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A Chance to Share your Divorce Experience: “…AND I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW”

A colleague shared with us her idea for writing a book on divorce comprised of actual letters written by ex-spouses to their former partners.  Recently one such letter went viral and another colleague of ours pointed out the wisdom that could be gained from this type of correspondence.

We think this type of a collection has great potential for informing both divorcing spouses and the professionals that assist them, and we want to support Vicki Shemin, J.D., LICSW, ACSW, of the Boston Law Collaborative, in her efforts.  If you are divorced, or know someone who is, please consider responding to the below inquiry or passing it on to those who may be interested:

“…AND I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW”

Dear Prospective Book Participant:

I write to invite you to participate in a unique educational opportunity.  I am writing a book that will be a collection of actual letters to ex-spouses from individuals such as yourself.  These are not necessarily copies of letters that were ever sent to your ex-spouse, but are more likely to be letters you would be writing now - for the first time (which you may choose never to send), expressing to your ex-spouse what you “just wanted them to know” as you reflect back upon your marriage, divorce, and all that has followed.

My hope is that engaging in the actual introspection and writing of this anonymous letter will not only prove cathartic to you, but will serve as a tremendous contribution to the professions of psychology, law, theology and medicine - as therapists, family lawyers, clergy and psychiatrists have much to learn from the vantage point of your experience.

There is no page length, no direction you “should” take – other than to write from the heart. Although the letters will be published anonymously, it is impossible to guarantee that someone will not recognize your letter or claim to recognize your letter; therefore, you may wish to modify certain distinguishing factors (e.g., any  geographical locales identified; any names used or professions referenced; or, number/gender of any children mentioned). That said, I am requesting that, along with your letter, you complete a survey: for purposes of the survey, please be 100% accurate and honest in your responses since this part of the book will be used for educational purposes.  More specifically, I intend to subcategorize the letters into various chapters based on interesting variables such as how long couples had been married, whether they had children together, and whether either ex-spouse subsequently remarried.


Here is how to proceed:

1.         Please note that all letters MUST start the same way:  “…and I just wanted you to know”

2.         Please feel free to write your letter on any stationery or via any medium you prefer (be it handwritten, via email, fax, etc.)

3.         Please complete the SurveyMonkey survey found here.

4.         Here is the tricky part:  I need to be able to connect your “surveymonkey” responses to your letter!

a.  Take the surveymonkey online and then simply print out the completed survey and transmit it to me - along with your letter - via email, fax or U.S. mail.

b.  If you are unable to print out a copy of the survey to return with your letter, then when you send me your letter, please tell me the exact time and date you transmitted the surveymonkey and tell me some “identifying” information about one of your survey answers that will help me connect your letter and the survey.  [For example: “Vicki - I sent you the surveymonkey on December 21, 2014 at 8:42 p.m. and replied in #10 of the survey that ‘my ex-spouse is a wonderful woman who loved her job more than she ever could have loved me.’ ”]

c.  Here is how to get BOTH the LETTER & THE SURVEY back to me (via email, fax, or U.S. mail):

Vicki L. Shemin, J.D., LICSW, ACSW
c/o Boston Law Collaborative, LLC
99 Summer Street, Suite 1600
Boston, MA 02110
Tel: (617) 439-4700 ext. 210
Fax: (617) 439-0700
VShemin@BostonLawCollaborative.com

* Please remember: If you do not send both your letter and survey to me together, then please let me know via separate communication that your letter and your survey are uniquely linked by some identifying information so that I can connect them for research purposes.  Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

MANY THANKS FOR YOUR MOST VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION!

BEST, VICKI L. SHEMIN

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