During my divorce many years ago, I was in desperate need of a roadmap to help me navigate the unchartered territory. I had been married for seventeen years to a man I thought of as the love of my life. We had two beautiful daughters, thriving professional lives, and, in my eyes, a happy fulfilling relationship. When my husband announced to me one day that he was “committed to another woman,” my world was shattered.

Dr Deborah Hecker

As a well-educated, independent woman who had the social, professional and financial resources to not only survive but thrive on my own, I thought I would be able to manage the upheaval. However, when it came to the emotional process I faced, I was so grief stuck by my husband’s sudden departure that I was sure I would die of a broken heart. Also, the truth was I didn’t know who I was anymore.

My divorce was a wake-up call for me, personally and professionally. Important pieces were missing in each area: There was a lack of interdisciplinary understanding – divorce has as much to do with emotional intelligence as it does legal smarts. Personally, I realized that I wasn’t as emotionally independent as I thought I was. And, there was inattention to the inevitable question divorcing people ask themselves: Who am I apart from my marriage?

The realization that recently divorced people are often unsure of who they are apart from their partners led me to research issues related to attachment and loss as they pertain to identity formation. Additionally, I developed a model to help people to survive, grow and eventually thrive post break-up; Yours, Mine, Ours: Relationships Done Right.

While nothing can 100% guarantee a divorce or a break-up, I do believe that with the right guidance they can be prevented. My goal is to help people know themselves as individuals and how to bring their authentic self into successful partnerships.