Avoid Painful Divorce – Take Action NOW

Many married people ignore the alarms of dissatisfaction that have been ringing inside of them that could have helped them avoid a painful divorce.

When we go numb to our own warning alert system we also ignore those our partner has been setting off as well.

Warning alarms are set to silent mode out of fear, shame and overwhelming sense of obligation.  None of the complaints and a nagging voices sounded like they might end up a causes for divorce,  until something big shifts.

Often one spouse will “suddenly” announces that he or she is moving out, wants to end the marriage, or even has filed already for separation/divorce, or is found having an affair or using prostitution services. Now there is a fire under things and the burning question becomes, “Is there any way, to stop this from going to divorce court or at least devolving into a nasty divorce?”

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Warning signs are your best friend when attempting to avoid a painful divorce.

Last Friday a new client of mine, Tom shared his shock at coming to terms the level of dissatisfaction in his marriage.  He had started the process to do what was in his power to turn things around but seemed to have no idea that his wife was this unhappy.

“Yes, she complained of things, but don’t all wives complain from time to time?” Tom asked me during a session, referring to his wife of 22 years who now wanted a divorce.

Twenty years of experience assisting men in deteriorating marriages has shown me that by the time help is sought out, the wife has long ago checked out and the husband ambivalent.  They have become roommates.  I told him there was still hope but quick decisive action was required.

 I worked with Tom on processing his emotions around this and advised approaching his wife with a plan, a plan detaching them from old broken way,  bringing them along in steps, creating a new relationship. This might mean a peaceful parting and division of assets and obligation, an enlivened co-parenting arrangement, or it may kindle new passion to have the relationship they both always dreamed.

Monday morning came and they made a decision to use our plan, reasoning that even if it didn’t turn out that way that we planned, it still felt right to them. They were awake now to the task at hand and the value gained in the process. They understood working consciously to un-couple from the old ways would leave them better off no matter how things played out.  Hope filled them with the confidence that they would be prepared for co-parenting in separate households, and ready for post-divorce dating without guilt.


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Growth can be your new focus and your divorce journey can open you both up to massive self discovery and love.

There are 7 Commitments my Un-Coupling Clients must make to for coaching to work:

1.  Get out of your fog and get into action mode

If you are serious about wanting to stop a divorce and minimize damage then you must soothe the panic, skip the moping, and make an action plan you can honestly stick to through the ups and downs.

2.  Acknowledge you have a very normal human urge to play the victim, but squash that shit

Neediness, blame and guilting your partner into returning will just temporally bring back a depressed “I hate being here again” spouse. Not a good way to stop a divorce and start a new life.

In coaching you will have the support you need to skip the “poor me,” flip the script to “new me.” and quickly.  You need to get in touch with positive qualities you both bring to a marriage, and learn how to showcase these so your spouse sees you with new eyes.  You’ll start believing in yourself and the power of this new coupling more, and more with a whole new type of feedback coming from your spouse.

Notice that I said “show,” not “show and tell.”  Let your actions speak louder than words.  Save your words for appreciation of him, not for comments about yourself.  Flattery will get you everywhere.  Self-praise is a turn-off.

Speaking of appreciation, strong people give out lots of positivity.  Smile at your almost-e.  Laugh at the almost-e’s jokes.  Express affection.  Share your gratitude for good things your spouse has done.


3.  For maybe the first time in your life you are going to have to get painfully honest with yourself. It has to get raw and real to get better. The freedom of spirit that comes from clarity is the goal.

Make a list of all the negative comments that your spouse has made to you that now, with hindsight, you can see were cries for help and misguided attempts to avoid a divorce.  List all the complaints, criticisms and angry comments you can recall that are probably running through your head alongside your own complaint about your spouse.  Soon you will see these clues to the root causes for the current request for separation.

In my coaching style we don’t keep you stuck sifting through old childhood wounds to find the source for these gaps in your relating education, we just move forward from where you are using the journey of the current situation to fill in those gaps and cultivate proper support.

4.  Consider if your physical appearance is a reflection of your apathy and lost self of purpose.

The feedback we get from how we choose to show up in our body language and style will reinforce feelings of not not being attractive and vital if we are not consciously awake in these outward expressions of our personality.

Long term attraction is always lost when the other partner stops being able to see their spouse with “new eyes”.  Familiarity breeds feelings of family and loss of sexual attraction. We want to help your partner see you with a renewed sense of who you are based on your new found clarity.

As shallow as it may sound, dialing up your appearance can be a huge factor in increasing the odds of success in avoiding a divorce through establishing renewed respect, thus desire. This isn’t about fashion trends, its about the psychology of attraction and the delicate balance of maintaining it over time.

5.   Identify  the old hurts to create step toward real solutions.

Find out what resentments and hurt feelings your spouse carries that may have been factors that led to filing for a divorce.  Write out a list of all the moments that your ex recalls with anger or bitterness.  Create your own list as well.

Our aim in coaching is to understand what you did that inadvertently contributed to the problem and own what  you have to influence change.  When you step up to the root issues with clear vision you can then step into the solutions in a powerful way.  You will leave coaching knowing you can do differently right now and in the future to prevent repeating patterns.  

All relating is ultimately about our own self discovery and all else is just extra stuff on top. If your marriage is rocky now, probably didn’t know how to use the relationship as a vehicle for self improvement and missed opportunities for learning and deep bonding. Intimacy happens in the mess of things not through avoiding what is uncomfortable and challenging.

 6.  Create a solid support system of other men that have been where you are and grew past it and professionals in the field of behavioral health, do not take advice from friends with good intentions.

If we reveal that your childhood programming has you feeling deep down you don’t deserve to be loved, you will need help to change that.  Additionally, the current norm for relating, mating and relating sets people up for failure since it is not an effective guide to try to follow religiously and get anything but scattered results and feeling of self doubt and blame.

Your new mantra is , “I deserve to be loved.  I am lovable.  I deserve to be loved.  I am lovable. etc….” and your new focused will be on upgrading out of the old norm and into charting your own map that is based on the reality of OUR life.  The map is NOT the territory.

7.  Learn the skills that everyone needs if they want to be good at marriage partnership, but most of use never were taught growing up.

You wouldn’t expect to walk into a surgery room to remove and appendix without first learning the skills of a surgeon.  Yet how much training did you get for the job of spouse?  Probably very little, even though the skills you need to succeed at the job take most people significant training to do successfully. In this way, your coupled life becomes more of a job you feel ever inadequate at than a fulfilling joy.

The four keys to life with women that I teach, offers men massive,instant relief to their current confused emotional state and the brand new content on leveled up sex and intimacy building offers exciting new hope.


couple reading map together

You CAN create a new map charted on the actual territory that will lead you out of a painful divorce.

So did Tom and his wife divorce?

They got committed to the right things instead of the old useless, outdated rule book they had been following. They decided they would pour all their individual energies into throwing out the playbook they were handed down from their personal history and give attention ONLY to what was relevant to their core values and served their highest good instead.

They were set free from the weight of the heavy chains they didn’t even know were upon their relationship so they now had wiggle room in choices and the skills to carry it heir new found options for living into their future.

They found increased energy and time they deeply desired to give to each other and also their children.  They were about to divorce from their old way and  re-couple as a strong family that they all had always longed for but simply didn’t have the skills to bring into reality until now.  

The Conscious Un-Coupling process worked for them in this re-coupling fashion but for others it can look more like living separately and co-parenting peacefully or it can be any arrangement that makes sense and breeds wellness for the individuals involved.  Coaching helps people get out of their stuck spot that kills passion of spirit and opens up options which can be acted upon or not, but that stuck feeling always dissolves and people are left feeling incredibly free even if the living arrangements stay much the same.

There is always more learning to do and more healing to go, but by taking on the challenge of the Un-Coupling Process a messy divorce can always be avoided and the confident skills that will be needed for co-parenting, dating after divorce or a smooth adjustment into the new way of life will be well established

To Tom’s huge credit, he realized that a divorce would not heal his years of built-up resentments nearly as effectively as working together with a wife who now awake and giving her all to a completely new way of life.

Eventually, despite having been unwilling in the past to go to marriage counseling his wife began her own coaching program and joined him  in Present Touch embodiment therapy sessions  after they had both done a significant amount of leveling up work on their own.

In this case, we were able to work together to achieve a rare and wonderful thing, but only because we caught it early enough in their relationship decline.

They have now opened space to connect with newly loving spouse, an intact marriage for their children, and no loss of half of the financial assets they both had worked for years so hard to build. It doesn’t always go this way but what I can guardsmen, is a massive improvement from the prior situation that was never going to work if just left on its own.

Ready to learn more?
The Solution for Motivated Couples 

Michelle Terrell has been a health and wellness coach since 1995. In those years she collected data and the real life testimonials of thousands of good men who were feeling lost and confused in their love lives. Her workshop students dubbed her The Pistol Whip Hippie because her teaching/coaching style is irreverent, in your face and radically honest (the Pistol Whip part) with the follow up being supportive, nurturing awakened energy (the Hippie part) that inspires men to strive to be their very best.

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