The Gray Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce

...and Life Thereafter

Put Me in Coach

Financial Coaching
by Amy Lawson, MBA, CDFA®, RTT Practitioner®, C.Hyp

Divorce can be daunting.  My readers, as well as my clients, point out that I make this comment often and I admit that I do, because, let’s face it, it’s true.  DIVORCE CAN BE DAUNTING.  Even if YOU initiated it.

All that is familiar – good familiar or bad familiar – is gone and we stand on the precipice of what feels like the Great Unknown, emotionally naked and fucking afraid.  At a time when we need to make critical decisions, our emotions switch off the decision-making part of our brains, totally exacerbating the situation.  It’s impossible to make good decisions when our hearts are crushed from betrayal and our brains are swirling with fear and doubt.  The reality that our marriages failed can cripple us to take the next right steps, as can the fear of the unknown.

We can easily house a thousand questions in our head, all demanding head room at the same time.

Here’s Just A Few Of Those I Frequently Hear

  • Was my marriage a mistake? 
  • Why did I stay with him for so long?
  • How could I be so naïve to think he would be more kind/gentle/generous/loving over time? 
  • How am I supposed to be single after being married for so many years?
  • How do I reinvent myself after being known as SOMEONE’s wife/mother for so long?
  • How will I make ends meet?
  • What if I’m forced to get a job?
  • Who will hire me at my age?

While answering each question is important, answering all of them NOW is not.  Sure, at some point you will need to figure out what motivated you to first marry him and then stay married to him, BUT will the answer to that question help you make good decisions in the divorce process?  Most likely not.  One of your biggest challenges may be figuring out which questions to answer now and which to delve into later with a therapist.  

Now dear friend, I’m not poo-pooing talk therapy – I’ve been encouraging people to deal with their sh*t for more than 25 years – but talk therapy can take YEARS, and chances are you don’t need to spend another minute figuring out the past when you need to focus on avoiding any missteps that could negatively impact your future.

Chances are you would benefit greatly from a plan of action that you can implement NOW so that you can help yourself make the best decisions in the daunting process of divorce.  (There’s that word again: daunting.)  

With that said, I recommend you explore another professional who can help create a plan of action to get you through the divorce process.  That professional is called a Life Coach.  I’ve seen firsthand how a Life Coach can help in the divorce process. 

How A Life Coach Helps

I had a client a while back, I’ll call her Anne.  When I first met Anne, she misguidedly carried the shame of her then-husband’s disgusting deeds (that’s a blog in and of itself and I will go there one day, I promise).  After living more than a decade with her then-husband relentlessly chipping away at her self-esteem, in an increasingly loveless marriage, Anne saw herself as incapable of playing the hardball that must sometimes be played to secure one’s financial future.  In Anne’s case, she had considerable leverage on her then-husband but was afraid to use it even though not using the leverage would harm her financially.  Although Anne didn’t WANT to accept the low amount her then-husband was proposing, she felt unworthy of more if getting more meant she had to stand up for herself, or if I may use one of the very few sports analogies that pass my lips:  Anne was afraid to swing for the fence.  As many times as I would tell her, “I can get you to the plate, Anne, but I can’t swing the bat for you,” Anne couldn’t see herself doing it.  She didn’t believe she had what it took.

Then, in walked another Amy:  Amy Knott Parrish with AKP Coaching.  You’ve got to love Amy Parrish.  The first thing you’ll notice when you go to her website is the following quote by Clementine Paddleford: “Never Grow a Wishbone Where Your Backbone Ought to Be.”  Wow!  Say that again and let it sink in: “Never Grow a Wishbone Where Your Backbone Ought to Be.” 

With Amy Parrish’s help, I watched Anne blossom into the confident woman who had once been inclemently lost to years of her then-husband’s abuse.  Anne now knows her worth and knows that she is enough, that she has always been enough and will always be enough

While I had lots of experience with talk therapy, I had no experience with coaching, so I reached out to Amy Parrish to ask her a few questions. 

Here Are My Questions, Along With Amy Parrish’s Answers

What is a life coach?

A life coach is a listening professional who commits to supporting and guiding you as you create and make lasting life changes.

How is a life coach different from a therapist? 

Therapists work with the past and the why’s.  Coaches work with now, the future, and how. We do talk about how the past affects you, but most of the focus is on who you are today, who you want your future self to be, and the actions it will take to get you there.

Do you only work with people facing divorce? 

No! The common thread that brings people to me is suffering from a lack of self-trust, clarity, and direction- and that happens in all kinds of situations.  Divorce is definitely one of them.

Describe your ideal client? 

My ideal client knows that they want something to change and they’re willing to commit to their process and take action.  They are willing to get to know themselves and what they want.  Most of all, they are willing to take a chance on themselves.  With that, everything else becomes possible!

What can someone expect when they engage your services?

You can expect to learn more about yourself – the things that hold you back, your strengths, and what you want for the future.  You’ll find new ways of looking at yourself and the world – ways that actually work for you!  Together we develop practices that support you – we challenge your limiting beliefs, and celebrate your gifts.  You’ll find a sense of self trust, the ability to see your life clearly, and the motivation to act on your plans and ideas.

Do you offer virtual, as well as in-person, sessions?  

Yes! I also do phone sessions too.

Your Action Plan

So, dear friend, whether you are contemplating divorce or staring in the face, don’t suffer in the swirl, let Amy Knott Parrish help you create an action plan that will help you help yourself in making the right decisions to positively impact your future.  You’ve got this!

Wishing you peace & plenty of backbone!

Your gray girlfriend,


About the Author

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Amy Lawson, MBA, CDFA®, RTT Practitioner®, C.Hyp

As a divorced baby boomer, Amy, an independent investment advisor since 2001, formally expanded her services in 2016 to help older women navigate the daunting financial minefield of divorce after meeting numerous smart, well-educated, divorced women who lacked the funds to secure their financial futures.  She understands that for older women facing divorce, achieving an equitable divorce settlement is the first step.

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