Secrets to a Harmonious Divorce

IMG_2724Divorce: A permanent separation or a formal ending of a marriage between two people who were once connected.

We have seen it, heard it, observed it, and perhaps even experienced it ourselves: how unpleasant, emotionally stressful, and mentally draining a divorce can be between two people who once were madly in love with each other. Do all divorces have to end so ugly? I do not believe so, and I am speaking from my own personal experience.

On my 42nd birthday almost two years ago, the court granted my request to divorce my best friend and soulmate.  Did our divorce end on bad terms? Certainly not, but that does not mean it was not stressful.

Many people were quite surprised. They thought that my ex and I were perfect for each other since we were both driven and outgoing entrepreneurs who also share similar values and upbringings. But that was not enough. When you have two passionate, impatient, driven, hot-headed, and equally strong-minded crazy entrepreneurs together…it equates to an explosion, an imbalance of yin and yang energy.

On paper and in photographs, it seemed perfect.  In reality, we both knew that we needed to be each other’s opposite balance, and that was quite difficult.  For almost two years, we sought coaching, couple’s therapy, retreats, prayers, and romantic getaways to make things work.  At one point, we even thought that perhaps having a baby would change it all, and thank goddess we did not go that route. It just was not in the stars for us to be together as a couple.

We both still love and respect each other very much; we are each other’s best friend and family. Don’t get me wrong: it was very emotionally stressful, and it felt like failure because we both do not give up that easily. But we did promise each other that we would work together to make it a harmonious and painless separation.  And we did so through honest communication. We stayed 100% open and upfront with each other the whole time even when it was difficult and confronting.

I have friends and clients who are going through nasty divorces that have been dragging on for years. It is even more difficult and complicated when children are involved.

While each journey is different, here are some things my ex and I did along the way that contributed to our divorce being harmonious and heartache-free:

  1. Honest and open communication.  During the whole journey, we stayed in communication and shared our thoughts openly, even when they were not so positive.  We knew where we stood with one another.  There was no guessing or playing of games or even walking on eggshells.
  2. Assume good intent. Even before we were married, we were partners in crime and we watched each other’s backs. In this situation we wanted the best for each other. I wanted him to be happy, and he the same for me.
  3. Respect.  What more can I say? The only reason why divorces end ugly is because the two people who were once madly in love have lost respect for one another.  In our case, we have always respected each others’ decisions, actions, opinions, and beliefs. 
  4. Treat it like business. You may not think this is romantic, but really, if you can put your emotions aside and treat your divorce like a business exchange (as you should all relationships to an extent), you both will be much happier.  Communicate, collaborate, prioritize, strategize, plan, and visualize a positive desired outcome. This will help tremendously.
  5. Speak your truths and express yourself.  Please listen to me: no matter how bad it is, speak your truth, even when you know the other person may not want to hear it.  By speaking your truth, you build trust with the other person so that they know you are not just putting up a front.  This will put them less on the defensive side and encourage them to share their truths with you as well.  Getting the unsaid said is the best thing you can do for any relationships.
  6. Lastly, take care of yourself, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.  Seek help and support by talking to friends, family, a trusted advisor, or get professional counseling. Exercising and eating healthy, along with lots of sleep, really helped me with my emotional stress. Also, prayers, meditation, yoga, walking in nature, and spending time with my little nieces was oh so heart-healing and calming of the mind. But the biggest stress reliever for me was writing. I wrote in my journal a lot – some days, it was pages and pages of thoughts and emotions….and that is how this blog was born. It has been so therapeutic for me in my spiritual journey of self-discovery and awakening.

Currently, I am in a good place and ready to start a whole new life.  My ex and I are still best friends, and he is one of my biggest clients that I support and counsel. He is dating a wonderful goddess and has already moved on with his life. As for me, I am spending a lot of time getting to know myself and dating me for the first time. It’s actually quite fun and I am loving it! My whole life has been around others’ happiness before my own. Now it is time for me to rejuvenate and put myself first. It feels like being born again. The exciting part is I get to create and design the life I have always wanted. 🙂

Do I see myself being married again? Absolutely! Only this time, my recipe for a happy and long lasting marriage will be of my own, and not of my family, my friends, my culture, nor the Catholic church.  Are you going through a tough divorce right now? Please let me know if I can support you in any way.

Much Love Always,

tu-anh

Who’s That Girl?

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All polished and dressed up before a goddess event.

Have you ever desired to be someone else behind closed doors or may be when the lights are out?  Have you ever wished you could break from the everyday routine of your busy life to try on a different and more interesting persona?  If you are like me, then you are always open to having fun and adding a bit of mystery and intrigue to your life.  This is why I am excited to share with you the Delila, Sybille, and Anna masks that are now available in our goddess sanctuary and online for purchase.

One of my favorite celebrities in the 80s and 90s was Madonna – I was and still am a very, very BIG fan.  As a teenager I would try to emulate her style, and one of the things I love the most about her was her ability to shift her style and attitude to suit her mood or the personality she is projecting in a specific video or performance.  And how did she achieve these changes?  Often she used masks, makeup or other accessories to express herself (pun intended!).

If your life is a bit dull and has too much Titan energy, and you are looking to give it some spice – especially in a relationship that might have become a bit dull and routine – try some role-playing with your romantic partner with one of these these masks. You will for sure add an air of mystery, spontaneity, and sauciness back to your relationship.

Madonna arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Madonna arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

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Try incorporating body jewels along with your masks for the role playing.

How about being captivating at a party?

Adding the goddess touch with butterflies

Adding the goddess touch with butterflies.

Communication Can Make or Break Your Relationships

Recently,  I shared with you the importance of saying “Thank You” to colleagues, friends, and family and how you must be authentic when you say “thank you” in order for it to be truly meaningful.  Likewise, when you are giving someone constructive feedback or expressing a concern, you must be honest and straightforward.  I know it is not always easy, especially when you are a conflict-averse person.

Steven Gaffney recently shared on Virginia This Morning, “People never say what really needs to get said,” both at work and at home.  As a result, resentment or fear can build up over time, causing tension in relationships and keeping people from being less than their best selves. And I can completely relate to this.

Click on the image below to view the full interview, and then I invite you to take a moment and think about your own communication skills.  Are you sharing what needs to be said to the people who matter in your life? If not, why not? What is holding you back? Is it fear? What are you afraid of? How has it been working for you being this way? How deep and meaningful are your relationships?  Life is too short and too precious to not be living and expressing our truths.

When you have honest and open communication in your relationships, you have trust, respect, security, honor, and loyalty. And when you have all those things in your relationships, you can solve any problems that arise and handle any setbacks that come your way. Over the years, I have had quite a few falling outs in my business and personal life. Often, I am the one surprised and wondering: “If they had told me and I had known, all of the stress could have been avoided.” Well, we all learn and grow from those experiences. Most importantly, what can we change or do to make sure that all of our relationships are strong?

So think about the relationships in your life where an open conversation would make a true difference and help make that relationship richer and much more meaningful.  How about making the time to have that conversation today, tomorrow, or this weekend? Keep me posted 🙂
Steven Gaffney on Virginia This Morning