Separation is not a great moment in most people’s life and it rarely comes without surprises.

It’s a time when people often feel completely unable to work out the first step or the next step.

Our MELCA clients find it is so helpful to have a road map for all the steps of their separation negotiations, to be connected to the professionals they need at each stage, and to have guidance about managing grief and conflict.

We recently received an email from a former client, Helen, who talked about those things. We are both glad and proud that Helen and many of our other clients come through their separation well, and manage not to dash all that was good in their marriages or relationship.

When we first met Helen, she and Jack had been married for 22 years. They both had big careers and plenty of money, but like lots of couples in middle age, they had recently decided to separate. They both assumed the other one had been thinking about it for the same amount of time as them, and that was what Helen told us when we first met to talk about her options for divorce and separation.

It turned out that Jack had probably moved on in his head a lot earlier than Helen, and he had a plan. Helen didn’t have a plan before we met;  she didn’t know where to start, and felt she could no longer predict what Jack would do. That’s where deciding to collaborate with each other, and working with a team dedicated to supporting them both, was the best thing that could have happened.

Here is what Helen has to say:

“I remember when Jack and I decided to separate. As I told you at the time, it wasn’t as if either of us was all that shocked that we’d got to that stage, but it turned out to be much more shocking than I expected.

I didn’t have a clue that within a few days of our first and only conversation about separating, Jack would be telling the world, meeting a lawyer, looking at real estate, and even talking about finding a new partner. I’d been imagining that we would kind of comfort each other in our grief, and slowly make plans for separating our assets, and we’d talk to each other about all those things.

I’m so glad I came to see you at that point. Jack had a plan, and I felt like, boy, did I need one too, or I was going to be left in the dust.  I so much appreciated your referral to Rachel (counsellor). She helped me make sense of Jack’s behaviour, and to be much more compassionate to him, as well as understanding why I was feeling so helpless and lost.

If I hadn’t had your calming influence and my meetings with Rachel, I would probably have gone on the attack, instead of being able to speak to Jack about collaboration. I must admit, by that stage, I was seeing him in such a bad light that I thought he would brush off the idea, even though I knew deep down it was exactly the way he would choose to work things out.

I don’t see Jack much these days, but we message each other quite often. We’re both doing pretty well. I know its been a while since we finished our collaboration (18 months), and even though it’s a bit late, I want to thank you and your team. I doubt that Jack and I would be on speaking terms if we hadn’t done a collaboration”

Call (03) 9078 6980 or enquire online for the complete personalised approach to separation without court.