Breaking Upwards

How to manage the emotional impact of separation

Charlotte Friedman

Published by Short Books in Paperback (££8.99) on 08-02-2018

“It is relatively easy to get a legal divorce; it is not so easy to get an emotional one. This book addresses how to deal with the emotional aspect of your divorce and helps you manage your child’s experience of it. There is no quick fix, no panacea. The impact of divorce needs to be processed, thought about, thought through, so that decisions can be made that will enable healing to take place … I have seen the break-up of hundreds of relationships over the last 30 years as a family law barrister representing men and women in their divorce ‘battle’, and also as a mediator facilitating discussions between separating couples about their finances, their children and themselves. It struck me when I was a barrister that the legal process was not a place where hurt and pain could be understood and healed and so I trained as both a family therapist and a therapist in order to be able to help people in their struggle to manage the loss of separation.” Charlotte Friedman

For the first time this decade, divorce rates in England and Wales increased in 2016. The breakup of a marriage is a devastating experience, leaving former partners feeling utterly overwhelmed with anger, grief and sadness. Former barrister Charlotte Friedman saw all too often how emotionally damaging the divorce process can be as couples fought over every minute detail of separation. Charlotte left the courtroom to train as a therapist in order to help people manage the emotional fall-out of divorce. She set up the Divorce Support Group ten years ago to provide vital support for increasing numbers of people. In Breaking Upwards, she offers calm, therapeutic and practical advice on everything from how to manage loneliness to letting go of grievance, drawing on illuminating case studies to answer such questions as:

• How long before I get over this divorce?

• How do I tell the children?

• How do I cope with the new partner in my ex’s life?

Breaking Upwards is designed to guide the reader through, from separation to feeling better, giving them confidence to create a positive new story.

“We are wholly unprepared for the personal experience of divorce until it happens. Whether we voluntarily embark on the journey of divorce or have it thrust upon us, whether we are young or old, gay or straight, we cannot foresee how deeply it will affect us – how we will be changed as people, forced to face lawyers, court processes, professionals, forms, negotiations and emotional pain of a type never experienced before. It is important to remember that divorce is not only an end, but also a new beginning. It is that sense of a new beginning that I hope to leave you with. By looking at your divorce head on, you will be able to loosen its fearful grip and see how a new start is within your grasp.”

  • “A game-changing and uplifting approach to one of life’s greatest challenges”

    Oliver James

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