I come to my work as a couples coach from a place of authenticity: I’ve been there.

I have the professional training and certification that provide a strong grounding, and as a lifelong Boro Park, Brooklyn resident and member of the Orthodox Jewish community, I know how difficult it can be when your “real” life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would – whether that means a divorce or a struggling marriage.

My first marriage resulted in three beautiful children – but ended after ten years. My second marriage was an ill-advised rebound relationship (looking for that quick fix) that lasted less than a year.

I worked with Beth Din, the Jewish Counsel, and the Civil and Family Court system and know all the intricacies. During my ten years as a single parent, I struggled with divorce, single and co-parenting, community expectations and pressure, work, dating (don’t get me started!), and my own self-esteem issues.

While still single, I made a cheshbon hanefesh (soul searching) and felt I wanted to help other divorcees in the frum Jewish community going through the same struggles to come out stronger on the other side, like I have.

Despite my divorce, I have been blessed to see my children grow into fine adults who attended good schools and yeshivas. Two of my children are already happily married, and I have three grandchildren (more to come, I hope!). I know first-hand that you can still have a good, successful life after divorce.

So I got certification in Divorce Coaching. I learned proven methods and techniques to help individuals who are grappling with every stage—from the “should I?” all the way through to starting anew.

Eventually, I found my “now” wonderful husband and entered my third marriage. I was determined not just to stay married, but to stay happily married.

But of course, old habits die hard. My sensitive nature and independent soul began to interfere with us. And of course, he too came into the relationship with his own habits, sensitivities, and independent spirit. We began to clash more often than not.

I realized that I wanted to know – in fact, must know – the secret to a having a great marriage versus simply co-existing, getting along, or, worse, constantly quarreling.

Delving into learning from the top relationship experts, exploring Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt’s Imago Relationship Therapy, I earned certifications in The Gottman Method and Michelle Weiner’s Divorce Busting.

And with that knowledge, I’ve worked and continue to work, to build a true relationship of love and harmony with my husband.  My biggest accomplishment is going to sleep at night very happily married b”h. Now I know what good communication entails, and what a mutually satisfying and fulfilling relationship based on understanding, respect, and love feels like – and it’s my passion to bring that joy to others.

In my learning, I found wisdom in each school of thought, and I also recognized a common theme along them: marriage is work. All marriages require active, conscious participation. You need to invest in behaviors, actions, and words that bring you – and keep you – close as a couple. With those skills, you cannot only survive as a couple, but thrive!

And here’s the good news: everyone and anyone can learn those skills. Marriage can come with an instruction manual, and I’ll share it with you, so you too can build your very own happy and connected marriage.

In coaching couples and divorcees, I found my true calling. I am passionate about helping others by sharing what I’ve learned through my life experience and relationship education. Add my persistent optimism and “get it done” attitude, and you have a person who is uniquely qualified to guide you through your divorce or marriage problems.

Sound good?  Let’s start the conversation, and see if I can be the ally you need to get through this difficult time. Contact me to set up your free consultation today.

Sara Freed, Jewish Marriage Advice