- Linzi Kavanagh was married for 16 years until her husband walked out and left her shattered.
- After her divorce, and at the age of 42, Linzi decided to go back to university to study counselling.
- Bagging a few other courses along the way, the divorced mom is now a divorce coach who runs her own business.
- Women looking for help while going through a divorce can join Linzi's 12-week Dazzle After Divorce programme.
A woman who felt like she had lost her entire life is now a self-proclaimed divorce and empowerment coach and helps other women get through divorce with the support she felt was lacking during her own split from her husband.
Linzi Kavanagh was married for 16 years until her husband walked out and left her shattered. Feeling like she had no support at the time, she decided it was her mission to help other women dazzle after divorce.
Linzi says after being shut in and spending so much time together, couples realised they were no longer compatible, adding that lockdown was one of the main reasons for her separation.
Facing divorce, the empowerment and divorce coach felt as if her life had taken a U-turn but has since become a completely new person.
"I was a stay-at-home mum for the past 14 years. I was heartbroken, I didn't want my marriage to end, I just felt sheer terror and so overwhelmed.
"The past felt like it had all been a lie and I would look back on old photographs thinking 'Did he love me when that was taken or was it all just fake?' Happy memories had been tarnished with doubts."
Linzi's life was turned upside down, but she made a decision that would change her future forever.
"Aged 42, and at the same time as my 16-year-old daughter, I applied to go back to university to study counselling. By this point I was working in a local primary school, so I fitted in studying and classes around my job.
"I turned my situation into a positive, I feel like a new woman."
When she came across the opportunity to take on a life coaching course, Linzi knew this was her chance.
While she would not wish the terrible situation on any family, she says the situation forced her out of her comfort zone.
"It's not been easy but it was worth it, every risk and scary situation has paid off.
"I was a single parent of three kids, working and also studying for four different qualifications at the same time. It was hard work but I loved learning all the tools and techniques that are available to help get your mindset to cope with the difficulties you face during a divorce."
Despite having no money or savings, and a terrible credit score, Linzi used her experiences to help women who may be going through what she went through, starting her own business as a divorce coach for women.
"My life is better after my divorce, I have found who I really was meant to be in life and am a different person and I'm proud of who I am now.
"I lost myself in my marriage, [but] I feel a lot more in control of my own life and I have made things happen."
Covid had a negative impact on many relationships, the life coach says.
"Partners weren't used to spending so much time together and some realised that they had nothing in common any longer and that they simply didn't enjoy each other's company. Covid also made people much more aware of how precious and short life can be and many decided they didn't want to waste any more of their life by being stuck in an unhappy relationship."
Social media plays a huge part in divorce as well, Linzi claims. "We are constantly presented with the highlight reel of someone else's life and snapshots of the very best moments of someone's life.
"You see gorgeous dinners with partners, romantic gestures, holidays abroad and it's easy to compare that to our own relationships, when your partner is sitting next to you during Eastenders and picking their toenails, so of course our own will fall short.
"Social media also allows people to have constant access to each other. We have the whole world at our fingertips and that presents a whole world of temptation right there at our fingertips. A really common reason for divorce in some of my clients is when one partner has been "emotionally unfaithful" with someone online."
Thoughts of the life that could have been also make the situation even harder. "All you have left is the present time, and that's what I focused on."
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Women looking for help while going through a divorce can join Linzi's Dazzle After Divorce programme - "a 12-week bespoke programme to lead you into the next chapter of your life with clarity & confidence."
"I always tell women to stop focusing their energy on their ex and on the past; it's emotionally exhausting. Focusing on the past and your ex makes you stay stuck. I always tell them to focus on yourself and stop obsessing about the past and make sense of where it went wrong and focus on the future."
Linzi says her life now is better than she ever imagined it could be
"My work allows me the freedom to be there for my children when they need me, which was so important to me. I've bought my own house and just been on a dream family holiday to Turkey. I honestly have to pinch myself sometimes that this is now my life.
"I'm just an ordinary woman who has used the tools and strategies that are available to anyone to build a future I could never have imagined a few years ago."