Message of Hope – Cathy W. Meyer

Cathy W. Meyer
Marriage Educator and Divorce Coach

I am SO excited to bring you this interview!  One of my goals is to provide hope to those going through the very difficult early days of their divorce, as well as to those that feel stuck in unhappiness after divorce.  I firmly believe that a good therapist, divorce coach or other trained mental health professional can be the difference between staying stuck in misery and finding a path out to a better life.  There are tools you can learn to help move you forward and it’s important to choose your guide wisely!  If you are looking for wisdom and common sense advice, you can’t do better than to read the many articles that Cathy W. Meyer has published online (you can find links to some of her work down below).  I am so honored that she agreed to be the first person interviewed for this series and I think you will find a lot of wisdom here.

1.  In going through your divorce, is there anything you learned about yourself that surprised you?

I can look back at this now and laugh. At the time, when I was coming to terms with some of my own negative behaviors during the marriage, I would shudder. I had always viewed myself as a good wife and mother. In reality what I was, was a control freak.

I wanted everyone safe and happy and thought I was the one with the proper and only knowledge of how to make that happen. I prided myself on being “open” to my husband’s opinions and taking his ideas into consideration.

When the rubber hit the road though, it was my opinion that I went with. Basically I was a know it all…who as it turns out knew very little about how to relax and enjoy life. When the one running the show can’t relax and enjoy life those sharing space and time with her are less likely to also.

My divorce taught me valuable lessons about “letting go,” putting my trust in others and just being happy, not worrying over every little detail but focusing on being happy.

2.  What indulgence or guilty pleasure did you allow yourself on those days when you needed to do something to feel better?

It took some time but I learned a lot about doing for myself or, that I was worthy of putting myself first. I don’t think I had one guilty pleasure. Once I gave myself permission I went exploring and found there were many things I could indulge in that would not only relieve stress but also build up my self-esteem.

For instance, I had never had a manicure or pedicure. Little did I know that, not only do you get pretty nails after a mani/pedi, you are also relaxed and energized because of the massage of your hands and feet. After my first, I was hooked. Add that to hot bubble baths and a good book to escape into and this woman was feeling good.

3.  What was the most effective way that your friends and/or family supported you?  Or was there a way that they could have supported you differently that you are able to provide for your clients now?

My friends and family wanted me to “get over it.” Within three months of separation after a very long-term marriage I found myself surrounded by a support system that didn’t understand why I had not moved on.

When we offer support, we have to be in it for the long haul. No one is going to recover on our time-line. We can’t coddle people who are going through adversity but we do need to be willing to allow them to work through their issues in their own way and in their own time. If you are offering genuine support the best thing you can do for that person is listen, don’t offer opinions and be patient, patient, patient.

4.  If you could go back in time and speak to yourself during your divorce, what message would you send?

I would love to be able to tell that frightened, hurt woman that the pain would end and she would survive. When we are in the throes of it, it is impossible to see the other side of the situation. There was a very long time in which I thought I would live out my days in emotional pain and afraid of what the future held.

Recovery and rebuilding was a foreign concept. One I couldn’t grasp because the emotional waters were too muddy. People in that situation don’t get through it by “getting over it.” They get through it by working their way through it. If that makes any sense!
I would tell that woman that if she paid attention, made the right choices and believed in her ability to overcome what was happening that all would eventually be well.

About Cathy:

Cathy Meyer has been a divorce coach and marriage educator for nearly a decade. She specializes in helping couples restore their marriage or, if need be helping them navigate a conflict free divorce. For more about Cathy you may find her online at cathywmeyer.com, divorcesupport.about.com and the Huffington Post.

 

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