have any questions before taking action, consult an attorney who is licensed in your state. If you are in need of assistance in North Carolina, contact us at Gailor Hunt by visiting divorceistough.com. I’m Jaime Davis, and I’ll talk with you next time on A Year and a Day.