I am a survivor.
A survivor of divorce.
I went through divorce…twice.
And I was never a first wife.
Could life get any better than this? I married the love of my life. We honeymooned in Mexico. Our lives were filled with dining out and shopping and concerts and movies. Two years later I gave birth to my first angel, a beautiful baby girl. She was everything we ever wanted. For me, she was a dream come true. For my husband, who was divorced, it was a new start. He lived with the pain of losing touch with his daughters who disappeared along with his ex-wife. I wanted to give him the family he’d lost. Then I got a phone call.
“Hello Mrs. Schwartz. I’m the other Mrs. Schwartz.”
I knew there was another Mrs. Schwartz. My husband didn’t hide that fact. What he did hide was that he knew all along where his ex-wife and children lived. He said they couldn’t be found. That wasn’t true.
Being young and headstrong, I was determined to make things right. I insisted that his daughters — my stepdaughters — spend their summer vacations at our home in New York. Over the next ten years, as my immediate family grew — I gave birth to another beautiful baby girl — my stepdaughters became an active part of my family. We spoke often, even when they were back on the West Coast.
Over the years I got to see how the divorce had affected these innocent children. While not all marriages are made in heaven, that didn’t mean that all divorces had to be made in hell. I swore to myself that one day I’d do something about this. I couldn’t fix the past but I knew I could make the future much better.
When my two daughters no longer needed me to be home for them after school, I applied for a court-sponsored program to become a mediator. But at a weeklong training about domestic violence, uncontrollable tears rolled down my face. What I learned seemed all too familiar. I realized that I was an emotionally abused wife.
I completed the program, becoming a Custody/Visitation Mediator & Case Manager for Richmond County, New York, in addition to being the Domestic Violence Expert for the program. I loved the work. My mediation skills, business successes (I played a pivotal role in the growth of my husband’s accounting business), and wealth of life experience, made it possible for me to help others through tricky situations. I made a real difference in other peoples lives. The ultimate test of my skills came three years later. I was embroiled in a very ugly divorce — my own.
My soon-to-be ex-husband did not want a mediator. I had no choice but to go the traditional “lawyer” route. Friends and family were supportive, encouraging me to “stand up to the bully at all costs.” The attorneys enjoyed every minute of it, and billed accordingly. Despite my mediation skills, business success, and wealth of experience helping others, nothing could prepare me for the break-up of my own marriage. It took every ounce of my strength to get through the process and the roller coaster of emotions. After two years, the divorce was final. I was physically and emotionally drained, and I was on my own. The job that I loved — mediator and case manager — didn’t pay enough for my daughters and me to survive.
I trotted off to Wall Street to earn serious money. Still, my passion to help others did not fade. I did volunteer work as a custody/visitation mediator in the NYC Court system, while I worked at a number of different jobs, on and off Wall Street. When I retired four years ago, I knew what I wanted to do. I became a Certified Divorce Coach.
Why You Need A Certified Divorce Coach
To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I’ve seen divorce from all sides now. I know what it does to the children. I know what it does to the wife and husband. I know what it does to all those concerned. I also know that there is, indeed, a better way.
As your Certified Divorce Coach, I’m making available to you nearly 40 years of personal and professional experience. I can show you that a break-up is not the end of your happiness, and that you can move on to an even better life. I can give you the tools and skills to take control of the pain that comes from divorce. I will show you how to redesign your whole life just the way you dreamed it would be.
As your Certified Divorce Coach, I will create a personalized, sustainable program so that you can make better decisions, and be better equipped to handle the mental and emotional stresses of a breakup. We can do this together. Reach out to me. Let’s talk about how I can help you create a bright future.
There Can Be A “Happily Ever After”
I wasn’t looking for it. After witnessing so many divorces and going through my own divorce, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be married again. And then I met this incredible man. We’re married for over 17 years. He has been a warm, supportive, and loving father to my daughters and now, a grandfather to our four little angel babies. We love traveling, working out, taking long walks, bike riding, theater, museums, farmer’s markets, antiquing, hosting dinner parties, cooking, and just enjoying life.
Let me show you that there is life and love after divorce, whether that love includes another person, or just yourself.