Over the holidays I read a thought provoking and refreshing new book by Diana Mercer and Katie Jane Wennechuk, MAKING DIVORCE WORK: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (A Perigee Book/Penguin Group, © 2010. 240 pp plus Index, ppb $15.00 US ). On the one side, this title is cast against a back drop of so many “how to” self-help books on making a marriage work. On the other side, so many of the divorce book genre tend to be psychological or spiritual survival guides. Located some place between these two genres are also found the obligatory titles on parenting, “how to” get a fair property settlement or chose an attorney, anger management techniques, and so forth. MAKING DIVORCE WORK offers a fourth and very important option, guidance as steps along the way or “keys” to a reconciliation either within the existing marriage or to the formulation of a new post-divorce family.
What is so thought provoking about MAKING DIVORCE WORK? The first seven chapters, out of eleven, can be used to improve an existing marriage or form the basis for a reconciliation. This book is written to be optimistic, positive and forward looking. The caveat for the Attorney/Mediator, or Divorce Mediator Practitioner, now becomes, “Don’t for a minute assume the marriage is necessarily over.” The terms might be changed; the marriage might be redefined. The question is transformed to, “How do we, the couple and mediator(s), know the marriage is truly over, irreconcilable?” And, if the marriage is truly over, the divorcing couple can then use the “keys” to offer the new post-divorce family a chance to succeed. In either case, whether being reconciled within the existing marriage, or creating a new family out of the divorce, the last four chapters of MAKING DIVORCE WORK make the point: Grieving the Loss of Your Marriage, Forgiveness and Acceptance, Negotiating Your Settlement, and New Beginnings.
What is so refreshing about MAKING DIVORCE WORK? Common sense and simplicity is presented to offset the confusion, anger, doubt, and guilt. This book does offer shelter from the storm.
I highly recommend MAKING DIVORCE WORK.