One of the things that we strive to provide through exEXPERTS are stories of inspiration and successful transition after divorce, along with tips on what people wish they had known when going through it all. Wendy Lowy Sloane is one example of all of that – she has so much to share about her own experience that can help others in the process, and she has taken her personal experiences to the podcast airwaves to help others by sharing her own story as host and co-host (respectively) of What’s Up with Wendy and Divorce Doesn’t Suck (with another exEXPERTS, Daniel Herrold). Recently, she sat down with Jessica and T.H. for the Divorce etc… podcast, to open up about her past, her present, and her future.
Wendy was 32 when she got engaged, 33 when she got married, 34 when she had her first kid, and 35 when she had her second. She started adulthood as a career woman, and when she felt she had accomplished a great deal, she wanted to be a mom.
She worked as a television producer in New York City, covering some of the most significant events in the news, like the JonBenet Ramsey and OJ Simpson trials. “I left the business when I got engaged,” remembers Wendy. At that point, she was burnt out from work and decided it was the right time to take a step back and focus on being a mother. “I wanted to give everything to the kids.”
Fast forward to her post-divorce stage, when she wanted to build up a divorce community and help others who had gone through similar experiences. After seeing Daniel Herrold on the Tamron Hall Show they connected and created the Divorce Doesn’t Suck podcast together.
Before the Divorce
“I don’t think I was thinking about divorce at all,” Wendy looks back. “I kind of felt like I’m doing this on my own anyway.” He was always working, and she was always taking care of the kids, and it already felt very isolating. Nine years into the marriage, she didn’t feel as though they were in love anymore, or ever truly in love.
But with that being said, would she have changed anything looking back now? “I wouldn’t change that time for anything, because I have my two kids,” Wendy asserts. “There was nothing malicious, there was nothing terrible, there was no cheating, and there was no scandal. I just felt that it wasn’t working for me.”
It came to a head at their last marriage counseling session. They were going around and around in circles, and finally, she had enough. She wanted a divorce. “It became a business deal to him,” Wendy recalls. “It became very ugly.” As a businessman, he went right ahead in treating it like a transaction and consulted with all the big attorneys in their area so they would not be able to represent Wendy because that would be a conflict of interest since he’d already met with them. His focus was all financial, all monetary. And this was a tough period, especially considering their kids. And for Wendy, she loves being a mom. So between co-parenting and custody, it was difficult going through all the litigation, and some days she wouldn’t see her kids, who were around eight and nine years old at the time, throughout the process.
Three Pieces of Advice
- “Take a deep breath,” recommends Wendy. “Take your time.” She felt rushed to find an attorney, which led to her finding a crappy one. She realizes that she could have saved so much time, stress, and money by finding the right attorney at first and getting it taken care of in the moment rather than years later, which is what she ended up having to do. “I wish I had had somebody that I knew that had gotten divorced, or a coach,” wishes Wendy. Because then, she would have done her research, taken her time, and had a smoother process in her divorce.
- Never badmouth your ex. “Hearing you speak badly about their father is something they would never forget,” T.H.agrees. Wendy did her best to keep her kids out of the ugly, and she credits that in part to them doing so well through this separation.
- Take your time finding yourself after your divorce. There’s no rush to get back out there just yet. Wendy waited a while after her divorce to start dating again. After a few initial dates post-divorce, she realized that she had such a community of great friends around her that she didn’t even care at that point if she was the third wheel. “There was always something to do, someone’s house to go to dinner at, and always a friend to go out with,” reminisces Wendy. “So I never felt alone and I never felt like I needed anyone because I was busy being my kids’ mom.” So don’t rush into dating until you’re ready. Sit with yourself for a while.
All in all, though the divorce process sucks, being divorced doesn’t suck in the end. It works out how it’s meant to, and it’s freeing. So many people will sit in their relationships, unhappy, afraid of taking that final step. But life’s too short for that. You have to do what’s best for yourself.