Your participation in this CONFIDENTIAL research project is greatly appreciated!

Thank you for participating in this 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 (question 14, below).

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.

As to the letter, there is no page length, no direction you “should” take – other than to write from the heart. Although the letters will be published anonymously in my book, 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 when you write your letter (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 brief (2-5 minute) 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.

* 1. What was your age at the time of your divorce?

* 2. What is your gender?

* 3. (Approximately) how long have you been divorced?

* 4. How long were you married?

* 5. Do you have any children with your ex-spouse? If you do, how old were the children at the time of the divorce?

* 6. Initially, whose decision was it to end the marriage?

* 7. Was this your first marriage?

* 8. On a scale of 1 ("quite amicable") to 5 ("outright hostile"), how would you describe your divorce process?

* 9. Are you remarried AND is your ex-spouse remarried?

* 10. What process did you use to resolve your divorce?

* 11. IN THE TEXT BOXES, BELOW, FOR EACH OF QUESTIONS #11, #12 AND #13, IT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED IF YOU WOULD REPLY TO ANY OR ALL OF THE 3 QUESTIONS.

What reasons do you believe led to your divorce?

* 12. In the question space, below, you are asked to write YOUR LETTER TO YOUR EX-SPOUSE, which is the other KEY component of this research project.

PLEASE DO NOT OMIT WRITING YOUR LETTER TO YOUR EX-SPOUSE, BELOW, AS IT IS A CRITICAL PART OF THE RESEARCH.

You may opt (a) to complete everything on-line via this Survey Monkey; or, (b) you can feel free to print out this survey, type or write your survey answers AND your letter and mail them to me anonymously at the following address:

Vicki L. Shemin, J.D., LICSW, ACSW
c/o Fields Dennis & Cooper LLP
80 William Street, Suite 210
Wellesley, MA 02481
Tel: (781) 489-6776 Fax: (781) 489-6233
vshemin@fdcattorneys.com
www.fdcattorneys.com

Again, thank you so much for your contribution to this confidential research study! By participating in this study, you agree and understand that while no names or other identifying information will be used, your letter (or excerpts from your comments) may well be included in the educational research book.

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Below is the space to WRITE YOUR LETTER TO YOUR EX-SPOUSE: "...AND I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW"


* 13. If there were any WISDOM or INSIGHT you could impart to someone contemplating divorce, or to someone (e.g., family member/friend/member of the clergy/therapist/family law attorney/judge) in the position of ADVISING AN INDIVIDUAL who is going through the process of divorce - what would it be?

* 14. Please complete this sentence: " If I knew THEN [at the time of the divorce, or just before the time of divorce] what I know NOW..."

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