By: Tess Worrell
Amy wasn’t sure if she wanted a divorce at all. The problems in her marriage seemed overwhelming, yet the idea of divorce brought more fear than hope. Dan was in the same boat with his marriage. Rather than simply call an attorney, they each called a divorce coach.
The coach helped Amy break the swirl of confusion and anger into definable issue–and patterns emerged. As Amy looked at these head-on, she knew they could be addressed in counseling. The coach helped her think through how to talk to her husband and ask his cooperation in seeking counseling. Six months later, they were on the road to a healthy marriage.
For Dan, working with the coach helped him see that the relationship with his wife would never fit his vision for marriage. As much as he hated to admit it, the trust was gone–and with it the foundation for the marriage. It was time to divorce.
The coach then helped Dan examine the options for pursuing divorce–mediation, collaborative divorce, or traditional litigation. They examined the pros and cons of each, so he could present options to his wife and they could choose what would work best in their situation. She then walked him through creating a vision of the life he wanted post-divorce. Dan realized he had not been intentional about his marriage. He wanted a plan for the next phase of life.
That vision then served as the foundation for addressing all the issues in the divorce.
- The coach helped him prepare for the financial discussions–completing a budget, setting financial priorities, gathering all the necessary documents. His desire to pursue a different career meant money for continuing education was a top priority in negotiating the finances.
- His need to relocate helped him to think about how to shape a parenting plan to account for the distance and assure his ongoing relationship with his children.
- Dan also explored his tendency to simply shut down during discussions with his wife. The coach helped Dan see how his anger-response blocked effective communication hurting both him and his wife. As Dan learned to effectively communicate his priorities and to listen to his wife’s, their mediation progressed as they found common ground.
While Dan’s mediator kept track of the big picture legally, his coach focused on preparing Dan for each step, helping him process the changes and empowering him to move forward into a more hopeful future.
Is coaching right for you? Coaches work with clients on a variety of issues:
- Is divorce the answer?
- How do I get ready for the financial decisions?
- How do I create a parenting plan that protects everyone and keeps us both engaged?
- How do stop blowing up/caving in when the negotiations start? How do I express myself so I will be heard?
- How do I create a support team to get me through this transition?
- How do I plan for the future–is there hope?
Divorce impacts every area of your life. While mediators or attorneys can attend the legal, a coach helps you prepare for the legal while guiding you through all the rest.
“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching–and the greatest things can happen.”