Adult Children of Divorce: A Survival Guide by Carl Simon

Adult Children of Divorce: A Survival Guide by Carl Simon

This guide seeks to lay out a map with broad paths to healing. The primary audience of this guide is adult children who have had their parents’ divorce while they are in their teens, 20s, 30s, or 40s. Family and friends of those going through this struggle will also find this content beneficial in learning how to provide support.

The guide is written from the perspective of “us”, “we”, and “our” because I am going through these steps myself and have been for the last five years. I believe that five years of lived experience is the perfect amount of time to reflect and share, because everything is still raw and real. The lessons of divorce are personal, not distant or professional.

While the flow of this guide is open and cyclical, it is also structured clearly. Like posts along a mountain trail, the structure below is to ensure that we: do not get lost or wander too far off the path of healing.

Phase 1: Fall Apart - Escape, Grieve, Defensive
Phase 2: Flow - Move, Process, Normalize
Phase 3: Grow - Attack, Forgive, Thrive

The phases offer a sequence in time. Within each phase, there are three steps, and each step is within a particular healing area: Boundaries, Physical, and Emotional. The Boundaries area describes how we relate to others. The Physical area focuses on the living, breathing person we are. The Emotional area is our complex inner world searching for meaning.

Moving through the three phases in the guide allows for a continual cycle of healing. It is difficult, but it is rewarding. I promise we will be okay as long as we keep moving, set our sights to a better future, grieve, and forgive.

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