Gwen Stefani recently said that her split from ex-husband Gavin Rossdale was “one my favorite things that ever happened to me.” The singer has healed, made an album about her divorce, and found love again with Blake Shelton. But it didn’t happen too easily, Gwen also said that the months following the discovery of her husband’s affair was “torture,” and that it was hard work just getting herself out of bed in the morning.
When Esther Wachs-Book, 48, a former Forbes reporter and author, heard Gwen say her divorce is now a high point in her life, she thought of her own marriage, which fell apart after 21 years when her tax lawyer/professor husband came clean about an affair he had been having with another woman.
“For me it was a little bit of a nightmare. My husband of 21 years was cheating on me with this woman from work. It was out of the blue. We have three kids,” Esther says.
The counselor the two had been seeing to help “unwind” the marriage, advised Esther’s husband that he should be the one to tell the kids. But besides that, Esther says she had no idea how divorce worked.
“I struggled when it began, I didn’t know how divorce worked, I didn’t know the process, I really tried to tap into different networks talk to women who were separated or divorced,” she says. “The first thing anyone ever tells you is this is gonna take a year to feel like yourself. I said not me. I started to get my life back together.”
Esther took her divorce drama and created an app, called Splitscoop, (which is not in the app store yet, bu available for now on Splitscoop) to empower women and help them through the process of ending a marriage.
“What I decided to do was start Splitscoop, an app, a safe supportive environment to ask questions. Not bitch,” she says. “It’s information. What’s next, what’s coming, how to position themselves.”
It also covers post-divorce topics like, how to date, what to wear, and how to build new relationships. The advice from relationship experts, divorce lawyers by state and location, coaches, and couples therapists is free.
“This is a chance for women to have a time of renewal, embrace new things and build the relationships you really want in your life. My whole app is to help women thrive,” she says.
Esther has come a long way. She was once like Gwen, blindsided by her ex-husband, who she had labeled “not a player.”
“Wow, I didn’t see it. Some people notice signs. Later, afterwards, I found emails on my family computer and this woman. I see this was pretty ongoing,” she says. “He was really home [alot] but he has an academic schedule and he was gone during the day.”
With a healthy outlook and a boyfriend she’s into, Esther says it’s in “the rearview mirror for me now.”
“I want to help other women have a resource, because you feel very alone.”
“It was a good process for me, I had to learn more about myself. Grapple with and understand what had happened so I could avoid some of those mistakes in the future. I saw a therapist who helped me switch gears. I relied on friends and met new friends. You suddenly start going out with all these women. It’s like being back in your twenties all over again. Some people do activities, biking clubs, men always show up there. Running, but they’re super skinny and I don’t really want to hang out with that,” she jokes.
Her ex has since married the woman he was cheating with, but the two have worked out a stress-free co-parenting method that works, even though it can be awkward for the kids at times.
Now it’s my time and my time with my kids. So I just focused on me.
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