My passion for breakup and divorce recovery was born out of my own painful loss. I’ve been exactly where you are and I understand first-hand the hurt, confusion, and loneliness of divorce and painful breakups.
Where It All Started
Divorced by age 30, that was a challenging and confusing chapter of life to say the least. And I made just about every mistake possible. From partying like a (wanna be) Rock Star, to chasing women (that I wouldn’t know what to do with even if I caught ‘em) to buying a lot of “stuff” I didn’t need, with money I didn’t have, to impress people I didn’t even know.
Life was a mess and I just wanted to feel better, as fast as possible, by any means possible.
As you might imagine, none of it worked. I quickly found myself hungover, twice as lonely, and 13.79 times deeper in debt (that’s just a general estimate). In my desperate attempt to feel better, I not only prolonged the pain – I magnified it.
And Things Didn’t Get Better From There
Over the next few years I stumbled in and out of various relationships, but none of them worked. Not even close. Truth was, I was a broken man only capable of another broken relationship. Time was passing, I was getting older, but I was still “choosing and doing” relationships with the same limited skill-set, and therefore getting the same results. Ugh!
But All Of A Sudden
However, about 7 years after my divorce, I rekindled an old romance. We hadn’t spoken in years, and she reached out to see how I was doing and what I was up to. I was thrilled beyond words. You see, she and I always shared a certain spark, but could never seem to hold the relationship together for any solid length of time. You know- the classic “on-again, off-again”.
And so, in the beginning of 2006, we decided to try it one more time. Things were great in the beginning (haven’t we all said that before), but it didn’t take too long for some serious cracks to appear in the foundation.
Time had passed, we had both gotten older, but we were still the same people deep inside. And we had the same limited relational skill-set, and so we were only capable of the same miserable results. (Are you having a deja vu moment right now? Like you’ve heard (or read) this somewhere before?)
Things continued to get worse, and so about eight months into the relationship, I did one of the hardest things I had ever done. I broke up with her for what I knew would be the final time. We never saw each other again.
Back To Square One
The weeks that followed were some of the deepest and darkest valleys of my life. Loneliness, confusion, and heartache were my constant companions, and I seriously doubted it would ever get better.
And even though I was the one that chose to walk away, it didn’t make it any easier. If anything, it made it harder as I battled the constant “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” and self-doubt.
I often joke that I’d rather have a broken arm than a broken heart, because at least with a broken arm, I have a pretty good idea when that’s going to heal. However, little did I know how close I was to a turning point that would forever change my life. And for the better!
About five weeks after the breakup, I was in downtown San Diego having some drinks with a friend. We were out on the town, and our mission was to party it up and meet some ladies. You know, just like old times. I remember dancing (if you can call it that) with this girl and my mind began swirling with all kinds of thoughts.
“Dude, you’re almost 40, divorced, a string of failed relationships, and here you are drinking and dancing with strangers….looking for love? Really??”
“This is what your life has come to??
Trying to find love in a bar? Again??
Has it ever worked before?”
And Then It Happened
I felt a strange sensation, as if my mind was shifting into a higher consciousness. I left the dance floor, walked back to the bar, and pulled up a chair. And in that moment, on September 17th, 2006 at 12:32 in the morning, I had a profound spiritual awakening.
I realized I had to make a change – A BIG CHANGE – if I was ever to have the life and love I so dearly wanted. I realized that there was a greater plan and purpose for my life, and it didn’t involve any of this. And then a small voice in my heart told me it was time to put down my drink, and walk out of that bar.
And so I did.
The next day I began to reach out to people who I knew would understand the moment of clarity I’d just been given. Over time, they helped me discover who I really am and what I’m worthy of. These men and women offered many suggestions- and I took them.
The Gift of Clarity and A True Awakening
As the layers of the onion began to unfold, so did a miracle in my life. I began- for once in my life – to truly look at my choices and the reasoning behind them. And from this journey came true growth. Now, time was passing, AND I was growing. That’s a pretty good feeling!
And the equipping process began immediately.
I began to take every class, read every book, and attend every workshop, seminar, and sermon I could find about healthy love. I desperately wanted to know what real love is, what it isn’t, and how to tell the difference.
A Mission To Help Others
Over time, my journey has led me to…
- become a Certified Marriage Mentor
- lead the DivorceCare ministry at one of the largest churches in the US
- and earn a Certificate in Biblical Counseling, that I utilize with my faith-based clients.
But at the end of the day, I’m just a regular guy who got his heart splattered, and made a lifelong commitment to figure it all out. Oh yeah, and there’s one other part of the story I wanted to save for last.
Hard Work Pays Off
After embracing a Season of Singlehood and working on myself for almost 3 years, I re-entered the dating pool. Except this time, the “software” in my mind was completely different.
The way I looked at women had changed as much as how I looked at myself. And within a few months, I met an amazing woman who would eventually become my wife. She is truly my greatest earthly blessing.
I often joke that I’m glad I didn’t meet her one day sooner. Because the plain truth is, I wouldn’t have been ready.
I wouldn’t have healed from my heartache, and would have poisoned the new relationship with my wounds from the past.
Friends, I truly hope my story is an encouragement to you. I hope it gives you inspiration and a knowing that if you take a different path, you’ll reach a different, and better destination.
Fun Facts (you never know when these’ll come in handy….)
I love Star Wars. I remember seeing that movie for the first time and just about crapping my 9-year-old pants (I was 9- not the pants). It was the coolest thing my eyes had ever seen, and it still blows me away today.
I love music. I started playing guitar around age 12 and spent my teens playing classic rock and hard rock. (yes, I had a sweet mullet in high school- don’t be jealous) I still play almost everyday, and my current axe is a Charvel Model 2 (with a Floyd Rose and a George Lynch Screamin’ Demon in the bridge, just in case you were curious).
I love motorcycles. I’ve been riding motorized two-wheeled death machines since I was 13. After riding dirt bikes for a couple years, my dad brought home a real street bike: a 1978 Honda CB 400 Hawk.
Wow! I freaked out and relished every illegal minute of ride-time aboard that monster. My feet could barely touch the ground. I bought my own motorcycle about five years later- a 1987 Yamaha FZ 700.
I’ve been well-known to utilize the word “dude.” I can’t help it. It crept into my vocabulary early in life, set up camp, and hasn’t left since. We’ve become close friends now.
I always keep my coaching calls and workshops professional and solution-focused, but don’t be surprised if it slips out and I end up saying something like: “dude, way to go! I’m really proud of you for hitting your goal!”
Oh, yeah, and be on the lookout for “awesome” and “groovy”.
I love nature. I moved to California in 2001 for the main purpose of simply being able to enjoy nature more often. I love going to the mountains, desert, and the beach. And truthfully, I don’t care what I do when I’m there- I just like to be there.
Ahhh, good ‘ol nature.