Nobody gets married wanting a divorce, yet marriages have close to a 50% chance of ending in divorce. And even though the divorce rate has dropped in recent years, many will face the prospect of how to move on after the relationship is over. From deciding whether to sell your diamond ring to choosing a divorce attorney, there are lots of hard decisions to make, and hundreds of books offering advice. In this brief review, we’ll take a look at five of the best books that consider divorce from varied perspectives.
Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life by Abigail Trafford
The turmoil that comes with the end of a marriage includes dealing with loss, a sense of failure, and the uncertainty of the future. Trafford’s Crazy Time draws on her own personal experience, hundreds of interviews with divorced women and men, as well as extensive research to offer an understanding of the personal and economic challenges that face divorcing couples. From chronicling the telltale signs of a marriage in crisis through the legalities of divorce and on to the challenges of being newly single, Crazy Time offers sound advice and a sense of hope and confidence for anyone facing the life changing realities of divorce.
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends by Bruce Fisher and Robert Alberti
Now in its updated fourth edition, Rebuilding has been a trusted source for people seeking to move on after divorce for over 35 years. Featuring Fisher’s “divorce process rebuilding blocks,” a nineteen step model for getting one’s life in order after divorce, this book helps readers put the pieces of their lives back together from the ground up. Drawing on over two decades worth of research and feedback from thousands who have used the process detailed in the book, the authors offer a detailed “Healing Separation”model for unspooling a marriage, one that provides for a healthy alternative to the usual progression from separation to divorce. A perfect blend of empathetic understanding and motivational inspiration, Rebuilding offers the tools and advice for constructing a well-rounded life after divorce.
The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart by Constance Ahrons
Ahrons bases her book on over 20 years of research and the surprising finding that more than 50 percent of divorced couples do, in fact, preserve their families. Far from the myth that divorce inevitably results in traumatized children, The Good Divorce shows how divorcing couples can move through the difficulties of divorce to transition to a “binuclear family” that spans two households and meets the needs of the children. Allowing the children to maintain “meaningful and unobstructed” relationships with both parents is the key to setting up what Ahrons calls a “limited partnership:” a set of mutually agreed to rules that preserve relationships within the family. For any divorcing couple with children, The Good Divorce is an essential guide to helping their kids through a difficult transition and to preserving healthy relationships with both parents.
Life After Divorce: Create a New Beginning by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse
The emotional reactions to divorce include resentment, anger, and loss that can last well after the divorce is finalized. In this revised edition of the bestseller Life After Divorce, Wegscheider-Cruse draws on her expertise as a therapist to outline a path toward changing a life-altering event into a positive opportunity to reshape life into a better, more fulfilling experience. Noting that the sense of loss is similar for both men and women, from long marriages or short, the author helps the reader craft strategies for dealing with old and new relationships outside the marriage, including children often caught in the middle. Updated chapters in the new edition include sections on how adult children of divorcing couples can deal with the guilt and pressure to take sides, and how contemporary technology plays a role in the picture of modern divorces.
Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott
Despite the depths of despair that often visit at the darkest hours of a divorce, Getting Past Your Breakup by Susan Elliott shows how you can relieve yourself of the notion of blame and move on to make a better life, inside and out. Through her popular blog and numerous workshops, Elliott has helped thousand transform their lives and redirect energies in positive ways. Her plan includes some simple “rules of disengagement,” including when it is right to insist on “no contact” with you ex, and how to deal with obsessing over the failed relationship. Featuring informative anecdotes from real relationships, Getting Past Your Breakup helps inspire new beginnings, and guides the reader in reestablishing confidence and happiness after a relationship has ended.