Here are three of the best books, for women, about divorce and separation. These books help women get through the emotional ups and downs of the divorce process and teach women how to avoid mistakes in the future.
Surviving Separation and Divorce
Surviving Separation and Divorce, by Loriann Hoff Oberlin (Adams Media Corporation, 2005), gives friendly support to women who are undergoing the radical changes following separation, and offers help with navigating the most difficult time of a divorcing woman’s life.
Oberlin’s book talks about the drastic changes that most women go through during the first weeks of a separation. This is a story about a woman who refused to allow herself to be emotionally drained or physically weak, because she could not help her children if she stayed in that beat-up and burnt-out emotional state.
101 Things I Learned AFTER My Divorce
101 Things I Learned AFTER My Divorce, by Tomi Tuel (StarJunction Books, 2007), reveals Tuel’s experiences of walking through the hardships of divorce. It is written in an uplifting, humorous, and optimistic manner. Any wife, whose husband has cheated on her, will love this book about the landmines of divorce encountered by the author.
This book delivers insights about how to avoid a repeat performance in the next relationship, as well as, tips about how to save money during the actual divorce process, how to manage with kids, and ways to cope with a new social life.
Why Men Leave
The book, Why Men Leave (Perigee Trade, 1991), by psychologist Brenda Shoshanna, examines men’s perspectives concerning their relationships and men’s points of view about why their relationships fall apart. Shoshanna helps women learn which types of relationships can be fixed and which are beyond hope.
One of the best things about this book is that the men are totally frank with Shoshanna, and do not mince words or add sweeteners like they would when talking with a girlfriend or wife.
Some of the topics include:
The fear of commitment
The problems carried over from past relationships
The midlife crisis
Waiting for the perfect lover
The fantasy woman
Women who can’t be satisfied
The other woman
The need for adventure
The need for control
Any of these great books can help women understand the emotions of separation and divorce, and help them get a better understanding of why this terrible experience has happened to them and their kids. The initial stages of separation are devastating, but knowing that these awful feelings are common and temporary will surely give women hope that her next relationship will be better.
Joint Custody and Child Visitation Exchanges
Whether one parent has sole custody, or mom and dad are co-parents with joint custody, a child of divorce will, almost always, go back and forth between mom’s house and dad’s house to spend the night or weekend. In most divorces, the non-custodial parent has visitation rights to see his or her child on a regular basis.
Joint Custody Issues
Parents who are having a hard time adapting to post divorce life should stop and think about what their children are going through. Kids don’t get to decide if there is going to be a divorce. Kids don’t even get to decide if they will be sleeping at mom’s house or dad’s house next Wednesday night.
Of course, it is very important for children to have both parents in their lives. Yet, it is also important for parents to make every effort to help their kids have calm and simple transitions when they move frequently from one house to another.
Communication Between Divorced Parents
Even in “good” divorces, there will be conflicts and difficult issues that come up between ex-spouses. However, when parents are not speaking with each other, there are two issues at play:
Lack of communication
Pent up animosity toward the other parent
These two problems can erupt during the child exchange. In order to make visitation transitions flow as seamlessly as possible, parents should communicate with each other, even if only through emails.
Tips for Child Exchanges
Many parenting plans call for a specific time and place for the child exchange to take place. However, if both parents agree to change the parenting plan, it is not a problem to make some adjustments. The parenting plan should be considered as a fall-back plan or default position if there is a dispute. Helpful tips include:
Have the child ready to go at exchange time.
Make sure the child is well rested and fed before the exchange.
With a school age child, try having exchanges when only one parent is present, like at the end of a school day.
When exchanging a child directly from one parent to the other, it’s easiest if the parent who has the child takes the child over to the receiving parent’s house. Otherwise, one parent may end up having to pry his or her child from a favorite TV show or other fun activity.
If possible, find a neutral family member or friend to shuttle the child back and forth. This is a good way to avoid drama.
Put a calendar on the fridge so children can see when they will be switching from one home to the other. This helps the child feel like he or she has more control over his or her own life.
Both parents should always be businesslike when they meet. Child exchanges are not good times to discuss child support or to negotiate vacation times.
Diversions for Children
Sometimes it helps to plan a distraction for children who cry or sulk after the exchange. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan like going to McDonalds to play with other kids. Or, if possible have the family pet greet the child at the receiving parent’s home. If there is a family dog, go to the dog park. It’s virtually impossible to sulk in an environment with so many wagging tails.
The most important thing for parents to understand is that it’s more difficult for kids to make transitions than it is for adults. Also, while co-parenting is wonderful because kids love both parents, children who live in two homes are never quite fully settled in either home. And, that is why parents who love their kids should be flexible and empathetic during child exchanges.
But, if mistakes are made, remember that children are adaptable and resilient.
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