On the Other Side of Separation

I watch the pen in your hand as you sign the paperwork that ends our marriage. Our eyes meet briefly as I pick up the pen for my turn. Pen meets paper and that ends a decade-long commitment.

Afterward, we step into the elevator in silence as we leave the lawyer’s office. Stepping out into the sunny day, everyone around us goes about their day as if it were any other day since it’s not their divorce day, but it’s ours. We hug awkwardly, then go our separate ways on opposite sides of the sidewalk.

I make my way into the parking lot and feel relieved as I close the car door, gaining some privacy from the world. Noticing a flood of thoughts and emotions about beginning again, with all kinds of questions:

Who am I now?

What have I learned about myself in this relationship?

What am I taking with me from this relationship?

What do I choose for myself from here?

The question that kept replaying in my mind was:  How do I leave the hurt behind so that I don’t bring it with me into the rest of my life? 

I decided to take time out of the busyness of life to evaluate my part in the breakdown of our marriage, and the questions related to how have I changed in loving this person after all our years together.

What is changing as I practice loving myself enough to step out of an unhealthy yet familiar dynamic and rebuild my life?

What is left over after a painful separation? The imprints from our parents’ marriage can shape how life unfolds if we don’t take the time to evaluate them.

Heartbreak and rebuilding a new life guided me toward prioritizing the education I was always interested in. Looking back now, with over fifteen years of supporting clients through separation, co-parenting and moving on without the pain of the past, is some of the most fulfilling moments in my life because I know how much lighter we can feel on the other side of heartache.

You don’t have to find your way through, on your own. You can trust me as your guide, I’ve walked this bumpy terrain and now have so much to share with you to make the transition into what life can look like, as you stand on newly built, solid ground.


I have known Johanna for a very long time. We have worked together in the past and I am now proud to share some of her work here. Thank you, Johanna!


Johanna Lynn, of The Family Imprint Institute, has been connected to the world of separation and divorce for over 15 years, originally due to her personal situation, then as a systemic therapist focusing on restoring relationships.

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