eve stanway

divorce and break up coach

Empowering you to navigate the stormy seas of heartbreak, charting a course to a brighter future.

As boy with his father and grandfather hugging.

John's Story: A Grandfather’s Journey to Support His Son Through Divorce

John, a devoted grandfather, watched helplessly as his son, Mark, struggled to come to terms with the breakdown of his marriage. The pain, distress, and hopelessness Mark was experiencing were very familiar to John, reminding him of his own painful divorce years ago. 

John deeply regretted how he had managed things when Mark’s mother and he had separated. The thought of history repeating itself with his son was too much to bear.

The Challenge:

John could see the problems and didn’t know how to help.

  • Emotional distress: Mark was overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion. He felt isolated and unsure how to express his emotions without causing further conflict.
  • Communication breakdown: Mark and his estranged wife struggled to communicate without blaming and arguing, which led to frequent fights and misunderstandings.
  • Financial uncertainty: The financial implications of the divorce were frightening. Mark worried about the costs of lawyers and felt out of control regarding his and his family’s future.
  • Impact on children: John was deeply concerned about how his grandchildren were coping. He feared the divorce would affect them and their relationships with both parents and with him. He felt the children needed security and peace from the family turmoil and uncertainty surrounding them.
  • Family tensions: The entire family felt the strain, with extended relatives taking sides and escalating the tension. John had seen this during his own divorce years earlier and was frightened that history was repeating.

The Turning Point:

Determined to make a difference and support his family, John reached out to me for help. He had heard about me from a friend and felt completely outside his comfort zone, seeking professional support. Having worked all his life in business, however, he had worked with coaches before, so he knew that a coach with specific expertise would be a good solution to what he could see would be an ongoing situation. John told me his goal was to create a communication and support network for himself, Mark, and the rest of the family. John hoped that with the right guidance, they could prevent the family from being torn apart by the same mistakes he had made.

The Transformative Process:

Working together, we embarked on a journey to foster better communication and establish a solid support system. Here’s how we approached it:

  1. Psychotherapy and coaching integration: Combining my training in psychotherapy with divorce coaching, I provided John and Mark with clear insights into the psychology of conflict. This helped them understand the underlying emotional triggers and how to address them effectively. We discussed all the differing perspectives surrounding divorce and conflict and how to use sensitive language, avoid arguing and create solutions that were not about “all or nothing” battles.
  2. Developing communication skills: We focused on creating a space where John and Mark could express their feelings constructively and respectfully to each other, the rest of the family and Mark’s ex. Through coaching sessions, they learned strategies to communicate openly without escalating conflicts. Techniques such as active listening, non-verbal communication, and conflict de-escalation were practised regularly.
  3. Navigating the legal and financial landscape: I connected John and Mark with trusted legal and financial advice professionals. We discussed the realities of the separation process, including asset division, child custody arrangements, and financial planning. This proactive approach helped alleviate their financial uncertainties and provided a clear roadmap for the legal proceedings. De-escalation meant that Mark and his wife were able to enter effective constructive mediation.
  4. Emotional support and coping strategies: I provided ongoing emotional support to both John and Mark, helping them manage their stress and anxiety. We explored coping mechanisms such as mindfulness, journaling, and physical activity to maintain their mental health during this challenging time. We also discussed the ages and needs of the children to ensure that the right approach was taken to reinforce Mark’s relationship with his children. In addition, we were able to create a plan for keeping the children’s schools involved and develop Mark’s understanding of the importance of doing the right thing, keeping to schedules and understanding the needs of the children’s mother when creating plans, changing plans or making arrangements for child care, etc.
  5. Family dynamics and mediation: We worked on strategies to involve the extended family in a supportive rather than divisive manner. This included discussion sessions to address grievances and build a united front to support Mark’s children through the transition. In this way, John and Mark were able to reach across the generations and across the family to ensure that the communication was clear and so the grandchildren were fully supported and understood that they could still have their precious relationships with all the family.

The Outcome:

Working over 6 months, the results were transformative. John and Mark’s relationship strengthened as they navigated this challenging period together. The family did not pull itself apart; instead, they found a way to support each other through the turmoil. With constructive communication and the right professional advice, they managed to save significant costs. The money that might have been lost in conflict was instead used to create a positive future for all concerned.

Mark reported feeling more in control and hopeful about the future. The children were better supported emotionally, and family gatherings became less tense and more harmonious. John found peace in knowing he had done everything possible to prevent his past mistakes from affecting his son’s life.


John’s proactive approach and willingness to seek support made all the difference. By reflecting on his past experiences and taking action, he helped prevent a repeat of history and ensured a healthier, more positive outcome for his son and the entire family. John did not take charge, but he did take control of ensuring that when struggle and grief came to his family, he was able to implement support in the right way to support and protect what was the most important thing – relationships.

If you’re facing a similar situation, don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can create a plan for your specific situation that prioritises children, relationships, mental health, reduces costs, and keeps your family united during challenging times.

Take the Next Step:

If you find yourself facing similar challenges in your divorce, consider how a strategic approach and the support of a divorce coach can pave the way to a more positive resolution. Schedule a free 20-minute discovery call to explore how we can assist you in navigating your divorce with confidence and clarity, ensuring your financial resources are preserved for building a hopeful future.

Please join my Facebook Group, Worry to Wisdom, where you will find tips and advice on how to support your children during separation and divorce.

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