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Divorce Resolution Resources Book Review

November 18, 2009

Please check out a wonderful review of Happily Ever After Divorce: Notes of a Joyful Journey written by Barbara Stark of the website Divorce Resolution Resources.  Barabara is in private practice in Westport, Connecticut, of counsel to the firm of Freshman and McGlynn. She works with couples and individuals who are going through divorce. She also provides training and consulting services for divorce professionals.  Barbara writes:

The cover of Jessica Bram’s memoir shows a picture of the bottom half of a bride in combat boots, not a happy image but certainly representative of the tale of living through her own divorce. But can divorce be the joyful journey that the subtitle promises?

Divorced in her early forties with two children, Ms. Bram describes in short and entertaining chapters various aspects of her experience. From the nightly terrors engendered by the threat of having her children “taken away” to the emotional space that grows in her life opening her to new friends and experiences, the book promises the possibility of a hopeful post- divorce future. For people contemplating divorce, or in the throws of the nightmare of divorce, Ms. Bram offers hope about all of the positive aspects of life on the other side. This is a future that is very hard to for people emeshed in the pain of divorce to see, but this kind of a book can help in the process of looking to a better future.

A major theme is the evolution of moving out of an unhappy marriage and into “rich and luxurious” silence that is conducive to surviving marital unhappiness and the key to a new life. Emphasis is on focusing on the children because no one in the world knows what is best for children than their own parents. Movingly, Ms. Bram finds solace in the fact that there is only one other person in the world who cares as much about her children as she does, her divorce “adversary”. Cooperative parenting is not a new concept, but for many adults emotional ugliness and pain easily interferes with the ability to be constructive in dealing with the other parent. How to start cooperative co-parenting particularly if the warring barriers are up? A sage friend recommends beginning the truce and rebuilding over a cup of coffee. While extremely difficult, Ms. Bram describes how her wounds receded as a new parenting relationship developed. Ms. Bram reminds the reader of the benefits of divorce on parenting, specifically those weekends when the children are with the other parent, providing the rest and relaxation necessary for the next time of “on duty” parenting. Done right, Ms. Bram argues that children can thrive better in a happily divorced family than an unhappily married one so long as their parents can become peaceable (if not friendly) colleagues “with the single unified purpose of making the best lives possible” for their children.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 9, 2009 7:59 am

    One of the more difficult times in a relationship, particularly in marriage, is a major falling out. I have heard a lot of stories about relationships turning for the worse, seeking the legal remedy of divorce. Most of the stories are painful, even bordering on the violent. Surviving divorce is indeed a challenge.

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