Book Review: Healing the Heartbreak Of Divorce


Heartbreak

DISCLAIMER: This book is not for everyone, but it certainly was for me. It’s for the weekend moms, who struggle even more so with the effects divorce left on them because they don’t have their children to make up for it. And it’s for Christian women, or those looking for godly direction. “Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce” is written by Rose Sweet, a counselor, speaker and author, who has been divorced several times, and is also a strong Christian. She believes that Jesus can lift you up and use your circumstances for good if you only go through the process of healing and become able to look forward. Because of a strong biblical focus, I would only recommend reading this book if you won’t be offended by scripture as your guide out of heartbreak.

Out of all the books I could be reviewing first, I chose this one because it made such a big difference for me personally. It’s not new, it’s been around for many years. This is the kind of book, however, you don’t hear about until you are in a bad situation. And then you’re at a loss as to which book to turn to help you. It’s not like you ever had to be concerned about what to read if you ever got divorced. In a very loving way, Rose walks you through all the steps that you go through after divorce, teaches you what your feeling mean, what they actually are, where they come from, and how to deal with them. It’s a step by step guide that always reminds you where you can find your ultimate strength.

Because it is written by a woman that has been through 3 divorces, lost her son and went from a luxury life to having nothing at all – and then rebounded, it is written with as much empathy that anyone could muster. At the same time, Rose utilizes a loving way to push you in the direction you need to be walking in on your way to full recovery. Without this book, I would not have known how to manage my feelings. I would have never known the root of them and would never have found the courage to move forward.

I was stuck in self pity and on my way to self-destruction. Looking back, it is shocking to observe where I let my life go these last couple of years. To most observers, where my life had gone was still quite normal, but to me, it certainly was bad. It was not what I was used to and it was not where I had ever wanted to be in my life. Had it not been for ‘Healing The Heartbreak of Divorce,’ I would have not been able to pull myself out of that pattern for who knows how long… or ever.

In this bestseller, Rose breaks up the healing process into 5 logical sections:

Embracing The Pain

Examining The Principles

Establishing New Priorities

Empowering New Practices

Enjoying Your Passions

Embracing The Pain

This section really taught me that pain is a good thing. If I can feel pain, that means that I can still feel. It means I haven’t gone numb, I know that there is pain, and I know that pain can be eliminated. This is why this section tells you to embrace you pain. If you don’t push it away or off, you can actually work through it. Working through it sure is painful, but the more work you do, the more pain goes away. And only by working through it will it go away. This chapter teaches you how. It deals with everything in the feelings arsenal from shock and denial, over anger, depression, and guilt to fear, loneliness, bitterness and grieving.

Examining The Principles

Once you are aware of all the different parts to pain, what they mean and how you can work through them, you’re ready to apply some principles that will help you put your life back together. So that when you have worked through all the pain, you have everything lined up for a good life. Regardless of anything, the pain is there, right? And the only question you have about it all, is “WHY?” This section starts out answering the why and how to handle the dreaded “But why?” It then goes on to teach you how to trust again, why to give yourself time, and how to grow in grace. Most importantly, it talks about forgiveness. It teaches you not just to forgive others, including your ex-husband, but how to forgive yourself. For me personally, I could forgive my husband. I have become excellent at forgiving others because I got to experience long before my divorce how much easier it is on myself when I forgive others. For ME, it’s the hardest to forgive myself. When you have no one else to blame, it’s pretty difficult to place blame. And then to forgive it… because others you have forgiven walk away and life their lives however that may look. When you have to forgive yourself, you’re still there to live with the forgiveness. And I felt like I don’t deserve it. I still have problems with it. This book, however, does a very good job explaining the process.

Establishing New Priorities

Once you understand all the above, you can move on. And you move on by determining what, from now on, needs to be important to you in order to have a happy life. You learn how to find yourself again – and the fact that you need to find that person. There is no one else to find but yourself. You learn how to deal with your ex, how to handle your feelings about a new woman, how to handle your children (and the fact that you will never stop being their mother, no matter what). And lastly, you learn how to handle your money and the courts (if they’re still involved or will be again in the future).

This books also talks much about your feelings about “not fitting in.” I personally feel a lot like that. I am surrounded by married couples by virtue of my social circles. I am there for the functions, but they do their couples things. I don’t fit in with the singles groups either, because they’re college kids and I am not at all. It’s difficult to find a foothold in society as a divorced single mom. This book can’t solve that problem for you, but it gives you comfort and hope.

Empowering New Practices

You’re Ready! Well, at this point, I honestly felt ready to take control over my life again. I had been moving in the right direction for a while, but at this point, I felt ready to really take charge of my life again. This sections talks about what in your life you can and cannot control. Very gently, it makes you realize that you need to drop what you can’t control. For example, what happens at your ex’s house. What the kids do their, what they eat there, how they’re disciplined there. Unless it’s illegal, it’s not anything you can change. You must drop it. What you CAN control is what happens at your house and how you can establish boundaries for your children that make sense. That keeps them sane and it keeps yourself sane. Establishing boundaries are a big topic of this section, as well as how to solve problems. Your own and those you have with those around you. It then finishes by talking about how to communicate effectively. And nicely.

Enjoying Your Passions

You are a new person when you start enjoying the things you like. When you learn how to love life again and how to love yourself, when you decide that it is ok to be single, you came a long way. At this point in your life, what you need is to find yourself. To be comfortable with yourself. To learn who you are as yourself. You know you’re woman, you know you’re a mom. You need to find who that YOU is. Find a hobby, spend time just by yourself and enjoy it. Keep yourself sane, or nurture yourself back to sanity. And when you do that, when you know who you really are, you’re also ready to date again in a meaningful way. This is honestly what I struggle with the most. I have not been alone for a looooong time. And I am scared of being alone. I am used to coming home and I am able to share all the exciting or frustrating things that happened during my day. And now, there will be no one but the TV. So I decided, for example, that I need to pay for cable because for now, it keeps me from going insane amidst the silence. It’s a small step, but your healing process is made of many small steps.

Doesn’t it sound good to think that your next relationship is going to work because you have actually learned how to love because you’ve learned to love yourself?

Well, I cannot find a way to describe how much this book has helped me. Don’t forget to read the foreword and the introduction. My favorite part is that in the beginning of every chapter, there’s a love letter from God. And in the end, there’s a box that tells me what my fear says, and then what my faith ought to say. And it is so spot on and these little summations gave me so much strength. If you are in my place and you decide to read this book, I hope it helps you as much as it helped me. God bless, ladies!

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