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Sharon Zarozny
Having been through a difficult (devastating actually) divorce herself, Sharon Zarozny created Brilliant Exits, LLC to support, empower and guide individuals, couples and families through the complexities of getting unmarried. A certified life coach, speaker and published author, her focus is helping you figure out what's best for you and your family. She offers personal and group coaching, educational programs and more.

Sharon has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine and her articles have appeared in a variety of media. Ms. Zarozny is also on the Board of Directors of The Weitzman Center, an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals dealing with domestic abuse and high conflict divorce.

Visit her website to learn more and to explore links to a wide variety of great, free resources. Also stop by her blog for info, insights and sharing.

You can contact Ms. Zarozny directly at

Entries by Sharon Zarozny

Hugs for Cancer, but Stigma for Divorce

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 1:07 PM

As I look back at 2014, I can't help but think about the parallels between divorcing and dealing with cancer. What amazes me most, is the abundance of empathy and support so readily available to cancer patients and their families. I repeatedly find myself wondering why the same comforting services...

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Holiday Magic--When You're Coping With Separation & Divorce

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 3:13 PM

It's holiday time, and if you're in the midst of a major transition, it can be one of the most challenging (certainly not "the most wonderful") times of the year. Twinkling lights, cheery carols and holiday shopping can bring more sadness than joy ... especially when your world is falling...

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Falling Out of Love

(12) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 4:05 PM

How does it happen? It's been on my mind a great deal lately as my oldest (and many of her friends) has recently become engaged. Watching my daughter and her fiancee happily, lovingly committing to each other, the momma bear in me wants to freeze this moment in time... and...

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Divorcing: Devastating, but Not Terminal

(1) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 4:00 PM

One day, you are sailing along doing ordinary things in ordinary ways. Then, suddenly, everything changes.

Perhaps your spouse walks in the door and announces s/he's in love with someone else and moving out. Or you go to couples therapy only to hear your spouse tell the therapist the...

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Getting Unmarried vs. Divorced: What's the Difference?

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 10:13 AM

Over the years I've had many first-time clients begin a coaching session saying, "I don't want to get divorced. I just want to get unmarried.

When I ask them to explain, there is a common thread. Often they say, "I don't want a nasty, drawn out battle...

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Cupid's Arrow

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 11:21 AM

February can be a really difficult month especially if your love life is struggling, or nonexistent. I remember, as a child, desperately wishing Cupid would hit me with his arrow so I'd fall instantly in love and live happily ever after. Cupid let me down, and I felt more like...

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The Santa Split and Making It Through the Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 3:39 PM

Imagine the unthinkable -- a divorce in the works for Santa and Ms. Claus. Yes, the once jolly old couple is now bitterly splitting the reindeer, the elves, the toy factory and even their sleigh. Spending so much on legal battles that toys can't be made. Fighting over their one...

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Handling Extra Difficult Situations: Divorcing When Your Spouse Has A Mental Illness and/or Personality Disorder

(4) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 4:59 PM

As goes the marriage, so goes the divorce...

All breakups are difficult, but ending a marriage with someone who has a personality disorder or mental illness can put your divorce at the extreme end of the spectrum. And it's crazy-making.

Years ago, shortly after my divorce became finalized, I saw...

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What's a Yearbook Picture Got to Do With Staying Married?

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 5:41 PM

It's yearbook time again, and if your child's bringing one home you might be tempted to pull yours out to reminisce about the good old days. If you do, take a good look at your photo. Were you smiling? Now check your spouse's (or exes). What was his/her expression? And...

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Your Behavior, Your Kids and Divorce

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 2:41 PM

Ask anyone who's been through it, and they'll tell you one of the most gut-wrenching aspects of separation and divorce is figuring out how to co-parent going forward. It can bring out the worst in the best of us.

While married, most parents understand the importance of...

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Yes, It Even Happened to Emily Post...

(6) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 3:45 PM

We know her as the icon of perfect manners, wedding etiquette and the final word on proper social conduct; therefore, I'd always assumed Emily Post was a very conventional, detail oriented person with a perfect, privileged life. While researching divorce etiquette, I was astonished to learn I had Emily all...

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What's Your Take on Divorce and Access to Justice?

(86) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 8:11 PM

Single parenting is challenging, especially when money is scarce. It's taken a huge toll, hitting home today when my daughter pointed out I've turned into Scrooge.

Alarmed, I asked her why she thought so, and she calmly explained "You've grumbled you don't like Christmas, we got a midget tree this...

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Nasty or Nice. What Kind of Attorney Do You Need?

(30) Comments | Posted December 2, 2011 | 12:22 PM

Nasty or nice? What kind of attorney do you need?

The answer is ... A smart attorney. Smart and nice to you is even better. You want someone who specializes in family law. Someone you feel comfortable spilling your guts to. Someone who listens, respects you and gives you honest,...

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What Do Santa, Barney & Weddings Have in Common?

(217) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 6:55 PM

Lots. Think about it.

When my daughters were little, my youngest so loved Barney that he made a surprise visit to her 4th birthday party. Her reaction was priceless and she glowed for days. Life was wonderful and she was special. It was a joy to see.

Eight days...

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Eye-Opener on How Kids View Violence at Home

(5) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 3:50 PM

If you have kids and an out of control spouse in your home, please do your kids a favor and watch the short, beautiful and chilling new video Monsters in the Closet. And then send it along to others.

The video really hit home for me. For years my oldest, a strong-willed, brave little girl, was afraid of falling asleep at night. Needing sleep myself, and considering myself a progressive mom, I sought out beautifully illustrated books to read her at bedtime. A favorite was Mercer Mayer's There's a Nightmare in My Closet. Despite my attempts at bibliotherapy her fear persisted.

I was baffled as she was a child seemingly without fear. Opening her closet door nightly didn't help. Checking together under the bed didn't work. Discussing the issue over play dough and finger painting with chocolate pudding lead to giggles as we created silly monsters, but the problem didn't go away.

Her younger sister, a toddler, started waking with night terrors and I did what research I could (this was pre-goggle) but I couldn't see what anxiety she, at barely two years, could be experiencing. After all, she didn't yet have the vocabulary to make sense of her world. I took a hard look at the "Mommy's Day Out" program she went to a few hours each week and saw no issues there.

I must confess, I did secretly wonder if the walking on eggshells we did when Daddy was home could have something to do with it all. However, I truly believed I was shielding my daughters from the scary things that were happening especially when they were fast asleep.

Fact was, as an educated woman who'd traded in a successful career to be a stay at home mom, there was no way my daughters and I were the "victims" of that ugly phrase "domestic violence." Our family had the trappings of a privileged life thanks to Dad's thriving surgical practice. He was a brilliant Ivy League grad. It just didn't add up.

Little did I know back then that my little ones' scary monsters and night terrors were their innovative way to make sense of Daddy's violent outburst towards me during the day... and frequently in the middle of the night.

Given the terror my girls went through I wish I'd figured it all out sooner. I also wish the Monsters in the Closet video had been around back then. It would have been an eye-opener and I would have left much, much sooner.

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Love Child ... Really?

(30) Comments | Posted May 24, 2011 | 7:20 PM

In the Schwarzenegger case, my guess is that the "love child" designation could not be farther from the truth. Maria and Arnold's children clearly own that title as they were conceived in the tender love, hopes and dreams that brought Maria and Arnold to the altar on their wedding day....

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Are Death and Birth More Alike than We Think?

(27) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 7:00 AM

I was chatting with some friends (all boomer moms) this morning and the conversation turned to how hard it had been for a local family to authorize "pulling the plug" on their teenage son who'd been in an auto accident and was being kept alive solely by the work of...

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What Makes Abuse in Upscale Marriages Different

(42) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 2:33 PM

Never in a million years did I imagine I'd receive so many responses to my article about upscale abuse. I agree with everyone who pointed out abuse is horrible no matter what your socio-economic or beauty status. Physical, emotional and financial abuse hurts and even kills. While women...

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Are You Brave Enough to Leave an Abusive Marriage?

(874) Comments | Posted March 19, 2011 | 5:33 AM

It's hard to admit, and take action, when abuse happens in your marriage. My therapist was a saint, patiently listening to my story session after session, until finally one day she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "What's it going to take? Is he going to have to...

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When Baby Makes Three ... Extramaritally

(115) Comments | Posted March 4, 2011 | 3:06 AM

If you have kids, you know the car is where all great conversations happen. Once upon a time, my husband's mistress unexpectedly showed up at our doorstep with a toddler in the car. As you might guess, a slightly emotional scene occurred.

The next day, as my daughters and I...

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