I am a true believer that when divorce is approached in a thoughtful and reasonable way, there can definitely be positive outcomes. It’s all a matter of how two people go about it and what their end goals are. One of the things I love most about being a divorce mediator is that I get to work with couples in a way that will enable them to strengthen their family bonds rather than pull them apart.
Recently I had the fortune of speaking with Paul Ross from the UK. Paul went through his own divorce and recently launched a book, How to Profit from Your Divorce, sharing his story and encouraging others to approach divorce in a reasonable way that would allow them to move on in a positive direction. I asked Paul to share his story as I believe it can help so many who are either thinking about divorce or who are already divorced.
Divorce Can Create Stronger Family Values
Following my 5 years of acrimonious divorce, I found relationships with your children journey into uncharted waters; however with any journey into the unknown you can make new discoveries, as I did with my daughter. Like any responsible father, I would have put my life on the line to protect Laura during the years of divorce. Without any doubt and unconditionally, her interests were always put first – I made the lawyers and the court aware of this.
Laura was 18 years old, had just taken her final school exams and was about to head for a new life at the university. During the divorce years, I would regularly visit her, while she was at the university; remaining positive and optimistic with her. I would ask her what she would like to achieve after her education; discussing her future plans and her career. I would reassure her that her interests came first and she would always receive my 100% support and guidance in helping her achieve her goals in life.
Remaining open, honest and transparent with her about the divorce and keeping alive the family spirit and values as much as possible; our time together and wider family events such as Christmas, birthdays, holidays and social occasions were very important. Talking about the fond memories held with my late mother and step-father as she was growing up in her school years. Keeping our shared sense of humour and family culture; she would love listening to stories about my childhood and my mischievous nature, the practical jokes and pranks I would play on my younger sisters.
It was equally important to listen to her experiences in life, talking about her friends and how she was feeling. It was important to give and respect my daughter’s own personal time and space to adjust and deal with her parents’ divorce. I had found over the prior years it was best to ask teenagers what they wanted to do and help them do it. In support, many of her friend’s parents had been through divorce, which allowed my daughter to listen to their experiences and gain new friendship and help.
I call it serendipity; after the divorce settlement in 2001, I discovered a brand new relationship and bond with my daughter through entering into the unknown and uncharted waters of divorce. This special relationship had been hidden during our prior married years – divorce had now unveiled it!
“Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked.”~Elizabeth Berg
I look back and think that over just 2 years of Laura’s life, she had left school to begin the university, her beloved grandmother had passed away and her parents were going through a divorce. She adapted and coped reasonably well; I guess it also prepared and taught her that life ahead will always present uncertainty and the unexpected.
After divorce; our new found relationship and chemistry has grown even stronger. She has set her own goals in life; where needed I support and help her achieve her ambitions. I guess my family role has become a combination; a father, a mentor and a role model, yet still building on the family foundations, values and spirit we had in our married years. It is also important that I show Laura a relationship respect for my ex-wife and her new life after divorce.
After divorce, we travelled together far and wide; this gave us quality time together to continue sharing new ideas and ambitions, how we both saw the future and most importantly we kept the old humour alive.
When Laura completed her university studies; we gave her the choice of which of her parents she would choose to live with, while saving to buy her own home. She was completely free to choose and was under no pressure or influence from either myself or from my ex-wife. Her own choice was to live with her dad; maybe selfishly this gave me the opportunity to make up for the lost time I didn’t spend with her during our married years, due to time away from home on business and career commitments – with hindsight this is something I should have done differently in our married years. However, during the several years living at home with her dad post-divorce, we discovered not only many shared interests but a natural unveiling of a meaningful one-one chemistry and DNA match, particularly as she matured into her adult years.
Moving on with life; Laura recently married and bought her first family home in 2016. She and her new husband are now looking forward to starting their own family this year.
At only 31 years old my own father passed away; I was just 7 years old. My mother who was 29 years old raised myself and my 2 younger sisters in our infant years. At a young age, my mother taught me the same values I treasure and share today with Laura; I’m sure she will teach the same values to her children and generations beyond.
Life after divorce is not about where you start, it’s where you are going – this makes your legacy and family values stronger.
It was William Shakespeare who said: “Legacy is so rich as honesty”
Paul Ross-Founder,Adventurer, Author
Born and bred in England – in my early days, I made my way up the corporate ladder; working across the globe for some of the world’s most recognised companies. 2006 was my ‘nemesis year’, as a result of the loss of my mum after battling with Alzheimer’s and the breakdown of my 25 year marriage – in the very same year; I left corporate life to set up my own company; today my business interests include consultancy, real-estate, fine art and emerging markets. My motto in life: “never ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something”.Since my divorce in 2011; I have achieved so many things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of during my married years; most importantly, I have discovered a new relationship with my daughter, which had been hidden during our 25 years of marriage – I call it ‘serendipity’.
Combining my own divorce experience and emotion with wanting to inspire and motivate the millions affected by divorce; moved me to write my first book ‘How to profit from your divorce’; published January 2017.
A keen sportsman and globetrotter; I have been fortunate to visit over sixty-five countries worldwide and five of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. Nourished by these experiences from 3rd world living to highly developed cultures; I have learnt so much about the ‘new facts of life’, which I share in my book. Learn more about me.