The Scoop: Kate Anthony is a Divorce Coach and Expert who helps women contemplating and going through separation find the strength to end their unhealthy marriages. Kate talked to us about her own journey through divorce and how she uses a combination of personal and professional experience to guide women through the difficult decision-making that comes along with the end of a marriage. Kate discussed her coaching approach and gave tips for women looking to find themselves after divorce. 

Statistics about divorce are thrown around often, and they usually come with some fear-mongering message about not letting your marriage become a number. Divorce is devastating, but it also exists for a reason – nobody should be in a relationship that harms them.

The entire process of ending a marriage, from deciding whether it’s the right decision to the technical aspects of separation, is hard on the minds, bodies, and souls of both partners. Couples need a lot of support in a time that’s often marked by contention, dissolving relationships, and overwhelming transitions.

Nobody enjoys divorce, but the empowerment and identity that can be found on the other side of an unhealthy marriage are worth the challenging process. Kate Anthony is a Divorce Expert and Coach, and she talked to us about her own story, her experience with clients, and her approach to ending toxic marriages.

Kate said one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is deciding whether a divorce is the right move. “I kept thinking there was one more thing around the corner, one thing that fixed everything,” she said. “I had been bending myself into pretzels for the better part of a decade trying to make it work, and it wasn’t working.”

Kate’s Divorce Story

Kate works with her clients from a place of embodied understanding. “When I was married, I had what looked perfect from the outside,” she told us. “I had the nice house and the nice car and the cute little kid, and at the time, I was working as an actor on ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”

Kate said that nothing seemed amiss if you had looked at her life and marriage from the outside. “But on the inside, I was dying. I had been struggling for years to find out if I should leave my marriage. I was waiting for a burning bush.”

Things had not been great in Kate’s marriage for some time, yet she struggled with the decision of divorce. “What was really going on was that I was being emotionally abused and gaslit in my marriage,” she said. “It took a huge toll on my mental and physical health.”

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Kate helps women find authenticity and empowerment before, during, and after divorce.

The abuse and mistreatment made the decision-making all the more difficult. When one’s basic needs aren’t being met – like  feeling safe in one’s own home – the more nuanced needs become all the more difficult to attend to. Kate said this is a common cause for women who are in unhealthy marriages yet unsure if divorce is the answer.

“I kept asking people how they knew it was time,” Kate said. “But once I was out of the relationship, I could see it so clearly. And I started to understand actually what had been happening in my marriage, and I recognized there had to be a better way to make the decision.”

Kate wanted to help women in situations like hers become active participants in divorce decision-making. This was the inspiration behind her first book, “The D Word: Making the Ultimate Decision About Your Marriage.” The book helps women see that while the divorce process can be overwhelming and scary, they have agency and power in their roles.

From Deciding on Divorce to the Final Step of the Process

Kate works with women in every stage of a divorce, but she said one of the most complicated stages is the decision-making process. “It’s very much a mix, but I see women at that point a lot,” she said. “I coach them through the process, and I have a specialty in coaching women going through high-conflict divorces.”

This coaching task has various elements, from guiding women as they remove themselves from the relationship to explaining the upcoming legal process. 

“Attorneys and mediators sometimes aren’t that great at explaining the process to their clients,” Kate said. “Almost every client of mine says they met with their attorney, but they still don’t understand the process or what’s going to happen. So I help with that, too.”

kate helps clients through process
Kate helps clients through the divorce process.

Besides the legal elements of divorce, the emotional ones are often what cause the most discord. As painful as the feelings that arise during divorce may be, Kate said they demand to be felt. 

“I also help them navigate the process in a way that sort of processes the emotional fallout,” she said. “When you’re getting divorced, you are making the biggest legal and financial decisions of your life in the middle of the biggest emotional upheaval of your life.”

It’s a lot to think about and nearly impossible to do alone. When people get divorced, they hire an attorney to deal with the legal aspects. It can also be super helpful to find someone to help carry the load of the emotional aspects of the separation.

“We process the emotional stuff so we can get to a place of logical strategic thinking,” Kate said. “We can only attend to the legal and financial pieces well once the emotional fallout has been somewhat processed.”

How to Know When It’s Time to End Things

Kate developed a three-step decision-making process to help women trying to decide whether it’s time for a divorce.  “There are three phases– Deciding, Decided, and Done,” she said. 

“Deciding is when you start to question things, and the idea first comes into your mind. You’re wondering if it’s right, and then you move into this dawning realization that things are not right.”

This realization happens between the first two phases. Kate’s Healthy Relationship Assessment is a great tool for women who are struggling with this decision. “The assessment can be so clarifying,” Kate said. “It really makes you think about the relationship and what’s not OK.”

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During the midst of divorce, women need ongoing support and resources.

Kate said many women may bargain with their partner after assessing the unhealthy elements of the relationship, and this can cause people to stay in toxic or abusive marriages. “It can take years to accept it’s time for a divorce, and I want to cut down that time women stay in a bad marriage because they can’t decide,” she said.

Kate’s approach and resources are centered around showing women in the midst of a divorce that they have the skills they need to make such a significant decision, despite how frightening the choice may be.

“Women often spend so much time thinking about the other person before and during a divorce, and we can really lose sight of ourselves,” Kate said. “So I think the most important thing that we need to do to begin the process is put the focus back on ourselves. Whether it’s through coaching, therapy, or something else, you have to know yourself.”