Once upon a time, I believed I had to sacrifice to love to receive it. That meant I had to give pieces of my self-worth and intrinsic value to the person I loved and watched as they carelessly tossed those pieces of me away. It meant caring for their emotional needs before ever considering my own. If I even thought about nurturing my own wants, I felt as if I was selfish, and guilt would fill my body with anxiety.
I thought love was transactional. And that is a big fat crazy lie. However, if you told me it was a lie before I healed my emotional wounds, I wouldn’t believe you. My core belief and experiences were love came at a price, and I measured, counted, and allotted for each piece of me like pennies, nickels, and dimes. How much was I willing to give up? Nearly all of me, until I came to my senses.
When I was young, I believed money was the path to independence and that if you worked hard you could achieve your financial goals. Love was something I never defined. I just thought when you fell in love, marriage and kids would come next. I never knew how I needed to be loved until after 23 years with someone the reality of what I thought I had, I never really had. Thankfully, I was strong enough to believe in myself, therefore, I was not willing to pay the biggest price of all, my happiness in exchange of money and the dreams of finding the love I learned to define.
Love and money were intertwined. Both are intrinsically about value. Love meant someone valued me and money; well, it makes the world go round. So how can a person preparing or going through a divorce unwind that emotional knot?
Two distinct things need to happen. First, you have to know your worth doesn’t equate to dollars and cents. Your value is defined by all the things no one can see. Your soul, beliefs, likes, joys, experiences, pains, values, and dreams. None of these core values can be erased by the end of a relationship. As a matter of fact, endings are a great place to evaluate what’s important to you and create standards and boundaries that protect you.
Sounds overwhelming doesn’t it? Unwinding all of your emotions and years of a bad relationship with money and possibly love can seem daunting. Well, the good news here is that you don’t need all the answers today. Take one step with recreating how you view money. Knowing what assets and debts comprise your marital estate and what your needs are will change your perspective. Your confidence will soar as you gain financial clarity needed, not only in divorce, but in your post-divorce life! Confidence and clarity will also do wonders for healing old wounds.
The second thing that needs to happen is taking an honest look at how you view money. Remember, money isn’t finite, so don’t allow the stress of divided assets to make you feel less-than. Does money equal your value as a person? No, it doesn’t. You have the capability to earn more. I say freedom from a relationship that no longer serves you is worth letting go of. You can always earn more money.
In order to move forward you sometimes you have to take a step or two backwards. Perhaps make a list of some financial mistakes you made in the past. Rehash in your mind what you would have done differently, maybe work on your budget and really take a look at how you are living. If you are living over your means, evaluate why. I remember buying “things” to fill a void in my first marriage. Often, I would buy and then return after I realized the “things” still left me unhappy. It was then that I realized money was not worth the cost of love, inner-happiness, and peace.
When you heal the emotional wounds in your mind, body, and soul, what you attract and how you interact will rise to meet you. Instead of money reflecting your worth, it will become a tool in this life.
Divorce is painful. Making decisions based on emotions instead of financial clarity is something that leads to regret. Moving forward with regret slows the process of letting go. Make the rest of your life the best of your life by obtaining your MDS Financial Portrait because financial knowledge in life is powerful, but in divorce it’s everything!
If you need help navigating emotional choices Holly is here to help.
If you want help navigating the financial aspects of divorce My Divorce Solutions is there to help.
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