Lifestyle

A guiding hand in divorce

  • Guiding friend: Wayne Swan is offering divorce coaching spent 18 months training with Divorce Coaching Inc based in Tampa, Florida, and officially became a certified divorce coach this year (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Wayne Swan felt blind-sided when his marriage fell apart ten years ago.

He thought he and his first wife had it all, a close family, two beautiful children and a house of their own.

“Sometimes, in hindsight, you are so close to it, you don’t know it is happening until it is too late,” Dr Swan said. “The small things, they start adding up and start to become bigger things.”

After 16 years of marriage, he and his first spouse parted ways over irreconcilable differences.

He was an ordained minister, but that made things worse.

“Within the church family, divorce was taboo,” he said. “So, I had that shame. I had the shame of failing myself and my family.”

Close friends within the church said they would pray for him but, sitting alone at night, he found that wasn’t enough.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I am a man of prayer, but I needed something more.”

In hindsight, he feels he needed someone who could identify with his plight.

“I needed someone to understand me or to give me something tangible to hold on to,” he said. “Not that I’m saying prayer isn’t tangible.”

He finally reached out to a pastor friend in the United States.

“He was able to walk me through some things I didn’t know,” Dr Swan said. “One of the biggest things was to be able to look in the mirror, and forgive myself for my part in it.

“Contrary to popular belief, there is no innocent party.”

He believes we all have parts to play in relationships to keep them healthy and successful.

As he began to move forward with his life again, other men came to him asking for help with their relationship problems. They wanted to know how he’d made it through.

“I was able to walk along with some other men who were going through some things,” he said. “I am happy to say, not all ended up in divorce.”

Seeing a need, he started looking into becoming a divorce coach, to help other people contemplating divorce or going through the process.

“Divorce coaching is a flexible, goal-oriented process, designed to support and motivate people going through divorce,” Dr Swan said. “It helps them make the best possible decision for their future, based on their particular interests, needs and concerns.

“Divorce coaches are not psychoanalysts; they walk alongside someone, and act as a sounding board.”

He spent 18 months training with Divorce Coaching Inc based in Tampa, Florida, and officially became a certified divorce coach earlier this year.

“Training is ongoing and I have to return regularly for re-certification,” he said.

His aim is to bring hope to people.

He is careful to say divorce coaches don’t “help people get divorced” as some people think.

They offer emotional support, but also help with more practical things, such as understanding what to expect from the legal system.

He is trained to work with men and women, but his focus is men.

He feels there aren’t as many resources to help men going through divorce in Bermuda, as there are for women.

“Men, as a whole, don’t like to ask questions,” he said. “They don’t seek help.

“Whereas it’s more natural for women to seek help. Men are not like that. They will suffer in silence which is very detrimental. I know that was part of my problem.”

But he said if a woman comes to him as a client, he will help her also.

He remarried a year ago, to Francezia Campbell.

“I wasn’t happy to just be single,” he said. “In my heart I knew I was a family man.

“But, when I met her, I wasn’t looking for any type of relationship. We were friends first and it evolved from there.”

Ms Campbell is a life coach and offers vision board services through a business she started two years ago, Impactone International.

Dr Swan will be offering divorce coaching under the Impactone umbrella.

During the day, he works as a claims engineer at an insurance company. His long-term goal is to focus on his work at Impactone full time.

He is looking for people in the legal, real estate and financial industries to partner with, to offer expert advice to his clients.

The cost of his divorce coaching depends on the case.

“When I take on a client I do a free 30-minute consultation,” he said. “I do that to see if I am the right fit for the client, and they are the right fit for me.

“Then we will discuss fees and how many sessions are required.”

He has a book coming out in October, The Mountain We Climb, inspired by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2014.

For more information call 705-1962 or e-mail info@impactoneinternational.com. He is still trying to finalise a venue for his divorce coaching