During my divorce in 2009, my new mantra became Prosperity After Divorce. I wanted a new version of prosperity. I craved it. When I found it, it would mean that the divorce was behind me— that I’d healed, that I’d arrived in a new place, and that all the heartache, loss, and grief was finally over for good.
But reciting the words now written on my bathroom mirror was not enough. I needed to access my own definition of prosperity and create a life around it. I knew, deep down, that prosperity wasn’t just about having lots of cash— but once my divorce process started, it seemed like money was front and center all the time. Dollar signs loomed in every conversation. I could barely think about anything else.
Looking for a first step, I started asking myself “why prosperity and security are so tangled up with money,” especially when it comes to divorce.
The answer I came up with is that money, to most people, is security. And in divorce, not only does the relationship implode, the financial structures you built as a couple also crumble. Everything gets torn apart and rearranged.
During the divorce, money very often functions as a cushion between all of the sadness, grief, and loss that comes with divorce and the paralyzing terror of being unable to fulfill basic needs for yourself and your family. Let’s face it: you can only process so much crap at once. It’s a lot easier to navigate your emotions and grieve the end of your relationship when you’re not worried about how to pay your mortgage and put food on the table.
When money is front and center, and the future is uncertain, that nasty, grasping fear about the loss of basic security and identity comes rushing to the surface, and it puts its grimy hands on everything.
In any divorce—even an amicable one—money is the chief topic of discussion. A big chunk of the divorce process is figuring out how to divide the assets, remortgage the house, pay for the kids’ expenses, distribute the debt, etc. Unless you’re a millionaire (and maybe even then), splitting up the finances is going to cause one or both parties real strain, and rattle the foundation of security—shaky as it might already have been— that the marriage and joint assets once provided.
And so, when we talk about money in the context of divorce, we’re not just talking about cash, properties, and investments. We’re talking about people’s deepest fears and feelings about security, identity, and self-worth. Talking about money becomes like prodding an open wound, and fear becomes like an infection.
Most people, in the chaos of divorce, aren’t aware enough to see that they’re actually dealing with emotions, not assets. Regardless of how carefully you plan, or how affluent you are, your security is going to be challenged in your divorce.
Security comes in many forms: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial. What’s more, your personal experience of prosperity is directly tied to your definition of security.
Developing a deep understanding of your personal definition of prosperity should be at the top of your divorce work. When you feel prosperous, you also feel secure—but security looks different for everyone.
So, it’s important to ask yourself: Is my security tied to money and possessions? Is it tied to love and relationships? Is it tied to time, stability, or freedom?
Understanding this will give you a platform from which you can make sound decisions about your new life and YOUR Prosperity After Divorce path.
Taken from Michelle Jacobik’s book: Prosperity After Divorce: Take charge of your finances & create the life you really want using Lifestyle Re-Design Planning available February 2018