Encouraging Positive Divorce in Camp Hill
May 30, 2016 06:28PM
By Erin Lehn Floresca
While many people carry not-so-fond memories of divorce, that’s not the case for Separation Specialist Tara Eisenhard. “My parents separated when I was 13 years old; it literally was one of the best things that ever happened to my family,” she recalls. “My parents became happier and my family grew as a result of their divorce.”
“What if getting divorced looked more like getting married?” asks Eisenhard. “What if, as you and your ex embarked on the rest of your separate lives, you felt confident, loved and supported in the same way that you did when you got married?” She thinks it’s not only possible, it’s one of the most self-loving acts a person can perform.
Years later, when Eisenhard’s own marriage ended, she had a similarly positive experience. “My husband and I were evolving in different directions, and it just felt right to go our separate ways,” says the author, speaker, coach and mediator, who admits to feeling confused by the reactions of well-intentioned friends and colleagues. “Everybody around me was feeling sad or mad for me, yet I wasn’t feeling that way.”
Soon afterward, she dated a man that was going through a typical divorce. “The anger he and his wife felt toward one another was foreign to me,” she says. “Then I realized that we live in a culture that prizes marriage and shames divorce, but it doesn’t have to be this way.”
When Eisenhard, who offers mediation services and individual and partner coaching to her clients, learned about divorce coaching in 2010, she recognized she had found the perfect career path. “What I do is help people move forward with a very empowering and positive approach,” she says. “For instance, rather than saying your marriage failed, you could instead declare that the partnership is now complete. When we leave a job, we don’t say we failed at it. We move on and grow from there. Marriage is the same thing.”
Eisenhard confides that she’s often delighted to hear when people have made the decision to separate. “It’s a great opportunity to really look at your life, see what is working for you and find what you truly want out of life. We needn’t feel shame. There are so many different ways that we change as we move forward through our lives. Oftentimes, a huge life event such as the death of a parent or loss of a job can trigger a new life perspective. When that happens, we reevaluate our lives and our needs change.”
To commemorate a separation, Eisenhard suggests a special ceremony. “We have celebrations for every major life event from baby showers to funerals and there is some kind of gathering to honor it. But when it comes to divorce, there’s nothing. A separation ceremony is a way to respectfully honor that relationship. We come together to honor the love, growth and memories that came from the relationship. It’s a graduation ceremony of sorts—a new beginning.”
While Eisenhard realizes it throws many people off when she says it, she is never afraid to declare her love of divorce and the opportunity that comes with it. “Once people realize they don’t have to be ashamed about deciding to leave the marriage, they can serve as a model for a really healthy family unit. They can approach the future as a team, actively co-parenting with one another and supporting each other. It’s all very positive.”
Phone and Skype sessions available. Eisenhard’s office is located at 1517 Cedar Cliff Dr., Ste. 202, in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-686-9116 or visit TaraEisenhard.com.
Erin Lehn Floresca is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.