Welcome, my name is JuliAnn and I am a certified Conscious Uncoupling Coach. Conscious Uncoupling is a process based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name written by Katherine Woodward Thomas. Basically, I help people navigate the pain and grief of a breakup and move to self-growth, so they can create a beautiful future for themselves and their family.
I was drawn to this work because of my own experience uncoupling. About 8 years ago my then husband told me he wanted a divorce. I was devastated. I was hurt, afraid, embarrassed and grief stricken. I experienced all the feelings that would be expected in that situation.
My situation was unique in that I watched my husband fall in love with another woman who was and still is a friend of mine. Their romantic relationship didn’t begin until after our marriage ended but their connection began earlier as a friendship and I watched that develop. If I had not known her, it would have been easier to make up a story about her and their relationship and make myself the victim. But since I am friends with her, I know that she is one of the most beautiful and loving people I have ever met, and she would never do anything to hurt me. This knowledge forced me to look at the situation objectively. Our marriage ended on its own and would have ended even if they had never met. This wasn’t something they planned. They have a beautiful connection and it is obvious that they are meant to be together. This knowledge helped me to be able to put myself in their shoes and understand what they were going through as well. This wasn’t an easy situation for any of us.
I did at times feel the pull of wanting to be the victim or the martyr in the situation but that would have been damaging not only to myself but to my children and all those who are close to us as well.
Thinking of myself as a victim would have led to anger and resentment and most likely depression. My children would have suffered living with this and friends would have felt obligated to take sides. I was actually surprised at the number of friends who reacted to my story with anger even though I wasn’t angry myself. My story really triggered something in people and made me realize that we, as a society, need to change the stories we tell about divorce.
My ex and I were able to transition our relationship amicably. After he moved out, he continued to stop by the house to spend time with the kids. We spend holidays and birthdays together and are united partners in parenting. In fact, last Saturday we all celebrated Passover together. My ex, his fiance, her daughter and parents, our kids and their significant others and my partner. We had a wonderful evening and enjoy spending time together. We are still family.
I am not advocating for divorce, but it is a fact of life for many people. Statistics show that 50% of all marriages end in divorce and that number has been holding steady for some time. That means most people have some experience with divorce whether it is personally, through parents, children, close friends or coworker. The words most often associated with divorce include broken home, failed marriage, left, betrayed, cheated, custody battle, etc. Often people look for the person to blame in the situation and feel sorry for the “victim”.
I would like to change people’s expectations of divorce, so it is not as frightening, and people can approach it more consciously thereby lessening the emotional damage to themselves as well as to their children and extended family and friends. Studies have shown that it is not the divorce that causes emotional problems in children, it is the contentious relationship. Children who are raised in homes with 2 parents who have a contentious relationship suffer the same types of trauma as children from families who have gone through a contentious divorce. Those who’s parents divorce amicably do not suffer the same trauma.
When approached with love, forgiveness and self-reflection, it is possible to create a happy life even after divorce.
I truly have a beautiful life and can’t imagine what it would be like if I was holding on to resentment and anger. My experience has led me to my calling to be a Conscious Uncoupling Coach and help people learn to live happily even after.