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My Journey to Divorce Recovery

Dr. Diane Kramer Avatar

Breaking the cycle of relationship failures

After two painful divorces and many failed relationships, I fell into the pit of despair, feeling hopeless and worthless – and yet longing for love. I could hardly get out of bed in the morning and lay there, pitying myself and feeling the anxiety of no one in my future. I heard my critical inner judge berating me with: ”There is something wrong with you. You are worthless. No one whom you want will ever want you.”

Laying there, some part of me refused to give up. This part said: “Figure out the problem and solve it! You are not stupid.” I needed to understand why I was failing again and again. I went to therapy, coaching and self-development programs to discover what was causing my failure.

One day, reflecting quietly, I went deep inside and found the core beliefs responsible for my misery:
I don’t deserve. and I am not as good as [others]. Those were conclusions I came to, and held unconsciously, since my childhood.

Peeking under the surface

In my mind, no one in my family cared about me no matter what I did. Later on, those core beliefs about me – I don’t deserve, and I am not as good as [others] – acted as self-fulfilling prophecies, causing me to choose men who confirmed these very beliefs. 

Apparently, I had developed these beliefs when faced with a cold, critical ignoring mother and a father who left me to become my younger brother’s best friend. In this unloving-to-me family, I attempted pleasing and perfectionism to no avail.

As an adult, I knew I needed to make significant changes within me. Once I learned that beliefs were not “truths” but rather “conclusions,” I began to challenge and change the inner beliefs that kept me repeating bad relationships.

Self-awareness and clarity helped me move forward.

I spent a lot of time, energy and money researching, seeking and trying out different coaches and strategies. I kept working on myself to believe that I did deserve, that I was lovable and that I was as good as [others].

I realized that I would know I had changed these beliefs at a deep level when I could feel consistently good about me, even though I was alone. I reached that level after a couple of years of challenging and changing me.

Along the way, I learned to interrupt my self-talk and change it. I also learned to step out or detach from my bad self-attacking and self-pitying feelings and create the positive instead. I learned to deal well with rejection. I also learned to gather my courage and go for what I wanted

Once I knew my core beliefs were changed at a deep level, I then created an action plan to find the man I wanted. I also got my friend to be my feedback person. Once I got really clear on what I wanted and didn’t want and why, I went looking for my target in places I loved. 

Meeting my soulmate

I was scared but the pull of that outcome was stronger than my fear. Finally at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, a tall man came up to me at the end of a seminar and said, “I am very attracted to you.” 

To my utter amazement, Fred fit ALL my extensive and rather odd criteria. He had to be a lawyer, a computer expert, a practitioner of an ancient religion, and more. Now, 32 years later as we are growing older together, all I can say is, “Thank you, Universe!” 

Changing my core beliefs not only opened me to my soulmate but also allowed me to thrive in career. I started a technology company and developed an e-Course platform. Then, based on my experiences and what I have learned about transformation and change, I co-created the Extraordinary Self Transformation Programs to help others find inner satisfaction, outer success and loving relationships. Our programs start from the inside out and have helped thousands to live the lives they didn’t even know they deserve.

If you are struggling during or after a breakup or divorce and could use support getting through it, we can help. Ask us about private or group coaching programs for breakup and divorce recovery.

Dr. Diane Kramer, holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from New York University. She has been a marital therapist, divorce mediator and relationship coach for 30 years as well as co-founder of the Extraordinary Self Programs. She is author of The Creativity Game and has won numerous awards for her programs and e-learning platform.