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Mark Greene is a New York-based author who, after going through his own separation, has used storytelling to help make divorce a more positive experience for men.
The now 55-year-old was married in the late ‘90s. The couple had a son five years later, but after four years they decided to split. “We were very mindful of the fact that how we chose to go forward would impact his entire life,” Greene said about his son and dealing with divorce. “We wanted him to come out of it feeling like he had the self-esteem and the faith in his family to go forward.”
One day, Greene stumbled upon a website called The Good Men Project, which was founded in 2009 as a place for men to tell stories about definitive moments in their lives. Greene describes the site as a conversation about modern manhood, a conversation people aren't having. Inspired by what he had read, Greene decided to submit an essay.
“My divorce story fit really well with them,” he said. “It gave a different view of divorce with an eye to ‘Look, we know how it’s supposed to be done; let’s do it differently.’”
Greene later took part in a live storytelling event for The Good Men Project, involving editors and writers that contribute to the website. “In storytelling we can begin to better understand what our role is in the world as men,” he stated.
Greene believes storytelling can be more helpful than an expert who defines divorce or tells people how to raise children. “Personal stories have this way of helping people connect on a human level,” he added. “This narrative that we don’t have to feel like failures when we go through divorce is huge, because it gives people the freedom to create something positive out of the end of a marriage, instead of something negative.”