When Roos Boer herself got divorced 8 years ago because the father of her children had fallen in love with another woman, it was a very difficult time for her. Her whole life was turned upside down and it seemed that all the huge emotions made her and her ex-husband different people. “Of course it wasn’t, but that’s how it feels. I really didn’t like myself anymore and looked at the father of my children and really thought, ‘Who is that man? I really thought I knew him…”
Despite the difficult time, they agreed not to make it a combative divorce. Because you don’t do that, they are too strange people. The mediator was called and as two highly educated people it should be possible to separate normally. He wanted to leave her well and she didn’t want the worst of him. Unfortunately, things went completely wrong with the broker.
Getting to the core
According to Roos, this happens very often. You start with good courage with the mediator, until emotions run high, and it becomes difficult, because only then does it really become clear what the financial consequences are, and the consequences for the children become clear. Roos and her ex-husband had never had such discussions as with the broker, and when she thinks of that time, her stomach literally turns.
“I lost myself more and more and finally started to seek help myself, because unfortunately we couldn’t go together anymore. I was trained on my own. And it worked so well that I found myself again, I learned to deal with my own emotions. And more importantly, letting go of the man I still loved dearly at that moment. But I also had to let go of the image of my family, and it still hurts sometimes.”
The coaching brought her a lot and made Roos decide to follow the training to become a divorce coach. However, she still felt that the core of the problem was not touched. The problems kept coming back or were not broken. She has now mentored hundreds of people and the patterns became more and more apparent. She herself developed a method to get to the core of the problem and to find important solutions: the Core Approach. In this method, parents learn to really go through the emotions and not just feel them.
“This will ultimately allow them to move on and be happy again. In addition, parents also learn how to best guide their children practically and emotionally in their process. It is also something of an art. I have worked with couples in for years, but also with 1 parent. Last September I also started training professionals so they can start working with the Core Approach.”
Disruption and influence
Roos is not surprised that 30,000 couples divorce each year. Being in a relationship is hard work.
“We go to the workshop with our car for maintenance, we go to the dentist, we go to school to gain knowledge, etc. But we put far too little energy into learning how a relationship works or how to maintain it. within the Core Approach’s relationship therapy, we want to work together so that a good foundation is laid for the relationship.”
She learned from her own divorce that feelings are huge, but that you are not ‘really’ aware of it yourself. She underestimated the impact at the time.
“It disturbs yourself, the children, the environment and especially the other person. The latter is one that deserves extra attention. Because during a divorce it is assumed that the other person is really like that. While the other, like you, is also under high voltage. And I see that every day with my customers, which causes things to get out of hand with screeching tires.”
She would have liked to have gone through a process with the father of her children, where they had also both been coached during the mediation. According to Roos, that could have prevented a lot of misery.
“We’ve been together for 15 years and we’ve had a great time together and we’ve got two amazing husbands. And we and our children deserved that we could have ended our relationship properly. And we both would have been very happy faster.”
the true love
Despite the fact that Roos herself is divorced and her job is to work with people who get stuck in love, she still believes in it.
“I just see that there is so much love, otherwise it wouldn’t hurt so much. We have to have a diploma in order for everything to be allowed, and we think that is completely normal. But learning how to have a relationship and especially how to keep it good, we do far too little. Often only when there are already problems. I am committed to investing in the most important relationship there is: the love relationship.”
Her mission is to give parents the help they need to complete or even rekindle that super important relationship.
“Parents in a (conflict) divorce are not monsters, they sometimes show monstrous behavior. I have never spoken to a parent who is comfortable in their own skin during a divorce or relationship crisis. My personal mission is to help the parents go through the right feelings and complete the partnership so that you can move on and be happy. After all, the children also need that, so that they suffer as little as possible from a divorce.”
In addition, a new mission has also been created for Roos: Guidance of parents who want to give their relationship another chance with the Core Approach. Relationship therapy arose because many parents who came to Roos before their divorce: ‘If we had known earlier, we wouldn’t have had to separate’. By solving the root of the problem, you often see that the relationship can flourish again.
Pitfalls in a Divorce
According to Roos, ‘wanting to fix everything quickly’ is the biggest pitfall in a divorce. “Many couples who are about to divorce think that if they sort it out quickly, there will be peace and everyone can move on. But nothing could be further from the truth. It does not start until it is signed. Furthermore, you make decisions based on high emotions, so you are not in a good position to see what you are agreeing on.”
A well-known pitfall is giving away a lot of guilt e.g. Or because the other leaves ‘he/she just has to sit on the blisters’ and make demands based on that. Mediation is then a difficult process, and the core problems remain, even well after the signing.
“You will first have to clean up the mess, your own and what you have made with the other person. Otherwise, they will continue to cause problems, and you will simply take those problems with you into any new relationship.”
The most important characteristic is that Roos therefore works approximately 70% individually and 30% together in both relationship therapy and divorce.
“In order to get to the core of the problems, you also have to go inside yourself. To do that, you have to be vulnerable. Unfortunately, it will not work if your ex is sitting next to you, because he is insecure at that time. Furthermore, the mutual dynamic does not play a direct role when you work 1 to 1, so you can quickly take big steps.”
So each partner will work on his or her personal pieces and on shared dynamics.
This creates space to complete the partnership and to build a new relationship together as parents. According to Roos, there is a very big pitfall: you also have to rebuild the parental relationship, because it will not be the same.
A desperate mother reported to Roos in a complete divorce. There were several court cases and youth services were now involved. Several joint assistance programs had already been followed and several family guardians had already been reviewed. In fact, there was only communication through the family guardian. The 7-year-old daughter was completely trapped and the woman was sane. The next trial was about to begin. Roos began to work with her alone, because father was not open to anything.
“With the Core Approach, I went with her to the core of the problem and pulled her through the right emotions. Finally she could let them go and they didn’t matter to her anymore. She saw her own part and the patterns became clear to her. Because her emotions were no longer in the way, she was finally able to break through them.”
“More importantly, she was able to talk differently to their daughter’s father and acknowledge her feelings. She herself was able to restore communication. As a result, the father stopped the trial. And after three months in the process with me, she was told by the guardian that things were going so well that there was no longer a need for a family guardian. After four months, mom and dad even celebrated Sinterklaas with their daughter!”
An important piece of advice from Roos is that you should not proceed too quickly with a divorce. “You have often been together for years, and it is worth investing in breaking away from each other and building a new parental relationship. You and the kids will enjoy this for the rest of their lives. And don’t just invest in the business part of the divorce, consciously choose to also hire a specialized divorce coach.”