March 23, 2021

Happily divorced. Laura's story of an amicable separation and divorce that she successfully negotiated through with three young children involved.


In this episode I talk with a woman named Laura who shares her story of amicable separation and divorce that she successfully negotiated through with three young children involved. This led her to have the strength and freedom to be happy within herself and to start a new life including a brand new business. Laura shares what it was like in her relationship  being married with three children and unhappy in her marriage. She talks about as parents we often feel selfish if we are unhappy, so we don't voice it. But that's where her story takes a different turn. She did speak out, and now she has found herself on the bright side of life! 
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Transcript
Melissa Bright:

We sat around a garden table, it was actually in the summer. And within two hours, we'd laid out all the groundworks around what is gonna happen with the children what's gonna happen with the finances. And what was great is we both came together with our ideal outcomes. And then we met in the middle. Welcome to the bright side of life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host, Melissa Bright. And before we get started with today's story, I just wanted to give a shout out to a couple people that have recently gave a review on my podcast. So Mandy wrote in and she said, I love listening to other people's stories and how they have overcome their struggles. Melissa is great at what she does. I'm so glad she has this podcast. To you, Mandy, I just want to say say thank you so much for the kind words, they mean a lot to me. And summer wrote in and she said I love your show. I love the questions you ask and the raw truth answers that are given that help people not feel alone, keep it up, you're going to change lives one show at a time. Well, summer, that is definitely my mission. So thank you very much. I'm going to be sharing people's reviews on this this podcast. I'm going to start doing this weekly. So if you would like to submit a review, all you have to do is go to Apple podcast, and you can submit a review there. Or if you don't have on Apple podcast, there's also pod chaser that does reviews. Or you can go straight to the bright side of life podcast COMM And on the review tab, you can just submit it there. So thank you guys. And we will go ahead and get started with today's episode. I am talking with Laura Weston today. And she is going to share her story of an amicable not an easy word to say, separation and divorce that she has successfully negotiated through with three young children involved. This has led her to have the strength and freedom to be happy within herself and to start a new life, including a brand new business. Laura, that just sounds amazing. How are you doing today on this beautiful Tuesday.

Laura:

I'm great. And thank you so much for having me, Melissa. I'm really happy to be here.

Melissa Bright:

Awesome. Well, let's just go ahead and jump right into things. So can you tell me a little bit of the history of how you and your now ex husband met how long you were together? And you obviously have children and kind of what the relationship was like?

Laura:

Yeah, sure. So the story goes that I was actually on holiday on my own. And I came back from holiday feeling fed up of being single, and decided it was time to find a man and a man that I could build a future with. And so the things I was looking for at that time, I was 24, I was successful at work. And I was looking for things that were now I look back quite superficial. I wanted someone that was independent, that had their own house that might have been a bit older, drove a nice, nice car, that could create a nice life. And so we were set up on a blind date through someone that I work with. And it turns out that we didn't actually live that far apart and things. So that was in 2007. And then we were together in total for 11 years and married for six of those years. And I would say that, at the rip the basis of our relationship was around friendship, and having the ability to create a nice, nice life. More than that, you know, that you get when you can't keep your hands off each other that was never there. And so in the space of the three and a half years, shortly after we got married, we have three children in three and a half years. So it was quite intense. Yeah, yeah. So literally the minute I stopped breastfeeding, I was pregnant again. And they just went on and on like that. So yeah, it's, it's certainly been a whirlwind.

Melissa Bright:

Definitely. And so when did you When did you start to notice that you just weren't really happy anymore was this. Over time, were there certain events that happened? Or you just had this feeling that you just knew this wasn't going to be your Forever person.

Laura:

Yeah, I would say it was more that feeling of realizing it wasn't my forever person more than under happiness, it kind of started to come to fruition when we had children in 2014. And having children with somebody was very different to what I thought it was going to be that I was missing the teamwork element and the togetherness, it never really felt like that. There was very little love and affection between us, which was then just solidified more by the fact that I constantly had a child hanging off of me. And I was all consumed by the children. And I don't think he was quite sure about where his place was, and how to show me love and affection. For those mothers that are listening, you know, when you're looking after a baby, and you're breastfeeding, the last thing you want is someone else touching you and being involved with you, the minute you don't have that child attached to you. So I think he really struggled to see when would be a good time and how how, and if he could show me that. So that was the pivotal point, I think when when we started to have children, and that just intensified further as we had more and more children. But something I we realized pretty early on, actually, in the discussions around on happiness was the fact that we had different love languages. And for anyone that has not done their love languages with their partner, I would 100% urge you to do that. Because we had complete opposite love languages. We were complete opposite ends of the scale. My top was his bottom, and his top was my bottom. And so we knew really early on that there was a massive disparity. And there was lots of work to do.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, I think that literally is crazy that you said that because that was going to be my question to you next was going to be something about you know, did you guys talk about your love languages? What was yours? It's something that I've had to Well, I've known mine, you know, mine is affection, all day, every day, you know, and trying to navigate that with my boyfriend who's not affectionate can be a little bit tricky, but I think now that we're both aware of our love languages, it can help a little bit more. But then sometimes it can't. So I'm definitely glad that you brought that that point up, because it just makes sense, you know, of why the relationship wasn't kind of working in the in the first place. So thank you for that. Um, do you. So you're talking about the infection and that kind of being a friendship? What so what do you feel that your relationship was like?

Laura:

Um, I would say it was a marriage of convenience. It ended up being that we got to a point where we didn't enjoy spending any time together, it felt much more like a friendship, but even that continued to fade further and further away. It was, yeah, it was convenient to be together, and we had a nice life together. And then obviously, the children were involved. So it was never as I said before, it was never that can't keep your hands off can't be a part. You know, that point where every moment you're apart from that other person, it kills you, you know, we never had that love is pain feeling. And I believe that now from another perspective, that if love isn't painful, it's not. It's not there's not there's not enough in it. There's not enough passion enough in it, right?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Cuz if if you don't care, and you're just like, Well, whatever, I don't care if I see you for three days or two weeks, or I didn't really miss you, when you were gone, that definitely can start raising some questions of why don't I miss this person? So yeah, so. So you guys had had this conversation? Several times? Did you guys ever, you know, have any arguments, or it was just kind of you guys are both on the same page of this just isn't probably gonna work.

Laura:

We definitely weren't on the same page. But we didn't argue either. That was one big thing. Actually, for me. We have never argued in our relationship ever. And when I started to accept where I was feeling and my own happiness, I on reflection, I realized, you know, if you're not even bothered to argue with someone, then where is that drive? Where is that passion? And how much do I really care about saving this? And so I was, you know, I was very vocal about how I was failing from the from the beginning, the minute I felt things weren't right or wasn't the marriage I thought it was going to be. I was really upfront and honest about it. But we were definitely on different pages because I was upfront and honest and willing to find a way to make it work. And we did try lots of different things. But he was very much of the approach that we need to find a way to save this full stop. There is no other choice whereas I was a bit more like, Okay, well, this is how I'm feeling. Let's see if we can save this. If we're not, it's not the end of the world, we're good people, we can make this, you know, we can make this situation, okay? whereas he was very much wanting to keep the children together, keep the family home, not spoil the nice life we had, but it was never about I can't bear to be without you. Yeah. And that was the bit I was missing.

Melissa Bright:

Right? Did that make it harder for you to know that he wanted to try to save the marriage despite he even recognized that it was kind of a loveless marriage? Did it make it harder on you? Or you just knew what you wanted? And?

Laura:

No, it was, it was hard, because it's difficult when you want, you can see it going one way and the other person sees it a different way. And it sometimes you know, it felt like, every few days, we were sitting around going round and round around in the same circles. But we needed to go through that pain to get to where we are today. I would have hated for me to say, that's it. We're done. kick him out. Off you go. never want to see you again. I never wanted to do that I was willing to go through that pain of going around those circles and making sure we were completely at peace with the decision we're making. So it never got to that point.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. What are some things that you guys did try to do to save your marriage? If you don't mind me asking?

Laura:

Oh, no, of course, I don't mind, when we're first starting off trying to think of some of the things we could do to help and support us through this period of our marriage, we came across this awesome book called stay or go. It's written by Sharon Pope. And what this book did for us is we both read it individually and listened to it individually quite a few times, actually. But what it did was it gave us confidence that whatever happened, we would either have that loving release, or we would fix our marriage. But either way, it kind of really helps you understand and unpack some of the feelings that are going on. So I would definitely recommend that to anyone that's in a similar situation to to the one that we were in, we had counseling, we have marriage counseling, so low counseling. Every few weeks, we had a whole list of different ideas, let's do date nights, dinner together family trips, we were always trying to find new new ways and new approaches. But what would happen is it would be fine for a few weeks, and then it would revert back because neither of us were happy. Neither of us deep down knew that it could work. But we wanted to be able to sleep at night and come out of this knowing that we tried absolutely everything. And we went round and round in that cycle for probably about a year. Yeah. Which was tough. It was really tough because the children were there. Obviously, if we do want to have date nights, you need to organize babysitters and things like that. But we wanted to make sure that we put as much effort in as possible. But it boiled down to the fact that really it got to a point where we just we weren't making an effort for one another. We were having dull logistical conversations. Even if we did go out to dinner on a date night, it would always revert back to what's happening with the house. What should we do with the money? Where do we think we should go on holiday all logistical things, right, not just sitting around having a giggle, looking at what's going on around us perhaps reminiscing about the past? It was never like that. It was always a logistical conversation.

Melissa Bright:

Right? You were looking for something obviously deeper, you know, more meaningful.

Laura:

Yeah, exactly.

Melissa Bright:

What was your your breaking point that you finally decided to be done or to call it quits for you?

Laura:

I just think as I say that whole series of a whole year of trying everything at the same time as having young children was just just enough, it was like how many how many more times Can we try? And are we trying for the right reasons. And one thing that's really important that I think is a really important message to get across is that we wanted to make this decision before it got so bad that we hated each other. before it got so bad that we argued before it got so bad that we were fighting in front of the children or it was creating an atmosphere in front of the children. That was one thing you know, it was bad enough that we were displaying to them a loveless convenience marriage. But if it had got to the next stage that would have broken both of us because that's not what we want for our children. We still live in, you know, we live by that now.

Melissa Bright:

And I think it's so incredible that you did have three children and and didn't argue. I know you guys, I know you said that. You know you guys didn't necessarily you know, have this this loving marriage but to have three kids and that kind of stress with three small children can oftentimes create those arguments because Mom stressed out dad stressed out so. And that I think that's pretty incredible that you guys were selfless in that fact we got to figure it out now. So we don't get to that point, you know. And I think that's very admirable that you didn't get to that point even after having three kids. So can you describe to me the day that you decided to tell your husband that you weren't happy? Or you you were ready to walk away like the final straw?

Laura:

Yeah, I mean, to be honest, I wasn't scared as most people would think you would be. I trusted that he was a reasonable man. And I trusted that he would try and understand my point of view. And I think he really respected my honesty and how vocal I'd been and how many conversations we've had. And because the comms had been open for so long. By that point, it wasn't like a big surprise. And we tried so many different things. So one thing I did do is I made a promise to him at that stage, that I would never argue about money. I would never argue about children or hold the children against him, because I wanted him to have some surety that I wasn't going to be one of those awful ex wives that just play silly games, and cause the other party to feel like like they're worse off. And that was something that I was, you know, I was open about how awful it was and how it wasn't what I wanted, but it is what it is, I promise that I will make this as fair and as equal as possible.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And what did what did he? What did you think he was going to say? And then what did he say to you?

Laura:

I just thought we were going to end up going around in circles again. And you know, trying to convince me otherwise, but all for the wrong reasons, which is what I mentioned previously. And I think, because I was quite clear with Okay, enough's enough. Now, this is how I see it working. And allowing him the space to digest that and giving him an immediate, this is how I see it working from here on in. So having a plan rather than I've had enough, we're splitting up. And that's it. Because that's, that's never gonna work. You know, fair enough. That's how you feel, but have that feeling with a plan as to what it might look like, and give that other person the opportunity to digest it and get their head around it.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, that's amazing. And it's so true. Because if you don't have a plan, then like they, like you said, they might not even be able to see it. And they're just going to say no, sorry, I it's a great idea to have that plan. So maybe they can look and say, okay, you know, we aren't happy. This, I think this can actually work. So after you told him, and you told him the plan, was he on board with it.

Laura:

I wouldn't say he was necessarily on board. But because I'd said this is the final final straw. This is happening. And this is how I see it rolling out. So it started off by we're going to live together. So we did like what I call a phase separation. Because the children were young, we're going to live together. But we're going to be a part. So if you want to go out in the evenings, then you can or if you want to, or if I want to go out in the evenings, and we'll take turns to be away from the home at the weekends. And if once the children are in bed, if you want to sit and watch TV, I might be upstairs, we were lucky enough to have a spare room. But on the outside to our friends and neighbors and the children. We were still a family unit. But within how we were working things we decided that we were going to be together but separate,

Melissa Bright:

right? So friends and family weren't aware of the separation at this point.

Laura:

family were but not necessarily friends and neighbors because there was nothing to tell them. To be honest. It was no different. We were still living in the same household. we very rarely went to anything as a family unit, which was a part of the problem. Because that's not what I wanted. I want the family units. And so it no one really noticed any different to be honest. Right? And for you.

Melissa Bright:

Did it seem much different than your actual marriage of just living in a different room?

Laura:

No, not really, because he had been living in the spare bedroom since the children came along. Which was again part of the problem didn't didn't want to be that involved with that side of things and found it quite difficult being woken up at night and feeding and all those kind of things. So the only difference being is I didn't have to pretend anymore. I didn't have to pretend to care. I didn't have to pretend to take an interest in his day. I could get on with my own day without feeling guilty. And without feeling the pressure of oh my goodness, I'm going to have to sit down tonight and put a brave face on and pretend that everything's all okay when it's really not okay.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So how long did you and your husband stay in that living together before you or him finally moved out? Thank you to better help for sponsoring this podcast. I have been using better help for almost a year now. And the progress that I have made in my mental health has been incredible. I just want to tell you, my listeners a little bit about better help to see if it might be a great fit for you. Their mission is making professional counseling accessible, affordable, and convenient. So anyone who struggles with life challenges can get help anywhere, anytime. They offer four ways to get counseling, from video sessions, phone calls to live chat and messaging. It's also available worldwide, you will be matched with your counselor and 24 hours or less better help offers a broad expertise in their network. So it provides users with access to specialists, they might not be able to find locally. Financial Aid is also available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com slash bright side of life, that's better help.com slash bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month, you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash bright side of life. That's better help.com forward slash b r i g h t side of life. The link will also be in the description section of this episode.

Laura:

About a year to 18 months whilst I was breastfeeding, and the children were still young and the baby was still waking up at night. And to be quite honest, there was no urgency. Like I say we didn't hate each other. We didn't argue we had the space in the house. The little setup was working with spending time individually with the children. So there was no great urgency, but then it did get to a point where it was like Okay, now, things are moving on. We don't have a baby anymore. He's turning into a toddler. We need to we need to start making some inroads with this.

Melissa Bright:

And was that at that time your oldest child that the toddler are no, no, no,

Laura:

no. So I'm talking about the baby. turning into a toddler. Yeah.

Melissa Bright:

Okay. So the kids at that point, didn't really know anything that was going on, because it was all pretty normal.

Laura:

Yeah. And it didn't matter to them because they were little still. And funny enough. I didn't quite anticipate the reaction when we did actually tell them and he had moved out even though he had moved out, clearly got settled somewhere and was having him to having the children to stay at the weekends. I envisage to saying to the children, you know, just to clarify, guys, you know that daddy lives here, and mommy lives here now, but it didn't really go down that way at all. I think my son thought that it was just a temporary thing or something. Bless him. So that that was that was a really difficult conversation to have.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So okay, it's been 18 months, you guys live together, he finally moved out. Talk to me how you finalize the divorce? Did it go over? Well, did you guys get lawyers involved? What happened there?

Laura:

Well, this is the inspirational bit. And I would urge anybody to approach it in this way. Because we'd been so open and honest with each other. And I'd made my promise to him about never arguing about money or the children. We were both have the same respect for each other. And so actually, we said, Look, we've got two choices, we can go full divorce, which we all know can cost 1000s and 1000s of pounds. We can go through mediation, which we did investigate, we worked out would be around 5000 pounds. I don't know what that is equivalent in dollars, but 5000 pounds. Or we could do our divorce ourselves. So we investigated using a mediator and decided let's try and do it ourselves first. So because things were amicable, we were still co parenting talking and things. So what we did was we sat around a garden table, it was actually in the summer. And within two hours, we'd laid out all the ground works around what is going to happen with the children what's going to happen with the finances. And what was great is we both came together with our ideal outcomes and then we met in the middle. And as from my side of things, I was really clear with the minimum that I would be happy with what was really important to me. And that was to keep the house because I wanted stability for the children. And I made sure that was the you know, he understood that that was the reason why I wanted to keep the house, that and the fact that I birthed my third child in this house. So if I ever have to leave this house, it will kill me. Because it is his birthplace. I obviously wanted to prioritize keeping the kids as happy as possible. And I wanted to ensure that he was set up financially for his own future as well. I really hate those stories where it fact where you find that often the father is the injured party, he ends up in a two bedroom flats where the children have to huddled together in a room and share a bunk bed. And although that's fine, it's not really fair, because he built up this life as well. So I really wanted to make sure that we were both as equal and fair as possible. So we can provide continue to provide a nice life for the children. So what we do is we wrote all of that up literally in the minute detail, talking about pets, talking about child maintenance, talking about literally everything. And we wrote it all out. And we submitted to a solicitor and she was horrified. She was like, I wish all divorces could be like this. And literally, we just submitted this two page a4 document to her. And she formalized it and legally legalized it within the courts. And I think we spent about 1000 pounds in legal fees in the end. Which is nothing really yeah, that's super super quickly as well.

Melissa Bright:

I don't even know if I can think of a divorce story that has ever went this well. Setting in the garden going over what you guys are gonna split up and figuring it all out within. I mean, it just really speaks volumes on both of your guys's maturity, and how you did want to make it work. Not together. You know, I just think that's incredible. And

Laura:

and also we made a deal that when I was going to that meeting, because we went and met at his his place where he was at the time, we said, Look, if we're not making inroads with this discussion, or it's not going well, or one of us is getting upset, or we're getting a little bit narky, then we'll stop, and we'll reconvene the week after, doesn't have to all be solved now. But as it turned out, it was solved within two hours. So it was fine.

Melissa Bright:

Oh, that's great. Then what happened? After the divorce? So you stayed there? He moved out? What was life like for you after that? Yeah,

Laura:

I mean, it was a relief. And I was really proud of us both for finding a way to be happy apart and setting a new structure for our family. He went on to rent a property, and then now has bought a property, which is great. So he lives about 20 minutes walk down the road from me. And his new house is set up the same as this house where the children have their own bedrooms, and they have two homes, they don't feel like there's a difference between them. As far as my first task. When it got to a point of where the house was mine. I really wanted to make the home my home. And so I entered inadvertedly. It wasn't deliberate. I found myself changing the bedrooms around getting a new kitchen, redecorating the lounge, just to kind of put my own stamp on things and do it in my own way. Because I never really had that throughout our relationship. So that was something that was really important to me.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And how did the How did your children adjust to everything.

Laura:

I mean, they have highs and lows, I'm not gonna lie to you. It's difficult for them. They're young, they're only six, four and two. So they're really young. But they are adjusting, we can't do much more for them in way of supports. And what we're trying to do is to have open discussions with them as much as possible. We've bought the school on board, which I think is really important. Because similarly to when I was growing up, no one in my class had parents that were splitting up that was a thing of the 90s. It just didn't happen very often. And within my children's classes, there aren't many other parents that are co parenting or split families. So we've involved the school to ensure that they're keeping that communication open for them as well so that they know that they've got various different sounding boards of places they can go to if they want to talk about things.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And I think you and your ex husband know that this isn't always going to be that way if they're struggling now you know that this was for the best for them. So you know, when other relationships come along for you or your ex husband and that you know, it is a much better relationship. They can learn from those You know, and so I think it's, it's hard now it can be difficult now, but in the future, you know that you're going to be setting a good example for what marriage should be, you know?

Laura:

Yeah, absolutely. And that was the main reason to be honest with ending the marriage because neither of us wanted to display to the children, a loveless marriage, or a marriage of convenience. And the way I view it is, there are three types of relationships. There's ones where sometimes you're lucky enough to meet your soulmate, your forever person that you can't be without, and you will be together forever. My parents are like that they've been together since they were 14 years old, and are inseparable. Yeah, then there are some people that fall into marriages, find someone that they're happy to build a life with, but end up settling, they change over time. But do you know what, it's not a bad life, I'll settle with this. And that's what I was in danger of doing. Or there's people like me, that will say, Actually, you know what, this was okay, for this period of my life, but I'm changing into something else. I've other things that are important to me, other things that I want out of life, and this other thing could make me happier. So I'm going to take take the move and accept that I've changed over time, and that that other person has changed over time, and that there will be happiness in the future to be had.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, it's such a beautiful thing that, you know, sometimes I feel that maybe even in relationships, partners can't understand, you know, why they're unhappy, or it just, you know, sometimes it takes a lot of self reflection to even know not saying, you know, that it's your fault or anything, but what is this? What is this agging feeling that I keep having? What What is that in for you? That was, I don't think that this is going to be the guy that I want to be with for the rest of my life. And like you said, a lot of relationships just stay out of convenience, and they settle, which is fine if things work. But then there's a lot of relationships that don't work. And they end up in arguments. And then children see arguments after arguments and all the hate. And that's when it gets really bad. I'm so happy that you were able to recognize that.

Laura:

Yeah, I think it's difficult, particularly for women and mothers. It's difficult because it feels selfish. Yeah, if you're sat with your own thoughts of I'm not happy. So I was in a situation where I wasn't happy. But I had a nice life. Me and my partner were professionals with a high income earners, we had a lovely house, we went on lovely holidays, we drove awesome cars, we had beautiful children, there was nothing to not like, but I just wasn't happy. I didn't have I was missing that affection and that love and that togetherness. And so I was vocal about that. But that is difficult because it feels selfish. But really deep down. It's not selfish, you only get one life. And one thing I kept finding myself saying to myself is what will I regret more when I'm 80 years old? And I'm winding down and I'm sat on my sofa, and just relaxing into life? Will I look back and regret staying? Or will I look back and regret dubbing? And that was the biggest question that I had to answer. And when I did that, it was really easy. Yep,

Melissa Bright:

absolutely. So what have you learned about yourself from this experience? Um,

Laura:

I would say that I have realized that I'm far stronger than I thought I ever could be. And that the strength that I've found can really help others. Because I think it gives people faith that there are ways in which to have a amicable happy, separation and divorce. It's something that a lot of people get worried about, because of the cost and the emotion and the stress and the strain. You know, it's one of the supposed to be one of the most stressful things we ever go through like buying a house or selling a house. But actually, there are ways in which you can orchestrate these things within your life that are for the best and can be done in the right way. So I've really been proud of the strength that we've both shown around that.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. That's so beautiful. And I just want to tell you that I'm I'm proud of you when you told me this story. I'm like, this is such a great story. It's like it's full of hope, even though it it's a story about divorce, and I just love that and I was like yes, let's tell her story, please. So Laura, what um, what does life look like for you now?

Laura:

Oh, goodness, my whole life has changed in this last year. So throughout that period, I've been working at a high street bank. I've worked at a high street bank for the last 20 years. And I'm now in the position to be starting a new business, all around helping families to be more money savvy and breaking down that taboo subject of money within the home. But doing it more from a collaborative learning point of view where the parents are learning and the children are learning at the same time, and I believe that my approach towards money and this, this example of that I'm giving you of the story would not have been possible. If I hadn't been as good as I, as I am with money and how financially savvy I've been, because it's allowed me to take choices. It's allowed me to go after my own happiness. And I see so many people, unfortunately, that aren't in that position, because they've not set themselves up in the right way. And then if it means that they have very little choice, so I want to share my knowledge with other others and provide them with the fact that they can have choice if they're well prepared. So I'm really excited about what's to come with the new business.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And have you started that yet? Do you have any clients yet?

Laura:

I do. I am. In this kind of in between phase, because I'm in the process of finishing at the bank, on the seventh of May, I will be launching my business. So at the moment, I'm building my community building my tribe, using clubhouse, which is how I've met you, Melissa. And sort of building my brand and my profile and finding ways in which I want to help those families. So it'll be through a number of different services. So at the moment, it's all at that exciting phase, where I'm just trying out different things and having really exciting conversations with lots of new people elaborations and stuff. So I'm really excited to share with you that I'm also going to be releasing a podcast called money savvy parents. This program is designed to share money, hints and tips with you, as the audience member, but coming at it from a parent and child perspective. So there'll be some things that you can do within your home as a parent and some things that some activities you can do with the children. But really, it's an educational piece to ensure that you are as financially literate as well as educating your children to be as financially literate as possible. So hopefully, some of your audience will benefit from subscribing and listening along to that at the same time. So it's called money savvy parents, and I hope that you will also

Melissa Bright:

subscribe, Melissa, it sounds so interesting. And there definitely needs to be people like you that have been through this amazing experience. And you can help educate people. Do you plan on helping maybe like, say, somebody that was in your shoes, and you you decided, you know, you wanted to leave the marriage and you want to help that single mom? Take her next steps? Is that something you would do?

Laura:

It's funny that you mentioned that because every time I tell this story, obviously, we've gone in depth now, but every time I've mentioned it through clubhouse or Instagram, I always get a lot of mothers approaching me not only necessarily about how they can orchestrate the separation, because sometimes it's not as always black and white as that, but definitely wanting to ensure that they are financially independent, that allows them to have choice, because they can see from my story when I got married, I did not intend to get divorced, right. But what I did was I was very clever in ensuring that I was financially independent, financially Scott's free, so that I can have choice in the future.

Melissa Bright:

That's awesome. And you and you know, all these these people that are coming to you, this is definitely going to help you ways that you, you know, oh my gosh, I never thought about offering this service or, you know, consulting or whatever you do. So that's got to be so exciting. So if someone were to ask you, how did you know it was time to end a relationship? What would you say? And I want to ask this in a way, because you probably have the more and more you share your story, you're probably going to get people reaching out to you saying, I have some similarities with your story. And I feel like I'm not happy either. And what made you finally you know, do this and I know you've said it a lot already. But I think it can be taken, you know, several different ways and several different things. So what would be your one piece of advice you could give for somebody?

Laura:

I think the way you realize that it is time to end the relationship is when nothing is working. We tried everything and nothing was working. Nobody can say to us that we didn't try. We didn't just wake up one day and decide that was it. We tried a whole host of things for well over a year before we decided enough was enough. And there was nothing that was gonna make me Happy, I just wasn't in love anymore. And, and that was enough for me. And it is difficult for people to accept that I do remember talking with a close friend at the time. And and and they said, Well, so what if you're not in love? You've been together, you've created this life. Love isn't the be all and end all? Well, I'm sorry. But for me it is right. I don't want to be unloved for the rest of my life I need to be loved. I'm one of those people, My Love Languages physical touch and affection. I can't go through life without being in love.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, absolutely. And you shouldn't I mean, I know everybody has their own beliefs on what you know, marriage is and what it's not. But you knew in your heart what you wanted, and you weren't getting that and you did what you needed to do, to make sure that you know, for the rest of your life, whenever you meet that person, you are going to be happy. So I think it's wonderful advice. And I think you know, people just have to listen to their gut. And like you said, you did try everything. It's not like you guys just Well, we want to counseling, well, we won't do therapy. Well, we won't try this that you guys did try it all, you know, and that that's really, you could walk away both knowing that you tried everything much like anything else, you know, when you give it your all and you can say okay, I tried and it still didn't work, then then it's easier.

Laura:

And it wasn't just one of us were trying, we were trying together. Right? It was it wasn't like one person woke up and said you although it was me that vocalized it first, it wasn't one person waking up and saying enough's enough, our marriage is over. It was okay, we've got some issues. This is how we're both feeling. Let's try different things. Absolutely.

Melissa Bright:

And sometimes, unfortunately, it doesn't always work. That way, you'll have somebody that's still madly in love with the person and maybe the other person doesn't want to continue trying. And that's hard, you know, to navigate. So, Laura, I always ask my guests this at the end of every episode, if you could tell me in your own words, what does the bright side of life mean to you?

Laura:

Okay, for me, this is really easy. It's about where you are the happiest. And if life doesn't feel good, then something has got to change. Of course, they'll always be absent lows will always gonna have different things flown us throughout our life. But if it isn't what you want it to be, or it doesn't quite feel right, then that's okay. Accept it, change it, move on, in the right way at the right time. But put yourself at the very top of your life tree. Because if you're not happy, everybody else around you is going to be affected and feel that your family, your children, your partner, your friends, everybody's going to feel it. Your happiness has got to be at the very top.

Melissa Bright:

Yes, you are so right. And it's it's I hate the cliche, cliche, saying, you know, you have to be happy first before you can make anybody else happy. But oh, with as much work I've done on myself and self love and finding myself and becoming aware of all my bad qualities about myself until I fix those things and realize some things I there's no way all any of my other relationships could be good. So you're spot on, you're spot on with that one. And you got to make yourself a priority No matter how much you might, you know, not intentionally hurt the other person. But at the end of the day you are, you're the one that stuck with your thoughts, your happiness, your happiness, whatever it's supposed to be. So, Laura, I commend you so much on being brave and speaking up, and I'm so happy the way things turned out for you and your family. And I wish you nothing but continued success and happiness.

Laura:

Thanks, Melissa. It's great that I've been able to share this story and I really hope it inspires others to think about their life and their happiness and what's important to them and putting their brave pants on and sorting themselves out. do what's right for them.

Melissa Bright:

Yep. And it's absolutely going to help I have no doubt. Thank you, Laura, very much. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of the bright side of life. Laura's story is one I feel so many people can be inspired by one for being brave enough to speak up when she wasn't happy in two for the way the divorce played out. We so many times. No, it doesn't go this way. But that doesn't mean it can't and Laura is just an example to show that she shared a lot of wisdom on how her and her ex were able to navigate things especially with keeping their children Mind, I would love to keep this conversation going about Laura's story and what your thoughts are, if you had any takeaways from it, I invite you to join the conversation over at our community Facebook page. And that link will be in the description of this episode, but it's just the bright side of life podcast, and it's actually a group not a page. So is there anything she said that resonated with you? Or was there something that you've done in your divorce that made things easier for both parties? Let us know in the group. I would love for you guys to share. And as always, if you know someone that may need to hear Laura's story, please share it with them, because we never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.