High Conflict Divorce is exactly as it sounds. A relationship has or is on the way of not only a complete angry collapse it but a fight on many destructive levels. It takes a lot to get through it. Trish gives clarity on what it is and means. How a woman entering this level of conflict can be prepared.
Trish Guise goes deep, the signs of when you are in a dangerous relationship that will likely end in this divorce style. She talks about what to expect, how to handle it, the resources available to you.
She talks about the words to watch for, the words to express what is going on. Why it is so important to leave this type of relationship. The importance of getting safe first, what to set up before you even start talking to professionals who will help to extract you. She talks about escape plans before you even move towards divorce.
Powerful, life-saving perhaps, steps to take before the divorce action is put into action. Questions you should ask your lawyer.
Trish brings the face of reality and experience, she has gone, successfully but bruised, through her own high conflict divorce. She is trained in communications with high conflict individuals, copping with Cluster B personality disorders, post-separation abuse Business Coach.
n addition to running her own practice Trish is:
5 things you need to know to survive and thrive after a divorce:
About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography. His photo studio is inner Spirit Photography.
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You're listening to fascinating women with Mark Laurie. And now, Mark Laurie.Mark Laurie:
Everyone, this is Mark Laurie, the host of fascinating women, and sponsored by industry of photography. Now, usually we do an interview. And this is one of my special edition things we have a client visit arousal that came in Trish guys. And her specialty is high conflict divorce coaching, this is when things really get dangerous, I guess for both parties, and there's different all sorts of emotions and things kind of happening. And it becomes very volatile. And I thought this is something worth taking a deeper look at. So you can see what the warning signals are in the marriage when things are starting to go a bit south, when you can see that this is gonna be a rough ride, how can you approach it so that you're not damaged on the street kind of thing. This is a person who can kind of get through so So welcome, Trisha. So good to have you back on for this. So hold different hat for you. Yes, it is a thank you, I'm really happy to be here. So that you have a company name, it's kind like you said, this is just me. And we've got the label the label, high conflict, divorce coaching. So what is a high conflict divorce? What makes that different than a normal divorce where people just aren't happy with each other?Trish:
Sure, well, you know, there's two definitions, sometimes. And I wish I could find a different term than high conflict, because in the judge realm, oftentimes high conflict is seen as where both parties are, including to the conflict where they just, you know, the whole concept of why can't you just get along, and you're just both sniping at each other. Right. And that's, that's seems to be what a lot of, you know, all over the world. That is use that term in that realm. But when I say high conflict, it's more of a I'm starting to use the term abusive in that sense, because it just recently back in March, there was a change made to the candidate divorce Act, which finally recognizes that there's more than just physical and sexual abuse, there's financial, there's courts of abuse, and a lot of talk going on around the world about the dangers of course of abuse, and that you don't have to be privy to it, you can be suffering from it by proxy. So for instance, you know, mother or father can be coercively abused, children may not be suffering directly, but they will suffer. And the law, it's great because the law recognizes how dangerous it is, how insidious it is, how the long term effects damage, people in children, as well as some oftentimes it is a precursor to physicality and physical abuse. And so oftentimes, so course of abuse is one of the flags the biggest flag for high conflict. And what ends up happening is, even though people who will say my situation, I didn't think that was an abusive situation, I didn't even after a lot of overt things are happening. That's the problem is that these high conflict situations are usually covert. It's the saying something nasty, and when the individual and I'll just use tianshi, it's never always just man abusing, it's just a defeater to go with one pronoun. But, you know, the husband says something the wife doesn't like it, she expresses her view. And he says, I was just kidding, can you take a joke, and it's something minor, but it's those things, gaslighting, and, or even going so far as to controlling all aspects of money, not allowing you free access to bank accounts, controlling your access to family and friends and isolating you, those are extremes. But oftentimes, we don't see it when they're, they're minor, and or they're making just even simply making fun of your thoughts and beliefs, or you having to justify your thoughts and beliefs, those simple things, and when more things happen in a marriage, they don't get amplified in divorce, because typically, there's usually some kind of mental health issue there. Sometimes personality disorders, some attachment problems, that kind of thing that contribute to that person's behavior. And then it makes divorcing extremely difficult because there's a lot of counter activity going on. So counter parenting. One individual can be doing what's right for the children. But the sky is blue, and the other party will say no, it is black, even though we're all looking at it's blue, like they will do it to even them themselves. And that's what I always found crazy was I'd look at certain things and I see this in my clients too. And I think what this is, is to keep growing himself even in that sense, or she is they can't help themselves and so the very difficult for people to try and counteract that's hard to predict. It's also difficult to counteract that. So it's a bit a bit more difficult than a normal, typical adversarial divorce.Mark Laurie:
Is there a common personality types that can be spotted? Or is it just a pretty diverse, arena?Trish:
Well, we know the problem with this is that people who engage in this behavior are very charming, very, you know, and I don't diagnose anyone a typical narcissistic tendencies where, you know, to the regular public, people will think, oh, he's the nicest guy. She's the nicest foreman, they bring all the snacks for the soccer team, they're always having a barbecue, that's deliberate. What happens with some of these people is they mirror behavior, they don't really act genuinely. So they're mirroring they know that in public, we need to exhibit a certain behavior to be accepted to be seen a certain way parents is very important. However, behind closed doors, it's a different story. Now, some people are very overt, but mostly, it's covert. And it makes it so difficult for the victims, to first of all see it themselves, but also to convince others. So in terms of personality type it, it's really hard, I can't even pinpoint it's just certain behaviors that you see. And you usually don't see it until after the fact it's usually, you know, hindsight, is 2020. Because a lot of these things are one offs. And we're so conditioned to thinking abuse is physical, calling you names, the physically abusing you. When people mistreat you, it's seen as you know, they see it as mistreatment when really no, it's covert. It's it's abuse. And that's starting to use that term more and more, because I think we're afraid to use that term. And we have to call it what it is.Mark Laurie:
That's straightforward. How do people when they're in the middle of it, how do they? How do they find help? Like, do they, the kind of person notice when a person acts I think most of us can probably be the woman side, I'm guessing for when they're literally looking at do you deal with like both couples, or you pick a side?Trish:
What's your I typically don't work with watch, I don't work with both sides, I haven't thought about it. And I don't envision how that would work. Because how I see myself is an advocates, who advocate for my clients, but also teaching them how to advocate for themselves because that gets stripped away from them. They get gaslighted so much, they sometimes don't even know what they want, need, deserve that kind of thing. So it's getting them back to that but also learning to advocate, because they will have a lot of naysayers. There's some times when you know, the people in their corner, could be a lawyer could be a family member may not see it the way they should. And they get a lot of cages cooperate, like Don't make a fuss, you know, maybe just just just take it take your knock out of the conflict, which is bs advice, you know, it's the worst thing you can say to people, No, you cannot do that. That's asking them to ask for more views. And, you know, there's a few different ways to do it. What I find is people don't usually come to me and say, I'm being you know, chorister, courage, very difficult. It's usually I want to get to the word I'm either divorcing or I want to, and then they lay it all out. And then we start to see Ah, okay, there's a lot of things happening behind this. And so one of the things I suggested and I'm not a psychologist, I do suggest also seeing a therapist to deal with issues that you're having, you know, not mental issues, but issues in terms of triggers, I do work with some of that, but to really look at, and probably undo some of the damage that the abuse has, has created. But I like to work as a team. So you know, I work with my clients, but I also help them speak to their lawyers and try to be part of that team. And we work together collaboratively to make sure we support the client from all sides, so that they can communicate what they need to their lawyer. So because so many times that there's so much emotion, but they're also terrified. And all they can think of is what's going to happen next. So they literally just I did the same, and everything comes out and the lawyers can't siphon through all of that and necessarily hear what they need to hear. So you know, that's where I come in to help them out. But I also encourage them strongly to have a therapist and have that side of them shored up as well.Mark Laurie:
So you're, you're, you're not so much in the legal part of the process. You're more of the emotional, we got to get you through this part. Is that correct?Trish:
Correct. Yes, I don't give any legal advice. I will, however, help them navigate, because there are some instances where, you know, people will come to me and say, like, I want to leave what could that look like? And so I give them usually what happens, the options, usually how even things like just the processes, statement of claim and all these things, but also tried to unlegal ease it so like I can decipher some of the legal terms, and also help them communicate to the lawyer in a way that the lawyer can actually make use of this information instead of giving them every it's, it's sometimes what we do with lawyers is we do the equivalent of giving our accountant shoebox full of bills, you know, receipts, you don't want to pay them $450 or$500 an hour for them to siphon through all of your materials. So, but yeah, I make that very clear to clients. I'm not giving legal advice, and I've had people say, well, it's tell me what to do, and I Even a lawyer can't do that you need to decide, here are your options. But what you know, and I also like I said, I don't I don't I engage in therapy. However, there is a lot of things, there are a lot of things going on behind the decisions at even something as simple as what are your fears? And that's you're basing your decision on that. So we talked a little bit about that. But more pragmatically, as opposed to, you know, how do you feel about that kind of thing? It's more so where's that coming from? Okay, let's work through class that let's actually look at really what's going on, and to problem solve and to strategize. So we have a plan, you know, people strategize more sometimes on where they're going for this summer vacation than they do in going through a divorce. So that's where I come in.Mark Laurie:
So when Can people is there a point where people can start recognizing that they're about to enter into a high conflict divorce?Trish:
Yeah, that is a bigger question. Because you know, when I look back, the longest time I kept thinking, and many people have said this, that I had no idea I had no idea I wish I knew. And you know, what I think it boils down to is listening to your gut, but knowing when it doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel right. Stop trying to if you find yourself explaining away making excuses, oh, he didn't, she didn't mean that. All justice, that's the first sign that there's a problem. And be that it will continue to be it will never go away. Because you know what, also when you find yourself walking on eggshells, either before or during or after the divorce. Okay, if I say it this way, or maybe when he or she doesn't have the kids, I'll tell him so that he doesn't react a certain way. If you're having to analyze every single movement that you make, and strategize, you've got a problem, right? nor in life, should you have to go through eight of that all the steps and possibilities and permutations that could go wrong. before you say anything. That's just that's too That's ridiculous. So they're there, and you have a problem. But I also think, when people say to me, Well, what's the going to be like? And I think, well, what was your marriage? Like? And then they tell me, and then Okay, well, your divorce will be like that. What? on steroids? So, you know, people always think that maybe if we do this properly, things will work out? Well. You're divorcing for a reason. In some cases, it just grew apart. But if there were issues, there will continue to be issues. And some people don't react well. What's the difference between a high conflict divorce and one that's just you know, people are upset. When you're upset, the emotionality kind of wanes within two years or so. But when you have somebody who is with this, the intensity they had at the beginning of the divorce is still there, five, 710 years later, you've got a problem. That's high conflict. And that's usually where personality disorders or things like that come into play, because it's, it's humanly impossible to sustain that kind of anger and intensity, focus on things like that, right? It's just not healthy. And so you know, that you're dealing with much more than just a person who's a little upset because you've left themMark Laurie:
Yeah, kind of kicks into when a woman is gonna start figuring out that there's a, that our life isn't quite the marriage isn't quite working out, right? That there's the start hit these highlight signs, what is their next move? Like they they're starting to see that this isn't, this is gonna be a divorce or leaving is gonna be a problem. It's not gonna be an easy route. What's their next step?Trish:
Well, my first above all things I say to them is even before you come see me is Are you safe? And are you essentially covering your tracks in the sense that do not ever put yourself or your children in a position where, you know, if you're committed? Can I you know, so if I'm going to contact you email or phone wise? Is it confidential? Can your husband access that because I don't want you to ever be in a position where you have to explain and you could potentially be in danger. And things like that, even in the home. And that's, I do a screening first before anything else because I divorced and all that and to find out, that doesn't matter if you're in danger. That's that's What every professional should do. And even a legal professional now, profession, they all have to screen for domestic abuse, collusion, that kind of thing, because then you know what kind of animal you're dealing with. But the first thing I'd say is, so they need to everybody needs to make sure they're safe, their children are safe. Second thing is start. Plan for a exit plan, because essentially what it is, so for two in two ways, one, that's your planned out, and you follow it Another one is in a case of emergency, because you can never predict necessarily what a person's going to do. And I always believe that no plan for the worst plan. And then if you don't need that plan, great. But there's nothing worse than when you're in a panic situation, you don't know what to do. So you don't have a whole list of things that they should do. But even things like most importantly, start having some of your own accounts, or credit card and bank account. Because I know what it's very common for women to let their husbands deal with the finances. And that's neither here nor there. I mean, it'd be great for people to be more aware. But what they need is to have things with their own with their name on it. Thank you. What ends up happening is then the credit cards get shut down the bank accounts, they're locked out, and they have nothing. And then they're controlled, you need to do that. So my suggestion strongly would be even if you don't plan on retaining a lawyer to seek legal advice, just to say, here's what I'm looking at, tell me the process tells me what I should be looking at. What should I be doing for parenting? Just like we're aware of what to expect. And then you can decide whether or not you want to go that route. And I strongly advise to retain a lawyer, but not everyone is financially able to,Mark Laurie:
yes, because there's the pay scale of lawyers relate to skill set, as well. And so your massive disadvantage, because if somebody who's doubted, doesn't have access to funds, and is now fighting someone who's been vindictive, and has access to enormous amount of funds, and that becomes an a very unequal playing field, despite what our justice system attempts to do.Trish:
You're absolutely right. And that's, you know, that's another element of these high conflict divorces is, you know, at the root of it all is that power imbalance, you've in the relationship prior to divorcing and after there's always that power imbalance, it could be financial, it could simply be that the victim has been squashed for so long and silence for so long. They their self esteem has been it's diminished greatly. But there's always a power imbalance. And part of the problem when going into a divorce is there's always this encouragement of mediation and alternative dispute resolution, which is great. And even the law says now to that that is where people should start. And I 100% agree, or I don't agree with that is that in high conflict cases, not only Don't waste your time, but that is a great way to re victimize the victim, because you're now putting the victim in the same room was the abuser across the table, and you are allowing him, let's say, in this case, to further victimize, by knowing what that person's triggers are, so pushing her buttons, threatening her, I'm going to leave you penniless, homeless without your children, that kind of thing. And her reaction to the emotionality of it, and not being able to make sound decisions. And when you're dealing with a high conflict of interest, individual, they are really incapable of coming to the table negotiating their they will manipulate and like I said, even to their own detriment. So we go through that process. And that practice is usually quite futile, it's expensive, and it's just very traumatizing. And it gets you nowhere. In fact, sometimes it can get you farther behind. Because sometimes what these high conflict people do is they use that as an information betting system. So they get there to get disclosure of things, they wouldn't necessarily have to find out where what your bottom line is, and those kinds of things. And then they use that to their own benefit. And they expect the external a little bit tonight, they exploit that. And that's something you want to try and avoid.Mark Laurie:
So when they're in the middle of it, what kind of advice do you give people who are now struggling with the high conflict, divorce? How should they conduct themselves? What What is the, some of the, I guess, ground rules or guidelines to, to kind of move through this and to be the most effective you can be?Trish:
Well, you know, first of all, I think, you know, there's always this, try to figure out, how do I react? And you know, I went through this, a lot of clients go through this, where you try everything the gamut, you try, you know, being nasty back, you try and negotiate, you try and give away things, you try everything. And it really is all of those have merit with people that are high conflict. But in essence, what ends up happening is you end up either poking the bear or you're just wasting your time and and you're just spinning your wheels. So what we find and based on bill Eddie's work from high conflict Institute, that you just need to be very factually based, so you don't get pulled in by their emotional reactions. And so they'll usually send off emails that are really fiery and accusatory and outlandish things are saying and or they'll react and say, Oh, yeah, what about you things like that. And your job as hard as it might be because you will want to emotionally react is to not emotionally react, you want your reactions to be very brief, because you can get into that vicious circle the vicious cycle of just talking about the topic but talking about everything else Biden arguing and it gets you nowhere, so make it brief. And you make it informative in the sense that it's just about the fact you don't go on about what your intention was his intention was you don't rehash history, just the facts ma'am. And then you also make it as friendly as possible as much as that might want to you may want to throw up at that thought, you know, being friendly to this individual. And you're not thinking but you have to do is have a mindset of you're doing this almost in a way in a good in a positive way of manipulating or manipulating controlling the situation you're not it doesn't mean you like that person doesn't mean you're trying to be nice and probably be friendly. You're trying not to I Like I said, poke the bear because you don't want to incite the rage, because then they won't hear your message. And, you know, you want to kind of lighten the mood a bit and just not make it a serious so you don't have to be jokey all the time. But to try and be escalate the conflict, you'll never eradicate it because they will, if there isn't conflict, they will start it or find it. Absolutely. But you don't want to engage, you know, it's like adding, you don't want to add fuel to the fire. And that's what I say to clients is, you know, they're always looking for the fantasy and thinking like, how do I make this stop? And if I can find that answer, I'm sure I'll be a millionaire. But there is no possible way other than maybe Allah bought me for them, but for the abusers, but I explained what I do like a tornado warning, so I can warn you about all the pitfalls, all the things that can happen, I can give you suggestions on how to, you know, board up your windows, take cover downstairs, all that kind of stuff, it doesn't stop the tornado from coming, but at least it mitigates the damage. So when you come back upstairs, you've got at least the structure of the house still standing. So you have something to work with right now. And that's to try and deal with these reactions. being free from Florida friendly and fun to to, you're still responding. But you're not getting emotion involved. But you're also not escalating the conflict pulling on us, you're also not giving that person evidence just in case it goes to court. So they can't say well see what they're done. They're starting conflict, right? You're not giving them that?Mark Laurie:
Yeah. I remember when I had my, we had an audit. And that's the advice. The the accountant says sit down, I'll ask you very specific questions you answer very specifically, don't embellish, don't add to it just be very precise, then shut up, and I'll deal with the rest of it. Exactly, it'sTrish:
provided a great example to have of being firm as well to you know, like you have to be, there'll be a lot of back and forth. And they won't negotiate for goodwill, the pranic will shoot you away from your position and, and what you need to do is be firm and that sort of, for instance, something like, if I don't hear from you by such and such date, because they're notorious for not responding and leaving you hanging, then I will assume you're fine with the situation. And I'm sorry, if you need to repeat it, you repeat it, but you don't repeat it too often. But you just stand firm, because they are used to you wobbling. Because that's a coping mechanism. They're used to them demanding and you capitulating, and they won't like it at first, but this is, you know, it's been proven that this is the best way to mitigate the overall damage and to respond when you if you have to put only respond when you have to, like we always have this notion of like, I want to be rude, or I should respond. If it's not necessary. You don't or bare minimum, you at least wait 24 hours so you can get rid of the rage and give them a decent response.Mark Laurie:
Yeah, someone I read that someplace would never write an email or a letter. In the heat of anger, we've received something that could give it a day. Think over it. My dad told me it says Yep, there's a whole bunch of there's nothing accomplished by it. It just it just goes back and bites you in the feel good for 30 seconds, and you go, oh my god, I put a stamp on that. And it's in the system. There's holes. There's all sitcoms are based on people trying to retrieve a letter or somethingTrish:
like and you know what, you bring up a good point, it feels good in the moment, because you know, there's been so much and that's part of the work with a divorce coach and a therapist is to process all of that, because you will never no matter what ever be able to write the wrong or to get them back or to feel good. I mean, in the moment, sure. But then there's that feeling afterwards of Oh, no, because not only can it cope, you know, and feel the fire. But also there is a sense of regret afterwards thinking I stoop to that level. So that's more about processing what's going on and kind of accepting it and moving on. There's a little element of that too, because, you know, there's this concept of, you know, everyone talks about the justice system. And I've heard lawyers say there's no such thing is a legal system right. And we cannot look for justice or what's fair, you have to get rid of that notion entirely. We just need to put up a fire just gonna be damaged, but we have to put up the fire.Mark Laurie:
Yeah, that's, that's a very, very good distinction is it's not a justice system. It's a legal system. And that's, that's so valid, that that that one little thing lets people know that this is your This isn't a place for justice. This is that happens in comic books, this is your legal protocols, legal stages, legal steps, legal maneuvering, you want to give the your opponent as fewer tools as possible to fire back at us. You don't want to arm them more than you can. It's out there.Trish:
Oh, absolutely. You know, because a lot of what happens is they try and vilify you and have smear campaigns are trying to take your children from you and what they're trying to do is no reason why they were attracted to you in the first place is because you have a lot of qualities they lack, you know, the empathy and, and the social awareness and all these things, but then they end up hitting those qualities. And you know, oftentimes what I say to clients and I experienced it myself is a lot of what's good about you, they're going to try and vilify because what they're want to do is look good in everyone's eyes, judges, lawyers just in society and try to make you look bad. And that's hard to do if you don't give them any ammunition. And so what we're talking about, you know, they are, trust me, they are going to smear you, they are going to make up all sorts of creative things. And it's hard not to respond and say, What absolutely necessary, you have to convince that person right. Now, unless you say the better in that sense. In some cases, you know, you do need to respond, but you can and, you know, I use examples of I, I just disagree with your assessment, I disagree with your perception of events, your your vilification of me will be noted, just so that they're on notice that I've noticed this, whether or not you don't need to defend or justify yourself, because what ends up happening a lot of times, especially in court, is after all this, this campaign of abuse, the, the abuser shows up the court as very calm, cool and collected and your honor and love to see what I mean, because then the abused and the becoming so traumatized, and very emotional. And then they react to these situations. And these, because the abuser, as both of their lawyer will make all sorts of accusations react emotionally. And sometimes that's construed as being a little bit unstable, or you're proving the abusers accusations, right. It's just a catch 22. And so it's best early on as early as you can to get a handle on that. So you never like ideally, never give them any ammunition. So judge, they're not stupid. They'll say, I don't see it. I don't know what you're claiming, because I don't see any evidence that the victim hasn't done anything to escalate the conflict.Mark Laurie:
It makes sense. And I guess I should be aware that you've by the time you get to the divorce stage of the game, you've been living with a person who has been observing and working on your your trigger points. And so your your guess what, up against a person who knows all your weaknesses, and all the things, your default positions, if you will. And I guess that's why you want to try to avoid stepping on those. I must be awful hard. It is, you know, ITrish:
what people don't realize is is I don't even know sometimes if the abusers realize 100%, some of it is unconscious, it they groom their victims, much like a pedophile grooms. And it's very insidious. And you don't know what's happening to you, you really don't. And that's why, you know, people will say, Well, why didn't she leave sooner or whatever? Honestly, oftentimes, we're not aware, but it's happening. We know something's not right. But there's that question of liquid. What is this? Exactly? I know, what does it feel right? But what is happening, right? But you're right. But it's very hard to, you know, when it's gone on for so long. They know your triggers better, like, they're so clueless when it comes to know how their behavior affects others. But they're so adept at knowing what your triggers are. And that's why oftentimes, there's alienation that goes on, because they know like nine times out of 10, the most important thing to let's say, the mom is the kids, like she will kick the house, take anything, but don't hurt my kids. And they know that they know that's your kilise heel, and they'll go for it, they'll either use the kids as pawns for the nasty things, or really harm the children. And that's difficult, because, you know, if they've known all this time, what your triggers are, what's important to you. And it's usually the good thing. It's like the kids and their well being and all that, and they make decisions and that's hard for abuse victims to understand. You're their dad, I don't understand how you can put the kids through this, you know who to right? But they don't see it as that, you know, they love them in their own way, but they're incapable of empathy so they don't see it in your right. That's what I meant about when you're in a mediation, they know your triggers. So they're going to nail you with that they're there to mediate negotiation and negotiating agreement they're there to to make it worse for you so you fall apart, right and you're going in but you're going in wanting to come to an agreement and then you're rocked because they're they're not even trying and they're making you feel horrible about yourself.Mark Laurie:
And you're so confused because you're trying to do the right thing and meanwhile They're digging in the wrong wrong way with it. So now a person has gone through this whole process you've the divorce is over as the judges said, Here's what's real for what is a is your client now rebuilding what someone who's gone through a high conflict divorce faced with at that point in time?Trish:
Well, you know, I think the biggest thing is and I find more men than women do this, but you know, they they start dating right away and and I like I'm a big believer, you know, myself I did it too, is to find love again, when I really think more importantly, you need to get yourself back in order. Even before you get to kids in order. I mean, hopefully you've had your kids in counseling and whatnot, but and kids will even say this if mums, okay, then we're okay and to see their mum suffering is terrible for them. So what you need to really do in my opinion, is really, if you can can afford it to see a good therapist to not only deal with the damage of the divorce, but again, working on your triggers, if you haven't already. And to get rid of the notion of what I don't want to see people do is stay in that victim mentality. Absolutely. You're a victim. Absolutely. This happened. There's no Noting that no debating that, however, that I don't want to see people define that for themselves the rest of their life, I want them to be able to use it. And if they want to talk about it great, or they want to show it, that's fine. But I also want them to get rid of the notion to have all that's been lost. If you want to see it that way, I want this to be now a starting point where, you know, some people say, Well, how do I get back in the dating field or this or that, and I just think you know, what, what you need to do is stop thinking that way you used to, you're different. Now, you're different because of what you went through. So try something different, don't do things, the way you always did, especially after therapy, you're different. You know, it's, and don't keep comparing now to before and stop blaming yourself, honestly, just truly live like almost, let's pretend it didn't happen and starting fresh. Like I used to say that with the kids all the time when they would have fights in their little. And I say, okay, that's as fresh starts, right. And it's sort of like that, where you have to do that mind shift and think, okay, it's like deciding to go cold turkey with certain things. That's what you got to do. And it's a it's a, it's a process, and that's the thing that you have to, but I firmly believe that all the therapy in the world and everything else, it's like quitting smoking or anything, if you don't make that conscious decision, it won't happen. And doctor, Dr. Sorry for yourself, it doesn't get you anywhere. This will get you know, I say to people, let's look at what you've come through, I guess part the worst. It's hard. It's, it's it's flux. Which if it's high conflict, it's bad. And it's if you think about what you've come through, and what you've you've achieved, it's an achievement, and you didn't lay down and die, which scared of now that's how I feel I'm scared of anything. After you've gone through that what a guy with a gun, I think in an alleyway dark, he would scare me, you know, because you've been to the depths of hell, as your fire in your belly and, and bring to life now you're sitting with us, that's how I see it. And I'm not trying to be, you know, a big cheerleader. But that's it is freedom. And you've got to see it that way.Mark Laurie:
On the take for person to see that to kind of climb out of that of that fight, and suddenly say, okay, most of us behind me now I'm I can find love my life, I can move forward.Trish:
Well, you know, it's everyone is different. And I think part of the problem too, is that people don't understand that grief is part of the process. And some people but they don't get the proper help, in my opinion, during the divorce, because you know, at the end of anything is you grieve the end of anything. And it is, even if you hate that person, it's still ending the relationship still ending life as you knew it, ending the dreams that you had. So you have to go through the seven stages of grief and most people don't, because you're reactionary for the divorce. So oftentimes what happens is, after the divorce, you start that process, but then you start to think to yourself, wow, a couple things, why am I depressed, I'm free now. And that starts confused, or you start to think, you know, people will go to the other side and be so thrilled, but they don't process it and they start making the same, you know, having having the same problems again, and, and I really think and that that's helpful to work through that with a therapist as well too, or a friend if you need to whatever. But you really need to grieve that process. And some people have difficulty with that, because there's so kicked off and they're so mad and so angry and so resentful. But that's part of the grief process too. And you need to process that and honestly, so it can take forever, if you choose not to consciously deal with it may can take if you do start that process of the divorce process. When it's done, it could pick not very long, it's it really is. It's up to the individual. I think awareness is key that, you know, this is normal part of that process to is this feeling normal. And for some they bounce back quicker, some don't. But it is what it is. I mean, there's no, there's no prescribed way of dealing with things because everyone's situation is different. And honestly, there's a lot of people who also don't realize that they are suffering from PTSD. If you've been in an abuse situation for a long period of time. You know, again, see your doctor, your therapist. Some people many people I know have been diagnosed with PTSD thinking well, how can that be? I was not a soldier. I you know, I wasn't in a traumatic event and you think you have been insidiously continuously abused over time. It's been torture. Yeah, it happens. It happens and, and you know, people need help for that. Because then no matter what your mindset is, that's working against you.Mark Laurie:
That's gonna be a hard thing. Right? Well, the PS T is ever pts PTSD is that we normally associate that with soldiers of war come through. So I usually, it's a very defined thing. You've been through Vietnam, you've been to Afghanistan where the fight happens to event. And you and I just recently came around, but the list was but somebody gave a list of all the things that are also covered in in that particular arena. And it was immense. It was surprising to see them. And so they I think a lot of people when they read that we're seeing themselves mirrored in ways that are surprising.Trish:
For sure, you know, it's not just flashbacks, it's, you know, things like for instance, one of the That happened to me. years ago, we took the kids to Six Flags, we used to go to Six Flags, Universal Studios, and I always loved rides, and love roller coasters and all that, despite the motion sickness I would get. But I would find myself becoming terrified in the lineups where if it was dark and confined, I was getting so claustrophobic, I was having panic attacks. And then one time I got on the ride, and they had spiders and things, pretend. But the spiders crawling on her feet, I was so terrified, I burst into tears, and I was mortified, and I couldn't understand it. So when you find yourself having these, what you think would be unrealistic reactions to things and coming out of nowhere, that's what confused me what is going on, then you might want to get some helpers to get assessed by your doctor, therapist, because there's something fundamentally wrong is going on and that you can't help but like no amount of trying to feel good is going to fix that that's something that's deep rooted that when you're having these physiological reactions, that's, that's something where you need to get some help for sure. Because it doesn't have to be that way.Mark Laurie:
So when they kind of come out of it, how do they use the lessons of the the whole high conflict process to build a new life?Trish:
Well, I think one of the main things would be to stay awake and to know what your boundaries are. And I know that turns over us, but it's true, we're going through the high conflict, divorce process of the divorce process. If nothing, you start figuring out what you can and cannot tolerate, and what you shouldn't, shouldn't tolerate. And from anybody, it doesn't matter if it's your child, your husband, Europe, your employer. And what I find now is that after going through this process, that people start to not take crap from anyone you know, and they start standing in their own two feet. And that's something that I want to see people do is that be secure with yourself, but also not to be afraid that oh, this might happen again. There's that fine balance and fine tuning of being skeptical with people and being non trusting and being too trusting. And that's all part of the divorce process, in my opinion, too. And that's what helps working with a therapist or divorce coach, where you're actually trying to figure out who you are, because most people, a lot of people who are divorcing they've been together for years, or they're with their high school sweetheart, do you really know who you are? I don't know, right? There's that process of going through that and, and to learn that just be a bit more aware and not fall. So fall victim to charm and that kind of thing. It's a very, that's a very minor pragmatic thing. But it really is, is to be a little bit more aware of what your needs are. Because sometimes when we fall for certain things, it's because there's this deep rooted meter, or wants or something that wasn't fulfilled before. But we need to be aware of that. And, but also to not apologize for who you are. And when there are red flags pop up, listen to them. Don't don't don't explain them away, the minute you start explaining them away, run the other way.Mark Laurie:
You messed up at the start of this was that the one of the key behaviors, I guess is when you were making excuses for someone that is there a normal level because you know, husbands and wives and lovers, they'll often make excuse excuses for somebody that guy they're running late because of Is there a point we sent away? Man, this is this is going to be on? What is the average?Trish:
I don't even know if it's going beyond the average. But I started like, what my gauge is, is if they're not making excuses for it, where are you? Right? If they're not explaining it? Or if they're not even seeing it from their behavior? What are you excusing it? Because there's nothing wrong with that, right?Mark Laurie:
right? Especially if you're excusing it to other people. And that's a key to if you're finding yourself, you know, that's its textbook, if you're explaining to your parents, or you're in a crowd, or you're with people, and they seem a little a little disturbed by what happened, and you're saying, Oh, it's just fun, then you've got a problem. Because it's should be that person who's explaining, apologizing, whatever, if you're apologizing or excusing anyone's behavior, it doesn't matter if it's your children, because it becomes what ends up happening in those relationships, it becomes a habit. So you're not only responsible for yourself, you become responsible for your husband, your children. And that's what I want people to undo before they go on to life after divorce, because they're just not your responsibility. Yes, you guide them. But there's that huge accountability factor that we sometimes place upon ourselves because we're so mortified, and we're constantly trying to put out fires when we're responsibilities on them. So that to me is key. If you find yourself doing that and feeling really responsible for behavior and always apologizing, that needs to stop and something needs to be done because that's not healthy. That's not normal.Mark Laurie:
That's a really good guideline, I think, to recognize that if they're if they're not apologizing and explaining whatever it is, then you know, that's theirs. That's that's a big red flag that something else happening with it. Thanks. Great. Any final pieces of advice? We've covered a lot of territory with us today. Is there anything I've missed to my questions?Trish:
Well, you know, the one thing that I keep saying to people is that you know, There's this notion of so you go to a lawyer. And you know, I had visions of this too, you see in law and order you see it on TV and that you walk in and they, a, they'll get everything that you want. And so as I said earlier, it's a legal system, not a justice system. So there are limitations. However, the biggest thing you can do is, and I know, especially in high conflict situations, you just so desperately want help, and you get scared, especially if you get like, what I had an email, and you don't know, if you're gonna see your kids, again, knee jerk reaction, you call the first lawyer, do not do that. Do your homework, take a couple of days. And I know it's a dangerous situation. But you've got to take a couple of days to actually vet because this person will be one of the most important people in your life for the next potentially five years. And you'll be spending a fortune, you could potentially spend a fortune on nothing, you could look back and say all God, all they were doing was sending letters back and forth. Lawyers are like doctors, you know, if you have a heart problem, you're not getting your GP to do heart surgery or neurosurgery. Right? Everyone has their place, you really need to do your homework, and them and ask them questions such as, you know, what have your cases been like with? You know, have you been involved in domestic abuse or course of abuse situations? I conflict. You mediate though like what's your philosophy? What's your response time, things like that, because their weeks can go by and that's horrible. You need to have a 24 to 48 hour response time. Read, like your, your lawyer, if you're working with a lawyer is key key key. And don't just listen to somebody else's referral, you need to know if they're, if you get a good feel, do you feel you need to do you feel like you're not being believed, because you don't want to be fighting your lawyer and your ex husband as well, too. So just like any other professional, if you don't just hire the first person, you know, off the street to do rentals on your house, right? You don't get referrals, that kind of thing, you need to do that it's so important. No matter how scared you are, you need to make sure that you're it's the right person for you. And that's key. If you don't do that, everything else just kind of falls by the wayside. You can't emotionally regulate, you can't do anything because there's chaos. And you're you're there's something that's really fundamentally unsettling when the person who's supposed to be in your corner that you're paying for them to advocate for you, in a very scary, scary situation. Doesn't seem to have your back or doesn't isn't well versed in it. That's that's punishment, or some depth sometimes that can really rock your world. So so make that a priority.Mark Laurie:
Properly make that right. What's the what was the checklist look like? make better the say the five core things a person should just check off the list when they're looking for, for some legal,Trish:
like advice. The first thing would be what their schedule is like, you know, it's in the high conflict situation. I'd want to know how busy they are not only for response time, but also this will this case will need concerted efforts and attention. And it's dangerous when you have children that can't months can't go by to deal with certain issues. You want to know, if an emergency comes up? How quickly can I get in to see you? And how quickly would you act on it? Second thing would be when you would be deal with most of the issues? Or would they pass you off onto American student or paralegal? In most cases, that's fine. But in high conflict cases, I would say absolutely no go You need someone who is adept at this with my complex, you also might want to look at my suggestion would be to make sure this person has not only strong family law background, but also a litigation background. Because as I said earlier, mediation will not fly, you will end up in court, and these days going to court is quite rare. And a lot of lawyers try to stay away from that, and rightfully so. But you need someone who's not afraid to do that, if that is required. cost, obviously, but I would also not only like they had to have a certain vendor with a very expensive these days. But a lot of lawyers understand the financial constraints. And ask them what if there's any parameters or if there any ways to have payment plans, things like that, because it can get quite expensive. You don't want to get so far down the road halfway down, and realize you can't afford any more and have your lawyer say if you don't pay me we're done and start all over again, somewhere else. It's pragmatic things, you know, I'd say I'd say the fifth thing would be make sure that your lawyer and your first consult appointment, understands the fundamentals of course of abuse, and understands how dangerous it is to be for children to be in that environment. Yes, 100%. The first go to is shared parenting. But the law says Now thankfully, that there are different. There's about eight different elements they look at. And one of them is the presence of course of abuse. In deciding what's best interest for the children. You don't want to have somebody that you know, above all we're gonna have shared parenting, you want someone who understands those dynamics and how they have to understand the psychology behind the damage, like it actually changes children's brains that have been coercively abused, they need to fundamentally understand that if they don't find another lawyer.Mark Laurie:
Well, thank you so much that that has been highly informative. Hi, everyone. This is Mark Laurie from fascinating women with a special edition. Trish, guys, who is a high conflict divorce coach. And so her background is to help people find their way through these very delicate and very dangerous situations in so many different levels. It's been like sharing your knowledge with us. I'm sure there's a lot of people who've been listening out there and that's been helpful. Thank you so much.introduction:
This has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women does ca fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced in Calgary by Lila's and my office media