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WHO GOT THE HOUSE? THE KIDS!

Updated: Dec 1, 2020



Carlos was distraught. Ten years married to the love of his life and very much still in love, he was in the middle of having his heart broken. His wife, Maira, was in the midst of a whirlwind extramarital affair with “the love of her own life” and had no intentions of ending her adventure. From the beginning it was clear that we would not be patching a torn relationship, but focusing on a peaceful separation. Devoted parents of two young children, ages 9 and 7, Carlos and Maria were aware and wary of putting their children in the center of the situation and of the weight divorce puts on children - especially one with special needs. Our goal was to put the kids first, help them stay consistent and navigate the changes with as little disruption as possible to the children's lives.


Of course this was set with the best intentions and hopefulness, even though no matter the scenario, divorce is sensitive and painful. Besides feeling betrayed, Carlos was angry, vengeful, depressed, sad, hopeless. He felt constricted and was using the little strength that he had in order to go to work, to be a good and caring father and to support the family. As I coached Carlos through it, I helped him keep his strength and integrity as both a person and father in spite of the intense pain and despair that he was feeling in his ending marriage. Coaching provided a safe space for him to process the turmoil of feelings and emotions that were debilitating for him.


Improving Carlos’s outlook and mindset was crucial to preserving the family relationship that all could agree was worth saving. Having him in the right frame of mind, helped get him through filing for the divorce and dissolving the romantic relationship. It allowed him to focus on the kids. When it came to joint parenthood and family responsibilities, they were able to dream the same dream. The amount of disagreements was minimal compared to what they were agreeing on: The children were not going to suffer as a result of their separation.


The kids were the most important part to be saved in the new definition of their family, and in order to shield them from the disruption of their lives as a consequence, the agreement was to let the children remain in the house as their safe haven, and point of stability. Instead of the kids schlepping back and forth between parents, endlessly fragmenting their own routines, Carlos and Maira would take on the dissonance of living in multiple places.


In order to divide their parental duties at ”the kids’ house”, Carlos and Maira each got their own places nearby--and it’s working! With a basic structured agreement on the days that each one of them is “on duty”, it has been very clear that they have each other’s back in regards to the children. They fully take onus for continuing to raise the kids together-- sharing both the responsibilities and the fun times with the children. The whole family is thriving individually and collectively.


What about Carlos? He has recovered his purpose and love for life. His energy is up. His dreams are clear. He’s flipped a sinking career to being promoted. He continues to find happiness as a very engaged and committed father. And for the hopeful romantics reading this, yes, he has also found love!


Ending a marriage is difficult and emotional. If you need help, I'm here for you.


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