Now that you’ve read the book, I bet you want to continue the learning. Below is a list of books that correspond to various chapters in the Beyond Divorce book:
PART ONE. DIVORCE AS OPPORTUNITY
1. Your Gateway to Transformation
Spiritual Divorce, by Debbie Ford
The subtitle is “Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life.” When I tell people who are just entering the divorce process that life can be more beautiful than they ever imagined once they get through to the other side they just stare at me in disbelief. It is absolutely true. While I don’t think any book by itself will get you to the extraordinary life, Ford’s book does provide a good roadmap through what you are experiencing and will help you use the experience well. You will still need people (friends, support group, seminars, coaching and/or therapy) to help you through to the other side.
The Power of NOW, by Eckhart TolleThe present moment is the only time we have to do anything. Often the past and the future shroud the present cloaking obvious next steps. If life seems like a crunch, step into the slow, methodical, reasoning of the why’s and how’s of expanding the present moment. If you listen, it will change your life.
2. Living in the In Between
The Way of Transition, by William Bridges
This is probably my favorite book of all for understanding divorce. Transitions guru William Bridges outlines the steps involved in transition, helping you understand the crazy hopelessness you feel when you are thrown into one. The steps are the same for any transition – the end of a marriage, a change in health status, or losing a job. Bridges reminds us that the outer loss is metaphoric for an inner relinquishment that must be made. To find out, ask the question, “What is it time for me to let go of?” I love this book. Get it. Read it.
Loving What Is, by Byron Katie
Is it true? Who would you be without that thought? are just two of the four questions Katie inspires us to ask when looking for new perspectives. A hands on book that will help you accept things as they are.
3. Moving Toward Acceptance (or Getting a Grip)
PART TWO. ALONE AGAIN
4. Surviving Survival Mode
Deep Survival, Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Lawrence Gonzales
A well-researched book on survival strategies. Turns out surviving a divorce takes the same skills as surviving a hurricane, shipwreck or shark attack. Reading other survival stories may inspire you, and help you see the good in your experience.
5. Getting Help
6. Taking Care of You
7. The Impact of Divorce
PART THREE. WORKING THROUGH THE EMOTIONS
8. Working with Feelings
9. Tears of Grief
The Grief Recovery Handbook, by James and Friedman
Few books on grief provide a step-by-step process for understanding and resolving grief. This is the book used by the Grief Recovery Institute for their certification trainings. You can own it and know what they know. The exercises are beneficial for all kinds of losses, not just divorce.
Awakening From Grief, by John Welshons
I love Welshon’s approach to grief. Welshon illuminates the gift that grief is, which in turn brings great hope to the reader. This book is along the same lines as The Grief Recovery Handbook but goes more deeply into the spiritually useful aspects of grief.
C.S. Lewis on Grief, by C.S. Lewis
From the author of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Christian author C.S. Lewis brings a touching expose on grief that is also beautifully illustrated. Here’s a quote from page 10, “Love is not the whole of a man’s life. I was happy before I ever met H. I’ve plenty of what are called ‘resources’…Then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this ‘commonsense’ vanishes like an ant in the mouth of a furnace…” Lewis’ fiery yet compassionate writing is seen throughout this little book.
10. The Fire of Anger
The Healing Power of Anger, by John Rifkin
It is possible to use anger for good, to use it as breadcrumbs to track back to earlier wounding where it can be healed. I found this book to be a delightful change to most anger books because it is so solution oriented.
11. The Burden of Guilt
12. Paralyzing Fear
Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
Fear is natural in the face of change. But it doesn’t mean STOP. It means GO. It’s just a feeling. Convincing ways to use fear to propel you forward.
13. Wrung with Worry
14. Crushing Rejection
15. The Ache of Loneliness
PART FOUR. MANAGING YOUR THOUGHTS
16. Choosing Your Interpretations
As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
If we can examine our thoughts we can direct them for our own use, rather than let them drag us hither and yon. “Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.” A hearty book that requires much chewing.
17. Changing Hurtful Beliefs
18. Taming Your Inner Critic
Taming Your Gremlin, by Richard D. Carson
Creatively illustrated, simply written, personification of the belittling voices in your head. Instead of allowing them to freeze you in your tracks, be aware and entertained by their antics, and watch them lose their power.
PART FIVE. LEARNING FROM WHAT WENT WRONG
19. Marriage Is for Adults
20. Leaving to Find Yourself
21. Three Trouble Spots
22. Broken Boundaries
Boundaries, by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud
When my yard and your yard are clearly defined I don’t have to fear you or control you. I am free to love you. This concept can take a lifetime of refinement, but it is worth every effort. Everyone should have boundary setting capabilities in their toolbox to have the best of a designed life.
23. Toward Mature Relating
PART SIX. RECLAIMING YOUR POWER
24. Forgive to Let Go
Radical Forgiveness, by Colin Tipping
Forgiveness, when you can make your way to it and through it, will transform you. The gift in forgiveness is for you, not the other person. Adverse events that come your way are a gift… but you have to leave being a victim behind to find it. This book is a good guidebook through the maze of emotions and into the gift.
25. Recovering Your Self-Worth
26. Setting Effective Boundaries
PART SEVEN. FUTURE RELATING
27. Your Relationship with Yourself
Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss
A grown up Dr. Seuss picture book. “But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may be sore and your sneakers may leak.”
28. Transitional Relationships
29. Loving Again
PART EIGHT. LOOKING FORWARD
30. Your New Life
The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck
“Life is hard.” So begins the book. Not knowing how life works certainly makes it hard. This book lays out a lot of the how’s and why’s of life very simply. Life will make a lot more sense after reading it. One of the first self-help books I read. Still love it.
Finding Your Own North Star, By Martha Beck
A great guide for finding the star that guides your life. We may get hijacked from it from time to time, but divorce offers the opportunity to set your course anew. This is a great book with a lot of insights.
Suggested follow up reading for the E-book: Should We Reconcile?
31. Where Are You Now?
How to Heal a Painful Relationship -And if necessary part as friends. by Bill Ferguson
We know so little about ending relationships – how to do it, how to do it well, or figure out if we should. Bill Ferguson is a former divorce attorney who writes from a unique perspective on the tough aspects of conflict. He provides ways to work through conflict and use it for good, without having to end the relationship, or alternatively, have the best outcome if you choose to part ways.
A Case for Marriage, by Waite and Gallagher
Not specifically a divorce recovery book, I think of it more as a potential divorce prevention book. There is A LOT of research behind this book as the authors sought to find out if people really are better off after they divorce. Across the board the answer is “No.” In every life area the divorcing are worse off. It’s time to start thinking logically about the ramifications of divorce and to quit romanticizing it. Just my opinion, of course.
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, by Mira Kirshenbaum
A lot of people have this very thought and end up going down the divorce trail simply because they don’t know what else to do. How nice to have a book to help with such a tough decision. The subtitle of the book is: “A step-by step guide to help you decide whether to stay in or get out of your relationship.” It looks pretty wordy to me, but if it helps, hey, go for it.