Life-Giving Wounds – Healing Support for Adult Children of Divorce/Separation

Life-Giving Wounds is a national Catholic healing ministry for young adults and adults who grew up in families of divorced or separated parents.

If you are curious to know how the wound of divorce or separation may be impacting your life, desire a path toward healing, and are looking for others who can relate to and appreciate your experience, then you have come to the right place!

The Archdiocese of Detroit sponsored Life-Giving Wounds Chapter aims to bring voice to the often painful experiences of now-adult children of divorced/separated parents, with a focus on deep spiritual healing for the whole person through Christ.

Life-Giving Wounds offers three-day retreats, ongoing support groups, and online resources as a safe way to help men and women to explore, understand, and process in a deeply healing manner their experience and wounds as adult children of divorce/separation.

Upcoming Events

  • Life-Giving Wounds Information Session and Holy Hour Event, April 18, 2024 (Register here)
  • Life-Giving Wounds Support Group, May 2, 2024 start date (Register here)
  • Life-Giving Wounds Weekend Retreat, September 13 – 15, 2024: Save the Date – Registration and details coming soon!

Learn More and Stay Connected

Detroit Chapter Life-Giving Wounds contact information:

David Grobbel, L.M.S.W.

Sponsor – LGW Detroit Chapter
Archdiocese of Detroit | Family Life Office | 313-237-5894

Jen Cox
Support Group Facilitator, Retreat Leader and Presenter
LGW Detroit Chapter

If you know someone who is struggling with the aftermath of their parents' divorce, please spread the word about our growing community and resources. Together, we can give voice to the pain and bring healing through Christ our Eucharistic Lord!

Frequently Asked Questions
Why do adult children of divorce or separation need specific support?
  • The path of healing is different for children of divorce or separation than for divorced or separated parents, because the wounds are different.
  • It is often not until young adulthood or later that individuals who have experienced their parents’ divorce or separation realize and acknowledge their deep woundedness, a truth confirmed by psychological and sociological research.
  • Young adults and adults have enough time, independence, and distance (literal and/ or emotional) away from their parents to take a step back and see how the divorce or separation has truly affected their lives, especially after they have had a chance to be in some serious relationships.
  • The grief and aftermath of divorce is long-lasting, affects one’s entire life, not just one’s childhood, and men and women need and deserve compassion and accompaniment on this painful journey.
What are the common wounds experienced by adult children of divorce or separation?
  • The wound of silence: Their pain is not important, does not deserve to be grieved, or is not even real.
  • The wound of a broken identity: Profound questions about one’s identity and can cause a deep sense of “homelessness.”
  • The wound of loss of faith: Can wreak havoc on children’s faith and on their adult relationship with God.
  • The wound of unhealthy self-protection and a damaged vision of marriage: Relationship patterns are often characterized by self-protection, rather than the healthy self-giving that is essential to forming and maintaining relationships, especially in marriage.
  • The wound of unforgiveness, the wound to emotional life, and dysfunctional family dynamics: Having sustained serious hurt, no matter how good the intentions of their parents were, the damage can harden into resentment, unforgiveness, and deep-seated anger and anxiety.
How does Life-Giving Wounds promote healing of wounds from divorce or separation?
  • Life-Giving Wounds primarily focuses on helping adult children find spiritual healing through peer support and encountering the Catholic Church’s rich treasury of grace, virtue, the truth found in Church teachings, trusted spiritual practices, faithful witnesses, and the Sacraments.
  • Healing occurs primarily through witness, truth, and friendship:
    • witness from those who know this pain and have progressed on the spiritual path of healing,
    • the truth of God’s plan for their lives that will set them free, and
    • friendship with those who understand the issues from the inside, are committed to spiritual growth, and can accompany each other.
  • Life-Giving Wounds allows individuals to give voice to their pain, and then to honor that pain, grieve that pain, to know that God suffers with them, and “receive” their wounds. This means allowing sorrow, anger, grief, and other negative emotions to express, and offering God’s perspective of faith, hope, and love of their wounds.
What can I expect from the Life-Giving Wounds retreat experience?
  • The Life-Giving Wounds retreat is a three-day retreat for young adults and adults with divorced or separated parents. It invites participants to move through the broken image of love that appeared to them in their parents’ relationship to their deepest identity found in God.
  • The retreat gives participants a greater understanding of the wound of divorce and the ways it affects their lives, offers advice about the difficulties concerning love and trust of others, and explains how the Catholic faith, spiritual practices, and the Sacraments are essential to self-knowledge and healing.
  • This retreat has something for any adult child of divorce or separation, no matter how much healing you have already received or need.
What can I expect from the Life-Giving Wounds support group?
  • The Life-Giving Wounds support groups should not be confused with a traditional, psychological support group led by a trained and licensed counselor. Instead, they provide spiritual support, peer witness, and should involve two-way sharing between leaders and participants, even though the focus will be primarily on the participants’ sharing.
  • The goals of Life-Giving Wounds support groups are to:
    • Allow participants the opportunity to process their wounds.
    • Give participants a chance to grieve, to find their voice about their suffering and share difficult experiences, and to discover in a new profound depth God within their own story of suffering and healing.
    • Hear from peers about their similar stories and what they have learned through their journeys.
    • Offer and receive ongoing compassion, encouragement, and support for their healing journey from people who can receive their wound.
    • Build up friendships with individuals who have similar wounds and are striving for healing, as a natural form of support that can last a lifetime.
    • Develop a more consistent spiritual life and grow in virtue.
    • Become better integrated within a faith-focused community.