The newspapers’ divorce story of the week featured Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin and a very public announcement of their marriage’s demise. When the Guardian asked me to write about divorce and the workplace, the decision to go public (or not) seemed like a good place to start:
In case you’ve missed the hundreds of column inches attached to it, this week actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the lead singer in Coldplay, announced their “conscious uncoupling”. They have been married for ten years which by Hollywood standards is pretty good going. What caught everyone’s attention, however, was the manner in which the couple made their announcement. They chose to post on Paltrow’s popular website, Goop.
While this probably isn’t how most couples would announce their split, divorce is an emotional roller coaster and when you are going through such a difficult time, it is a good idea to let others around you know what is happening in your life.
It is understandable that most people wince at the idea of having to dissect their failed relationships with friends and close family members, let alone their bosses and colleagues. But you would be surprised at how many people have been there themselves: either a divorce, a bitter break-up or battles over children. Most businesses will take this information on board and help you cope with the situation.
Divorce is akin to bereavement, so expect to go through all the stages before coming to accept the loss. You will feel shocked and you will experience disbelief and anger, alongside a range of other intense and hostile emotions including for some, overwhelming feelings of guilt and for others, of failure. I usually advise clients to write off a year. Tell yourself it is going to be a tough spell: if you hope for the best but expect the worst, at least you are prepared for whatever is to come.
You can read the full article on the Guardian here.
Image credit: Giant Ginkgo.