Divorce Care is a 13-week DVD-driven Christian support group for those struggling with separation and divorce. (See Emergency Links link.)
After my wife announced she was getting a divorce, I became very depressed. Eventually God led me to Divorce Care. The weekly format is a video about a key subject area related to separation and divorce. Some of the subjects are anger, depression, kids, finances, reconciliation, and more. On the DVD, experts such as Larry Burkett (finances), or Norm Wright (psychology), will discuss that week's topic from a professional perspective. Then, people who have gone through separation or divorce will share their struggles and insights from their life experience about that topic.
After the DVD is over there is a group discusssion, and particpants share their own personal situations. They are free to decide how much they want to share with the group. The group time is also to encourage one another.
I started in one local Divorce Care group but after the first week the moderator indicated that a couple of participants I knew had concerns about me being in the group. I thought it was because they were afraid that I might not hold confidence since it was a small town. Eventually, I learned that one of the ladies really just wanted my wife to know that she and I were in the group together to keep everything above board. Since there did seem to be some concern about the situation, I opted to check out other groups. As it turned out I started attending three groups in different towns. Even though the videos were the same, I connected in a special way with each group so I continued going to all three.
Divorce Care was a huge help to me in pulling out of a downward spiral of depression. I realized that other people were having some of the same struggles I was. I heard of situations far worse than my own. One thing that was extremely helpful to me was hearing what the women had to say. Sometimes I could hear them voice some of the same complaints about their husbands that my wife had shared about me, but for some reason I was able to finally grasp what they, and thus my wife, were saying.
One disappointing thing to me was that some groups weren't very enthused about running the reconciliation tape. In fact, one group lost that video and hadn't replaced it because they saw so few reconciliations. Thankfully they accomodated me and replaced the video and then got to witness my reconciliation.
I highly recommend Divorce Care to people who are separated or divorced. You can go to their website in my Emergency Links, type in your zip code and find groups near you. If confidentiality is a huge concern for you, don't be afraid to drive a little distance. The groups meet at different times/days and each has their own flavor. If you need to, try a couple of different ones until you find one you feel at home.
One other thing - Divorce Care is structured so you can join in at any of the 13 weeks. So, if you are in a crisis, you don't have to wait for the next group to start.