LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – There are support groups for just about every need out there. Not for divorce. Yet, according to government data, for every two marriages, there’s one divorce.
But now, a Lewisville woman, who went through her own painful experience, is helping others cope with theirs.
Amber Rodgers married her man after dating him for three years. Nine years and two children later, they drifted and parted. “I relate it to death. Divorce is death,” Rodgers said.
It is also a house divided. There’s divided time with the kids, divided income, divided family and friends.
“People don’t think about the fact that literally everything will change,” Rodgers said.
But she was still a realtor and a connector. “People were calling me. What attorney did you use or a child therapist? I just knew there had to be something to help these people,” Rodgers said.
“I prayed about it that night and I said, ‘Please God give these people somewhere to go.’ Rodgers remembers.
She woke up that night with a thought. “I just heard, ‘You’re going to go through the worst of the worst. But when you get better, you’re going to be a DIVA again. And, I wrote down DIVA. I wrote Divorcing Independent Very Able.
And then, I was like, what do I do with this? And, I thought, there’s more than one of us. Put an S on it. Survivors,” Rodgers said.
They meet twice a month. On this night, they met in a private room at the Black Finn restaurant in Addison.
“I wanted to create a safe haven for them and also a place where they could go to get good resources,” Rodgers said.
There are about 500 DIVAS members now with about 50 attending every meeting.
Jolie Williams is a Real Estate Divorce Specialist who has gone through her own divorce. “I think the hardest thing was getting up the courage to do something on my own and not relying on somebody else,” Williams said.
Alysia Wilson joined a year ago. “It’s the support, the friendships, the connections, the hope, the information that I didn’t have four years ago,” Wilson said.
Mike Monin is new. “I was a little intimidated. ‘Cause, I was like, ‘I’m not going to that. That’s just for, you know, women.'” he said.
But men now make up 40% of the group which says it does not encourage divorce. They just help people live through it.
Back in the room, Amber Rodgers introduces Jolie Williams who has been named the Survivor of the Month.
Williams speaks into a microphone and begins by telling the group about her divorce. Then she says, “Hey, I’m still here though. I survived it. So, can you!”
DIVAS has more information on their website DIVAStogether.com