Books on divorce/living alone
November 28, 2016 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Self-help or non-fiction books on divorce and/or living alone for the first time

I'm getting a divorce after 15 years together, and 10 years married. I'm a 35-year-old woman and I've never been single or lived alone (went straight from parents to college roommates to husband). I'm terrified. I have mental health issues (OCD and generalized anxiety), but they're mostly under control due to a great therapist and meds.

What I'd like is your best self-help or non-fiction books on surviving divorce, especially if they have any bearing on my details above there. At this point, it's so new that I feel like I'll just wilt away and die alone and all that good stuff your brain feeds you. I will be fine, but I'd like to immerse myself in literature about this. What are your suggestions?

posted by Laura Macbeth to Shopping (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

My marriage was in a similar place when it ended. I didn't end up doing a ton of reading, but this one was very good.
posted by meinvt at 11:57 AM on November 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

When I was in a similar situation, I read and reread Anne Lamott's Travelling Mercies. It's religious but with a secular edge that makes it more universally applicable.

I wish you peace and joy in your new life.
posted by guster4lovers at 12:03 PM on November 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Two voices in this area that I recommend are Harriet Lerner and Brene Brown, who have several books. Condoleo's Happy Divorce. Sacred Cows was a library read that unpacks some of the social baggage of divorce with some humor.

It's a big change, but you are more than this. I've made the journey and found solace with books, a parents-without-partners group that had a busy schedule of kids activities (read that as finding your tribe) occasional fun classes (fencing was one) and volunteering.

I have Estes' You Were Made for This essay on my mirror to remind me to be a great captain of my ship. Peace
posted by childofTethys at 3:13 PM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a book that I got from a DivorceCare support group that is decent, but it has a heavy Christian backbone to it. If you are a Christian, I'd recommend it.

I am 39 and you are where I was at back in February of this year. I am finally feeling like a person again. There is light at the end of the tunnel. :-)
posted by tacodave at 3:24 PM on November 28, 2016

Agree with tacodave on both accounts. DivorceCare is a support group that can be useful even if you aren't religious. I'm an atheist and went just to build camaraderie with others. It also does get better.

I tried When Things Fall Apart, but didn't have much luck.
posted by Draccy at 5:15 PM on November 28, 2016

Women and money by Suze Orman
posted by SyraCarol at 6:08 PM on November 28, 2016

Books I found useful:

Letting Go was a book I ran across in a used bookstore, about two weeks after my ex-husband and I split up. Don't be put off by the rather cheesy cover; the book's worth every penny, and you can pick it up used for 1¢. It's got a solid plan, with concrete steps you can do every week to help work through your divorce.

Crazy Time was also excellent; my divorce support group recommended it.

When Things Fall Apart is also good, though it's more intellectual, and less tangible… it's good for the big-picture anxiety about WTF will happen to you now, but it's definitely not immediate.

The Grief Recovery Handbook was also a book I found extremely handy, and used it for other relationships, not just my divorce.

Hang in there. Life does get better, and living alone isn't the grim purgatory society would like us to believe.
posted by culfinglin at 11:44 AM on November 29, 2016

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