Books to Divorce By
June 3rd, 2009 by Christina

Stack of Old Books

This seems like a good time to take a little break from the D saga so I can talk about something really exciting: books (c’mon, don’t give me a hard time. I warned you I was a word geek.)

I’ve always loved reading, but mostly for purposes of entertainment, education, or edification. During those months when separation was imminent, though, I clung to books like lifelines. No more snickering at the self-help genre for me; as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no cynics facing marital dissolution. The “relationships” shelf at my local bookseller is currently depleted.

It’s funny (but not necessarily “ha-ha” funny) how the titles I’ve read represent a chronology of the past couple of years. First came the shiny, hopeful, you-can-save-your-marriage books like The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, which sports a giant wedding ring on its cover. I read it and left it on R’s bedside table. He said he’d get to it just as soon as he was done with  Remembrance of Things Past and then Kristin Lavransdatter.

Once I realized I was the only one reading the marriage-saving books, I chucked them and bought When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron. She talks about not resisting change and pain, but instead embracing them in a Buddhist/Zen kind of way (got big points with my spiritual yoga friend for having this one lying around). I liked the concept a lot, but surrendering to the beauty of agony was not where I was at just yet. So I ordered a few from the “ok-now-it’s-an-emergency” category. Their covers tend to be bright yellow or fire-engine red with lettering in all caps and no time for illustrations. These include Divorce Busting and The Divorce Remedy, along with How One of You Can Bring the Two of You Together. They offer lots of solo stealth techniques, which are interesting in theory, but didn’t work for me; kept those in my closet (R was reading Trollope’s The Barchester Chronicles at that point.)

When R moved out, I went for a few workbook-style books, including Divorce and New Beginnings, which has a helpful custody planner in the back, and The Good Divorce, which, oxymoronic as it sounds, does a good job of making divorce seem like something to which we should all aspire. By then, R had taken his literary tomes with him and his bedside table was all mine.

Around when I joined the dating site, I added Mars and Venus Starting Over and Mom, There’s a Man in the Kitchen and He’s Wearing Your Robe: The Single Mother’s Guide to Dating Well without Parenting Poorly. I hid those from the girls, who really did not need to know what I was up to.

Now, it seems, I’ve come full circle. I’m reading American Wife. But this time, it’s fiction.

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3 Responses  
Stop Your Divorce - What You Need To Do To Stop Your Divorce | Online Dating Advice writes:
June 6th, 2009 at 9:04 am

[...] Books to Divorce By [...]

Stopping Your Divorce - Steps To Stopping Your Divorce | Online Dating Advice writes:
June 6th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

[...] Books to Divorce By [...]

Living in Splitsville » Blog Archive » The Honeymoon (From Hell) is Over. Now What? writes:
June 24th, 2010 at 7:01 am

[...] of the (many) books I’ve turned to for guidance during this difficult period mention the two-year mark as a [...]

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