Divorce Client Story: Mom of Teens Finds Love

Welcome to one in a series of Dynamic Divorcee Method client stories. No names are given, and identifying details are masked in order to protect the privacy of the clients involved.

These are real women, not composite stories, and each one represents an individual, life-healing, divorce-recovery journey that the client undertook with me. Each one is a hero’s journey.

Meet the Dynamic Divorcee in This Story: After divorcing her slacker husband, she seriously wondered whether she’d find love again in her 40s. At the start, online dating included learning experiences of jumping into bed too fast with a guy or two with whom she felt a special connection — but she found that, in each case, he wasn’t looking for the same kind of relationship that she hoped for. She endured her share of Peter Pans and ghosting.

Her Dream: To finally meet someone who was a grown, responsible man, not just someone else she had to be responsible for. She wanted someone who added value and happiness to her life, not additional chores and emotional labor.

The Reality: She came to me a couple of years after divorce, and coming out of a year-long relationship that, shockingly to her, repeated some of the patterns in her marriage. In her words, “The man in my latest relationship was wishy-washy, hard to pin down, and kept me at arm’s length. I thought that if I gave him time, maybe he’d come around, but it’s not going anywhere. I want to be cherished and appreciated and feel like someone’s got my back. It’s hard holding everything in motion all by myself. I want to be adored and I want to adore someone -- I can give a lot to the right person.”

Before The Dynamic Divorcee: Career and climbing the corporate ladder were very important to her, but she wasn’t being paid what she should be. She hadn’t been able to save for the future and for her kids’ college education because of her husband’s lack of support and spendy ways. She was wondering why she kept attracting the same kind of man, and felt stuck and frustrated about figuring out how she could change any of this.

The Lightbulb Moment: We learned lessons from taking a look at her family of origin: A chaotic upbringing in which she was expected to care for the family’s numerous foster children, sharing a bedroom with a revolving door of kids she didn’t even know. She received no special attention, and was taught that her needs weren’t important. Her mother wanted to save the world (and had no time to be a mother on an individual basis) and her father was a passive bystander. The only way to be praised was by taking on the role of an adult and cooking, cleaning, and caring for other kids. Now, she was wondering why she had attracted the passive partners she had had, why there was no one to provide emotional support, and why it was difficult for her to receive the rewards she should be receiving in her career. It all became clear. And she needed new skills and new ways of communicating in order to have the life she deserved.

Challenge: Learning to present herself as someone who merited the kind of career advancement and pay she was entitled to. Learning to set boundaries about how she would and would not be treated by others. Learning to read the signs from men in her life and let go sooner, when necessary, without going to the opposite extreme and asking for commitment on the third date. Not offering herself up sexually, just to give a man what he wanted and prove herself to him.

Solution: Through our work together, she came to deeply understand (and live the truth that) she is the most important person in any relationship she has. That didn’t mean that others aren’t important, but that if she didn’t hold herself as the most important, no one else would. Because she didn’t protect herself, it was easy for others to intrude on her personal space and take advantage of her. She had been allowing them to do this. So far, the only positive reinforcement or positive attention she received came through y handling stuff, “doing things.”  That had stuck as a pattern in her life -- not even conscious, but just her habitual way of “being good.” We set practical, concrete, new scripts in place for how to handle people and events — both romantically and in her career. As she practiced these new scripts and new ways of presenting herself (her new brand), her life changed very quickly.

The Transformation: A substantial raise at work was the first big win. There were then a few dings along the way as she continued to date and fall for a couple of additional Peter Pans and users. These were very short-lived, this time around, because we worked on letting go emotionally and moving on quickly. Forgiving herself, and using these experiences to reinforce that her habitual way of doing things was not going to lead to happiness. These experiences were what it took to prove to herself that it was truly important to give The Dynamic Divorcee Method a solid try before falling for any more baby-men.

Today: She is now a marketing director for a Fortune 100 company. She is able to save and plan for all aspects of her family’s future. She is several years into a beautiful romantic relationship with a handsome, professional man in her age range whom just about any woman would love to have. They share many interests together, and he is a solid support — not a drain. He adds immeasurably to the quality of her life.

Do You Identify With This Story?

Would you like to explore how to heal the heartbreak of your divorce and find a way to let those experiences light your way into the future? Your life so far does not need to continue to predict your future. It can help you create a happier future, instead.

Would you like to experience greater understanding of where your life has taken you, and how you can transform those experiences into beauty, power, and strength?

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