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Angela Ianuale Shanerman
June 2016

MY WHY - for becoming a CDC Certified Divorce Coach (R)

My journey began more than 10 years ago when I found myself in a downright abusive, unloving, unfulfilling marriage with three small children. On the surface, it looked remarkably great, but the unknown reality was that I could not fathom how I had gotten there in over 20 years together. 

Now with this awareness, comes a greater responsibility, knowing what I needed to do versus actually acting upon it are two very different things. So I tried every resource at that time to find the answers, solutions to ultimately save my marriage and my family. Little did I know that I could not do this by myself and it would take two people. Although marriage counseling appeared to be the right thing to do, I quickly became more aware that I did not have a real partner, but I stuck it out for the kids and allowed the typical fear of money and "how could I get divorced" overwhelm me. So again,  I continued to try to do more, to learn and fix the mess that had become my life. 

In 2010, I retained my attorney just after the statute changed in New York State to irreconcilable differences. I had consulted with several attorneys, researched, educated myself, surrounded myself with an incredible support system so that when the time came to divorce I would be ready. Honestly, I knew my marriage was bad, so I did not think divorce was going to be "a piece of cake".  I was naively prepared for the havoc now that would ensue, legally with the divorce process and the judicial system. It would literally wreck havoc on me, my family, and finances. And would drag on for five years and ultimately, in the end, I would be representing myself Pro Se.  Logic, fairness, proof, and integrity would not be the road that the divorce would take by the other side, in my opinion. It became a war, a nightmare, a game, and I was a pawn in this game, manipulated by all, even my own attorney.

During those five years, in sharing my story and listening to other woman share their divorce stories, I could not believe that as a society,  we accept the current divorce process as normal and acceptable. How could this be with the divorce rate so high! I knew that there has to be a better way, a more empowered way to dissolve a marriage. I have always been a strong person, able to create a vision and live into that vision despite my circumstances. During that time, I began to become a resource for other women and naturally attract people that were seeking guidance in their own relationships. In sharing my story, others began to tell me how strong I am, and that they could never do what I'm doing, so they stay stuck out of fear, I knew that there was actually a bigger plan for me and that out of all this pain something meaningful would come out of it. In my own experience, I found very little support to help one actually navigate divorce with all the emotions one goes through and repeatedly goes through. 

Divorce is a highly personal, private and emotional experience, now that I am at the other end, how could a person go through this process without having a divorce coach! I am very grateful for the timing of this course that presented to me. I am a stand for workable relationships and families even if the parties can no longer be married. If I can support someone during this challenging time while empowering them with the coaching tools and skills I have learned, hopefully, they can avoid some of the devasting and long lasting impacts of divorce. It is my mission to serve and ultimately change the face of divorce and put it in the hands of the actual decision makers, the very people who married! 

Check out my latest interview

The Susan Brender Show