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Divorce: The Two Waves of Recovery

June 2, 2010


Isolini Ricci is the author of Mom’s House Dad’s House and is a great resource for parents that are setting up two separate homes for their children.  

The Two Waves of Recovery:

 The Wounding and Healing Process of Divorce *

by Isolina Ricci, Ph.D.
Ending of an intimate relationship happens on many levels—physical, psychological, spiritual, practical, but often more slowly than we would like. It helps to have a simple roadmap through the wounding and healing process of separation, divorce, dating, remarriage and beyond. When we use our rational mind to understand what’s happening, we have the opportunity to calm ourselves, make better decisions, grieve our losses at our own pace, and heal.


Wave One: Wounding and Healing

The threat of ending a relationship, unmet expectations, the loss of love, and all the many changes can inflict deep wounds and bring about a personal “crisis” mode with our “fight or flight” system on high alert.

1. The period before the actual separation is when the wounding process begins and the stress and pressure mount.

2. The time of separation itself. This time may be brief or drawn out.

3. The negotiation and bargaining period around reconciliation, often one sided.

4. The escalation of stronger often intense emotions often made worse by the legal process, necessary decisions and negotiations.

5. The “adult adolescence”, testing new roles, new identity, new life. Healing begins and a future begins to emerge. This can take place concurrently with 1-4 above.

6. A more mature identity and lifestyle emerges and takes root.



Wounding and Healing: the Second Wave: Flashbacks, Relapses

The legal divorce does not end the process of change. It’s common for the same themes and issues to reappear between you and your former mate with certain events. But with some effort and good counseling, you can avoid getting “hooked” and wounded again. You can get on with your life.

7. Disagreement over co-parenting, finances, or decisions about the children

8. A deeper awareness of the changes and what they mean for your life

9. The other parent remarries, divorces again, or has a serious relationship

10. The other parent has another child with another partner

11. You remarry or divorce again, or have a serious relationship

12. There is a threatened change in legal arrangements such as custody or support

13. One of you threatens to or actually does move away

14. One of you has a big change such as drop or jump in income, status, jobs

If you are looking for someone to guide you through the process of divorce, contact Jeff Johnson at Johnson Mediation.  He is a divorce professional, has experienced a divorce first hand and has walked a similar path as yours.  Call today….. (952) 401-7599.

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