Sharing Hope--Fairfax, Virginia - A support group for men and women going through marital separation and/or divorce
Objectives of our support group--
 
  1. To develop new skills for dealing with the challenges of marital separation and divorce
  2. To articulate the feelings associated with marital separation and divorce
  3. To utilize techniques for turning feelings of pain, disappointment, uncertainty, anger, etc. into “good drivers” of personal change and coping
  4. To consider the experiences of others when dealing with issues of property settlement, parenting and family/friends, work, change strategies, etc.
  5. To identify and implement activities that assist in the process of healing the broken heart
  6. To continue the journey of personal growth and rebuilding given that each of us is a person who has experienced marital separation and divorce
 
About our meetings--
Our meetings are small (about 10- to 15-persons) and facilitated by other group members who have experiences similar to yours.  Each meeting is about 90-minutes, twice a month.  We recommend that you attend at least 3 meetings during a 4-month period.  We have found that this amount of time helps us “get our bearings, again.”
 
Some topics we discussed--
  • Being alone, again.
  • Learning from past mistakes.
  • Loss of a dream/building new ones.
  • When sadness won’t go away.
  • Children/teens and divorce.
  • How to deal with difficult people.
  • Working with your former spouse…when you need to: property settlement agreement.
 
Each meeting begins with a prayer and a reading of the “Ground Rules” (below)--
 
Purpose:  The purpose of Sharing Hope is to help each one of us by providing a spiritual, caring and understanding environment for sharing our experiences of being separated and/or divorced.
 
Sharing:  No one has to say or share anything that he/she does not wish to share.  But we welcome anything one may wish to say.  Verbalizing is a great source of healing.
 
Confidentiality:  What is said by anyone in the group is never carried outside to others in the form of gossip.
 
Listening:  Listen to each other and allow each person to finish what he or she is saying before speaking.  Remember, we do not have to solve problems or give advice.  Often the best support is just listening.
 
Courtesy:  On occasions, when sharing, one of us may become sidetracked or dominant.  In this event, you may be asked to hold your thoughts and allow someone else to share.  Please do not be offended.  This happens to all of us!  This is part of the process of growing.
 
Center on Ourselves:  It is important that we talk about ourselves and not blame others or put others down.
 
Our meetings, also, end with a heart-felt prayer.
He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.
--Luke 1:53
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