Helpful Books for Post Divorce
Already divorced? Need help? Looking in books? Frustrated that they all seem to be about people still married and planning for divorce? I was there once too.
Even if the divorce was your idea, it is not a picnic to live with once all is said and done. There is baggage. Emotional, physical, lifestyle, literal baggage/boxes to contend with, the works. As comforting as it may be that you’re out of that undesirable relationship, you have your work cut out for you now. Moving on. Coming up with new norms, expectations, routines for yourself. Maybe even for your kids if you have them, and maybe even dealing with your ex, if you still have to. Been there. It was the toughest time of my life, up until then at least. Fact is as strong as you may be, now is the time to seek help.
I searched for help and guidance in books. Isn’t that what the self help section is for? I began looking for divorce books. Many seemed to hold promise for helping me cope with the new way of life, but did not deliver what I was looking for. Almost all the books targeted those who were still married.
Still married?! Getting a book on divorce? Is that a passive way to tell your spouse you want a divorce or what? Yikes. Unless you can sneak it into your house and read it under the covers with a flashlight, chances are your spouse will see it. And unless they see the signs of divorce like you do, get ready for your plan to not go as planned no matter what the books say, if you even managed to read any.
So let’s start there. No matter what the books say, if you are at any point before, during, and yes, even after a divorce, expect the unexpected. Nothing will go as planned. Eliminate or lower your expectations of a quick and reasonable outcome. Only then do you stand to be pleasantly surprised.
Over the years I found help through a counselor who recommended some books. These are outside the box you’ll find looking in the divorce section. Frankly, as she taught me, once you’re divorced you don’t need divorce books, you need yourself and a new approach to life .
You are embarking on a new life for yourself. One that has potential to be stronger, happier, healthier, a and fulfilling. That’s where these books come in. Reading each of them helped me to build confidence and move on with my life.
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Learn physical, emotional, mental and spiritual boundaries by drawing the line in your own defense. These lessons will lead to a new way of life with control over what you let affect you. It is a Christian based book, but even if you’re not religious it can help.
My favorite part to mention is in Chapter 14. It gives a 6 step process on how to put up a boundary against an angry person. It empowers you to get the job started and block the bad experiences from this person.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
Need a boost to your ego? Here it is! This book delivers a no nonsense almost rant right to you. Curse words and all this is a sucker punch to get your mind back in full working mode. Become motivated to love what you can’t change and change what you don’t love about your situation. It is not a tear jerking consolation book, it is a push in the right direction to get up, get over it and get what you want next out of life. Don’t we all need that whether divorced or not?
My favorite line in the whole book comes when describing universal opposites. Give and receive. Breathe in and breathe out. Life either sucks or it’s awesome. If so much suck is in your life read to the end. There are so many ways to renew positivity and realize that one day the suck will be behind you.
Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus by John Gray
This is a relationship book, not so much a divorce or coping book. I recommend it though because it gives insight into the genders. Even if it is too late for a relationship, you can be a better and more informed person by educating yourself. This book in entertaining and enlightening. A tried and true good read to get you through a bad time and even future relationships.
Disarming The Narcissist by Wendy T Behary
We all have a narcissist in our life. Selfish, intimidating, arrogant, entitled. This book helps you navigate and not aggravate that beast. It shares a common topic with Boundaries, the importance of setting limits. If there’s a power struggle this book can help prepare or repair getting past the past. The author even shares her own struggles. That made it more realistic for me. Knowing the author had been there too.
The book contains some exercises to help you identify narcissists and the best way to handle them. The most helpful part to me came in Chapter 5. This chapter teaches how to handle encounters with the narcissist. Plainly put, the narcissist is the fatty cheeseburger in your life when you really need a salad. It is difficult to turn away, but you must in order to lead a healthier life.
No More Throw Away People by Edgar Cahn
This book I received in school. I saw it on my bookshelf and turned to it seeking some humanitarian outlook on life. It definitely delivers that. The book delivers a groundbreaking approach to criminal justice that gives each person a purpose and value. We all do have a purpose and value. It is true. Even when you’re sad, lonely, miserable, wondering what to do next, it can breathe new perspective to your situation.
Two Homes by Claire Masurel
This is a children’s book. I bought it early on following my divorce. I wasn’t sure how to appropriately explain the changes to my 3 year old at the time. This book was recommended by my counselor as well as several children’s therapists. It portrays the idea that it is ok to have two homes with different things and that your parents are still there to love you no matter where that is. My daughter liked reading it and pointing out the differences. It made me feel better having to offer her. We did attend some family therapy over the years for her and this book came up in two different counselor’s offices as well. Must be a good one!
You are not alone in trying to comfort your child through divorce. The makers at Sesame Street are experts in relating big changes and challenges to children. I was so happy to have this app. Invaluable ways to explain a divorce with a reliable and friendly approach as only Sesame Street can do. It helped me form ways to explain things to my daughter by repeating their language. It made a noticeable difference in her and I even recommended it to my ex husband and the family therapists we were seeing.
The greatest lesson I learned from it all was to live life just a little bit slower. I felt so many years of my youth were lost in a bad relationship. No more hurrying and scurrying about now. I slowed my approach to life down and enjoy more of it with the ones I love. Now that sounds super hippy doesn’t it? Not the case. Sure there’s hectic times and appointments and meetings that cause us all to rush. That is a fact of life. I find peace though knowing that once obligations are met, the reward is the time to slow down, enjoy life and write a blog about it all!
I got through it. You can too.
I am not a counselor, therapist or professional life coach. These books were recommended to me by a professional that helped me. I hope they lend help to you as well, but know that it is still advised to seek your own personal professional help.