Does anyone have some good book suggestions for going through divorce? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 13 Old 03-08-2008, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
One Art's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the journey
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I went to Amazon, but it's hard to know what to pick. I want something that addresses how to make it easiest on the kids, and also something that addresses how to get through it in a less destructive way with stbx, for myself, and for the extremely limited outside chance that stbx will agree to read it at some point down the road..........thanks.
One Art is offline  
#2 of 13 Old 03-08-2008, 10:20 PM
 
mama41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maybe others will disagree, but I've found there's nothing more helpful than to talk to people who've been through it, esp. people in your state, and to actually read appellate decisions from divorce cases, because that gives you some insight into how the judges actually think and why. Even if you don't go to trial, it's important to have some understanding of the legal rationales, because that will determine what sort of negotiating room you'll have.

You'll hear lots of stories and advice here and elsewhere about helping the kids; I also happen to like Judith Wallerstein's advice, though I expect many here would believe her to be too conservative/protective.

As for your stbx...you know, men have a lot of practice playing fighting and war, and abiding by rules of war. I think they recognize much earlier than women do that divorce is a fight, and they behave accordingly. The bloodiest stories I've heard so far are a) when the parties both behave like savages; and b) when the man is playing war and the woman is trying to be friends and use residual love to work things out gently. So I would recommend treating this as a very serious fight with rules. Always be civil. Always be businesslike. Don't worry about what he wants; pick something reasonable (and understand that the, focus on it, and fight hard for it from your side, and let his lawyer do his or her job. Don't play appeasement games or fear that things will be terrible because you're fighting hard and fair. And be willing to go to trial if necessary.

If your stbx is a reasonable person, it will be awful, but clean, and you'll both put it behind you, more or less. And you'll both work hard to avoid a trial, because nobody who's sane wants that kind of harrowing or expense.

Do pay very serious attention to the money. The divorce courts are not feminist, and they assume that the natural condition of single mothers is poor, alms-seeking, and anxious to marry again, and that the natural condition of single fathers is to be a bum. (The only exception is in shared physical custody, in which the father is believed to be a responsible person and you get to have some sort of a life and career, but it's potentially rough on the kids.) Anyway, carefully figure out what sort of money you're looking for. Determine what it costs to keep house for them and raise them. Think ahead to college and how you want to save for it. Think about lessons, summer camp, other expenses. Split that figure in half and see what the expenses really are. Will he end up paying half, really? Probably not. But you should understand what kind of burden you're going to walk away with -- in terms of money and freedom -- before you start offering any other concessions.

hth -
mama41 is offline  
#3 of 13 Old 03-08-2008, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
One Art's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the journey
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thanks for that... I guess I wasn't quite as clear as I meant to be. I am wondering more about books that discuss the "rules" as they apply to being civil to one another, and all the best things to do/say/act around the girls - for both parents to pay attention to... or, mama41, do you mean that books about acting in a civil way aren't useful?
One Art is offline  
#4 of 13 Old 03-08-2008, 11:47 PM
 
whateverdidiwants's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Exiled in Bi-ville
Posts: 3,056
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I found "The Idiot's Guide to Divorce" very helpful in explaining how everything worked. As for how to deal with dd, we used the Sandcastles book to help with language to explain everything to her.
whateverdidiwants is offline  
#5 of 13 Old 03-09-2008, 09:45 AM
 
mama41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyrose View Post
thanks for that... I guess I wasn't quite as clear as I meant to be. I am wondering more about books that discuss the "rules" as they apply to being civil to one another, and all the best things to do/say/act around the girls - for both parents to pay attention to... or, mama41, do you mean that books about acting in a civil way aren't useful?
Emily, I mean that you can't play pattycake with one person, and that all the divorce books I've seen are either too general to be of much use or that they presume an unusual degree of presence of mind & civility on the part of both parents simultaneously.

You cannot get your stbx to behave civilly; he will or he won't. Right now it sounds like "won't". I'm sure he knows how to do it if he wants to. If he's freaking out about legalities, you're not the person who's going to calm him down, because everything you do and say is suspect. And if he's freaking out about your wanting to nurse dd, the odds are not terrific for your working as a team with him right now on helping the kids deal with the divorce. It really sucks, but you should be prepared to do that one on your own. You really never know what, if anything, he or his family will say to them about the divorce. If you ask, he may well get angry at you (which is nothing to be afraid of) and yell that it's none of your business. Which may well mean "I haven't said anything or thought about it because everything is working fine and don't come in here with your ex-wife voodoo and try to stir up trouble." Down the line, of course, if he remarries, he may well be willing to discuss it with the woman if she brings it up (or if he carries the problem to her in a basket and says "please fix this for me"). She may even housebreak him to the extent that he's willing to talk with you. But don't hold your breath.

One thing I've learned in going through divorce and watching others do the same is that men are not good at teamwork that requires a genuinely social component with ex-wives. And I don't mean saying hello politely, I mean sitting down and talking candidly about childrearing issues. On the whole they're much better at running away and hoping like hell that no one will ever make them have these conversations. That somehow it will all just magically be taken care of (note passive voice).

I've got one here who said yes to everything in my divorce proposal, is like clockwork with visitation, pays support and everything else as stipulated, etc., etc. He's been trying to get into MSW school for two years now, so you'd think he'd be all talky about divorce with the kid. Apparently not. There is no communication about either divorce or dd's reaction to divorce. I had to tell her about it by myself. In the early days of the divorce, I couldn't get him, either on my own or with a therapist, to sit down with me and work out what we'd tell her, so that at least she'd be hearing consistent things. I found the psychologist on my own, told him I was taking her, and went. (She seems to be doing fine.) I have no idea what he says when she asks him about why we got divorced, but she's never tried any of it out on me; it's possible he doesn't say anything much.

You may have an exception there, but what I've seen on this board, elsewhere, and in my own life says "Prepare to do this on your own." Read the books if they help you, but don't expect he'll bother with them. If things get better, and if your daughters are inquisitive, you may be able to hand him a low-pressure children's book and tell him you've been using it to explain divorce things when they ask. You may get nowhere with that; he may still be frightened to try. But he might use it.
mama41 is offline  
#6 of 13 Old 03-09-2008, 04:49 PM
 
Mom2Joseph's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sunshine State
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am currently reading "The Good Divorce" and while I don't agree with everything she writes, I have found the chapter on the emotional stages of divorce extrememly helpful. For that alone I would highly recommend it.

I would try to get it from your libarary or Paperbackswap so you aren't spending uncessary money.

Best wishes on your journey!
Mom2Joseph is offline  
#7 of 13 Old 03-09-2008, 08:29 PM
 
MaWhit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way by Neuman. Hands down the best resource.
MaWhit is offline  
#8 of 13 Old 03-10-2008, 10:22 AM
 
NolaRiordan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaWhit View Post
Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way by Neuman. Hands down the best resource.
I'm reading this one right now. So far I have found it to be excellent.
NolaRiordan is offline  
#9 of 13 Old 03-11-2008, 01:57 PM
 
diamond lil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Toddlerville
Posts: 2,046
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Joseph View Post
I am currently reading "The Good Divorce" and while I don't agree with everything she writes, I have found the chapter on the emotional stages of divorce extrememly helpful. For that alone I would highly recommend it.

I would try to get it from your libarary or Paperbackswap so you aren't spending uncessary money.

Best wishes on your journey!
I just went to Amazon and ordered this book for my SIL, who is going through a divorce that is really nasty (due to both her and her STBX). I remember it was mentioned on a talk show a little while ago. I hope it helps her.
diamond lil is offline  
#10 of 13 Old 03-11-2008, 03:10 PM
 
hm4hb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My top three are:

What About the Kids? Raising kids before, during and after divorce.
- Judith Wallerstein

The Co-Parenting Survival Guide, Letting Go of Conflict after a Difficult Divorce
- Elizabeth Thayer & Jeffrey Zimmerman

Divorce Poison
- Dr Richard Warshak
hm4hb is offline  
#11 of 13 Old 03-17-2008, 06:36 PM
 
caspian's mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: in my head
Posts: 2,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
~sub~
caspian's mama is offline  
#12 of 13 Old 03-29-2008, 02:02 PM
 
LoveOhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In Writing Mode!
Posts: 1,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyrose View Post
thanks for that... I guess I wasn't quite as clear as I meant to be. I am wondering more about books that discuss the "rules" as they apply to being civil to one another, and all the best things to do/say/act around the girls - for both parents to pay attention to... or, mama41, do you mean that books about acting in a civil way aren't useful?
I already suggest Mom's House, Dad's House which I am reading & feel is very insightful but really I don't think any book has all the answers. The answers are within you and your STBX, no one is really going to follow rules from a book for the next 18 years if it is not in their make up to begin with....

That said, guidelines are nice & I like the guidelines of respect in the following co-parenting agreement: http://www.cadivorce.com/content.aspx?id=740

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
LoveOhm is offline  
#13 of 13 Old 03-29-2008, 04:46 PM
 
woo27ks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaWhit View Post
Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way by Neuman. Hands down the best resource.
ITA - Also -"Ex-Etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After a Divorce or Separation"

I think both of them are great.
woo27ks is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off