The Quick, but Not Always Easy Steps to Rebuilding Your Life and Your Dreams

This website and the book which accompanies it Duck Taped Heart: A Man’s Guide to Separation and Divorce will cover the most crucial issues: year one at ground zero of separation/divorce.  I will draw from all my studies in coaching, my two divorces, thirty years as an executive coach/management consultant, my continuing research, and my experience as one of the pioneers in the men’s consciousness movement in the U.S. to give you the step by step process to make it through the first twelve months.  Many of my own teachers have given me parts of this, but my commitment is to create a whole program, so you’ll feel less lonely, less screwed up, less like a failure.  In part because you’ll have a chance to see many of us have been here before you and have successfully rebuilt our lives, our dreams, our approach to parenting.  I’ll also include websites to make it easy for you to delve more deeply into topics of particular interest.  It is encouraging to see how far our culture has come in supporting men through tough times, but there is more to go.




I have mentored many men through this process.  I love my work as a separation/divorce consultant/coach for men.  I enjoy watching guys get their mojo back.  I like how with every guy I find some more hope for my own story.  Honestly, I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to write this book earlier, but now I have been encouraged by enough of my clients that I have finally gotten it and been inspired to sit down at the computer.

I wrote newspaper columns for men in the 1980s.  I was told they were ahead of their times.  When I tried to take our work into mainstream churches, I was told men didn’t have problems or pain, only women did.  That generation of men, and women, just couldn’t, or didn’t want, to hear that men were much more successful than women at suicide, and that they had the majority of stress related diseases like heart attacks.   Women still outlive us although we’re closing the gap, unfortunately in large part because they are acquiring male stress levels.

Frankly that was a more ignorant and less kind generation, but our culture has made progress, so now, many years later I have been convinced by friends it is time to bring everything I knew then, plus a lot I’ve learn, back center stage to add this nuts and bolts and entertaining manual to how I help guys.   After all, our divorce rate in this country is around 42/43% for first marriages, another twenty percentage points for second ones, and another ten above that for third ones.   I was once a part of those percentages.  In my thirties I jumped from one marriage to the other, figuring I could find the right woman to fix me –and that turned out to be the ultimate fantasy.  Not to worry, this will give you better alternatives to needing anybody to fix you.

Interestingly according to AARP, the divorce rate among younger couples is declining, but among boomers (who’ve broken every rule anyway) it has risen 50% in the past two decades.

This step by step manual will present the order things will most likely occur in, but if you are a dad you won’t have the luxury of absorbing one thing completely before you go on to the next.  Parenting in the form of consoling, guiding, and coaching will have to come before your own needs, no matter how intense they may be.  But I will show you ways to succeed at that as well.

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Marriage isn’t a love affair.  It isn’t even a honeymoon.  It’s a job.  A long hard job, at which both partners have to work, harder than they’ve worked at anything in their lives.  If it’s a good marriage, it changes, it evolves, but it goes on getting better.  I’ve seen it with my own mother and father.  But a bad marriage can dissolve in a welter of resentment and acrimony.  I’ve see that, too, in my own miserable and disastrous attempt at making another person happy.  And it’s never one person’s fault.  It’s the sum total of a thousand little irritations, disagreements, idiotic details that in a sound alliance would simply be disregarded, or forgotten in the healing act of love.  Divorce isn’t a cure, it’s a surgical operation, even if there are no children to consider.

Rosamunde Pilcher

DISCLAIMER: SHERMAN BURNS IS NOT A PSYCHOTHERAPIST OR PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR.  HE IS A SEPARATION/DIVORCE COACH FOR MEN who in the 1980’s was one of just a handful in the U.S. who began men’s consciousness raising which became known as the Men’s Movement.  He has worked closely with men to help them to move  through the most difficult areas of their lives ever since.