Book Reviews: 5 Great Reads for Divorced Men
Mental Health: What Should You Do After Divorce? Read to Good Health
If you’ve recently been through a divorce, life might already feel like a soap opera without adding other issues and responsibilities to your already full plate. But can you afford to miss out on some great advice on dealing with divorce — and all the fallout that sometimes comes with it?
Granted, reading may not be a priority on your to-do list — but it should be. It is especially important for divorced men to read about the pain they are experiencing and learn how to eliminate it so they can move on. At times, our culture minimizes the importance of self-discovery and self-awareness for men; these are usually deemed priorities more appropriate for women. But times are changing, and it’s just as important for men to work through issues with thoughtful analysis and introspection.
“Men must face their fears and empty every skeleton from the closet. What you fearfully deny and run from will only follow you to resurface in future relationships,” says Paul F. Davis, relationship expert and author of several books including Breakthrough for a Broken Heart and Are You Ready for True Love?
“Men also need to process their pain and deal with their unfinished business to prevent it from sabotaging meaningful relationships,” he says. One way of doing this is to seek out books that will help to mend their broken hearts and provide future action steps. “Though men are less apt than women to read books, men are more inclined to read than to seek counseling,” notes Davis.
“Most importantly, relating to ourselves as men is first and foremost,” he says. “Our identity ultimately determines our destiny. Men need to update their identity as much as they do their resume. In doing so, men can rise above tragedy and triumph as they move forth into their future.”
That said, the following is a list of five books about divorce for men that will help you find balance in your new life.
This book, written by John Curtis, Ph.D., is the first book to take the best practices model of the business world and apply it to marriage. Ultimately, the goals of both are the same: long-term success. Written by men and for men, The Business of Love objectively details why a marriage may have failed and how certain setbacks can help you make better relationship choices in the future. The step-by-step approach offers readers business concepts such as a marital vision statement, a performance appraisal process, and detailed spousal job descriptions to apply to their current or future relationships. After reading the book, men will better understand how to envision an ideal future state for the relationship, develop an objective to measuring success, determine the role of money in the marital enterprise, create job descriptions that define each partner’s role, and more. “Whether it’s my book or another one, men should be taking advantage of the growing number of books and even magazine articles out there on coping with divorce,” says Curtis. ‘There are plenty of good strategies to honestly and objectively determine why a marriage failed — and how your experience of those setbacks can actually improve your judgment in making better relationship choices down the road.”
Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D. and Lee Hefner provide readers with advice on how non-custodial fathers can stay connected with their children. The easy-to-understand style, short chapters, and highlighted tips make for fast reading and practical solutions. Divorce doesn’t mean a dad will suddenly become fatherless. Given the right tools, dads can remain a part of their child’s life as frequently as they wish, by picking up the telephone to talk or connecting through interactive Internet games — just two of many suggestions mentioned in the book. The book also teaches fathers how to develop a deeper relationship with their child, how to create a fun, comfortable atmosphere and how to help their child succeed in school in spite of all the changes in their life.
Any father who’s been in and out of courts trying to obtain joint custody of their children already knows that this fight is a long, hard battle that rarely ends in their favor. Father’s Rights, by Jon Conine, is written for separated or divorced fathers and stepfathers who desire a clear understanding of the child support process. Fighting for child support is both legally and emotionally taxing. This book outlines the problems that can arise during your fight, and how to confront them head-on so you don’t become viewed as a villain. Conine criticizes the child support system’s society and welfare programs, the negative view of the father, and how child support has evolved into a a huge collection machine.
Martin M. Shenkman and Michael J. Hamilton provide a comprehensive guide to finding the right attorney, filing procedures, negotiating a reasonable property settlement, child support, and more. Divorce Rules for Men offers readers a step-by-step explanation of the entire divorce process — from before you file for divorce to moving on with your life afterward. It also explains what men can expect along the way and how they can save money throughout this enduring time. Chapters include: Finding the Right Lawyer, What You Need to Know Before You Leave Home, Communicating With Your Children, Alimony, Maintenance and Child Support, and more.
Seven myths perceived to be fact by children and adults alike are debunked by Sanford L. Braver, Ph.D. and Diane O’Connell in Divorced Dads. The book shatters the image of the “Bad Divorced Dad,” so-called deadbeat dads, the no-show dad, standards of living, terms of divorce, emotional issues of divorce, and who leaves the marriage — and why it all matters. Through exhaustive research, the book displays the flaws in divorce research, the one-sided studies of divorced men and women, the misusage of census data, and more to reveal the surprising truth about dads and divorce. By presenting the facts, this book aims to reverse the negative image that has too often classified divorced dads. Dr. Braver is a professor of psychology at Arizona State University. The theories in the book are based on a study he conducted with 1000 divorcing couples over eight years.
Says Carll Tucker, the author of the divorce therapy book, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, “Men need to read more and learn more about their personal experiences so they can learn from them. It’s not just about fleeing an unhappy but familiar old life and diving into a scary and unfamiliar new life that may or may not be an improvement,” he says. “It’s about the healthful healing things that might happen if you take a drastic chance. Hey, it happened to me. That I’m marrying the woman of my dreams this June means the chance paid off. I got lucky — but luck can’t happen unless you’re willing to take the risk.”