Divorce is the Catalyst to Rediscover Old Passions: Interview with Author Wendi Schuller

We had a chance to catch up with Wendi Schuller,  author of the Global Guide to Divorce and The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce, blogger and all around inspiration for navigating the uncertain waters of divorce. In the interview below, Wendi shares her personal experience with divorce — plus some tips on how to rediscover old passions and reinvent yourself after a divorce.

My take on Divorce

Some people I have met allow divorce to define who they are, as if that was their most dominant characteristic. “Divorced” is the word you tick on a form to describe your marital status. One may be an artist, writer, great team member on the job, church goer, the naughty aunt, global traveller, volunteer and so much more. People are multi-faceted and not just a single label. Divorce is the catalyst to rediscover old passions and develop new ones. Divorce ends one chapter of life and gives the chance to do something different. Reframing negative thoughts into something more positive, is a way to get through the aftermath a bit easier.

My Experience

I stayed in my marriage way too long when it clearly had run its course. I knew divorce was inevitable, but thought I would be doing my sons a favor to wait until the youngest was in high school or college. Since their father did guy things like Boy Scouts, I falsely believed having both parents in the home was best. I urge others to go to counselling to determine their best course of action when in a rocky marriage. Although my husband left me (by post-it note), I was the one who initiated divorce the following week. Years later my two sons still asked why I waited so long to get a divorce.

One is in shock, even if they were the ones who started the divorce proceedings. I felt alone as if wondering around in a fog in spite of my background as a nurse, hypnotherapist and being certified in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Most of my friends were married, so could not give personal advice. I wanted a guide book, like one buys before the start of a journey, but could not find just the right one. I did not know what was right around the corner nor what to expect so rarely did any online searches. I began interviewing acquaintances during and post-divorce as writers tend to do. The best advice was at the school gates which is not found in any other source. I wrote the book I wished I had had during divorce. My two books are like a map on how to get from point A to B. “The Global Guide to Divorce” includes much material on how to move on, co-parent, start dating, get back to work and covers emotional issues as well as getting through the legal and financial part of divorce. I recommend enlarging your social network and being around friends who are supportive.

Dating Coach

One may want to hire a dating coach in order to learn how to make good first impressions and feel more confident on dates. Dating rules have changed in the last decade or two, so talking things over can be reassuring. Some people start dating and if that is not working out well, then seek out a dating coach to discover the reasons why.  This person will be more candid than friends are in what could be improved, and is knowledgeable in providing guidance.

Online Dating

Ask a friend to read over your profile to ensure that it is appropriate and interesting. Have an up-to-date photo that is flattering yet realistic. One woman had a stunning photo which looked more like an idealized version of her. Not surprisingly, some dates had problems recognising her and did not ask for second get-togethers possibly due to this discrepancy.  Consider having a friend sit next to you for the first couple of responses you make online regarding contacting potential dates.

Meet new people in public places and do not take them back to your place right away. If a person was charming online but creepy in person, listen to your gut instinct. It is okay to excuse yourself for a minute, then have a friend phone you with an “emergency.” Be safe. Look at dating again as an adventure.

Happiness

The first step is to realize that you are the only one responsible for your happiness. No one or thing can “make” you happy. You have power and control over your life to choose to be happy or bitter. Having a positive attitude and focusing on what is going well goes a long way towards happiness. This is where the gratitude movement comes in – looking for the good around you and appreciating it on a regular basis.

Connecting to others increases satisfaction in life and minimizes loneliness. Get meaning in your life. What stirs your passion? Travel is mine. Having a purpose is the key to sustained happiness. I volunteer for a cat rescue organization and that is the most important activity I do all week.  The kitties shower me with affection and I feel so good.

The divorce process is a short episode in one’s life and yes, you will get through it. Gathering supportive people around you makes all the difference.

Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP). Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 100 published articles. Her other book is The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce. Web site is globalguidetodivorce.com.