A Wedding Ring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I recently bought this book – the first Chicken Soup book I’ve ever read. And I have very mixed feelings about this book. It did help me to some extent. I jotted down some great quotes that may help me to keep moving forward. I particularly liked the words of Kiera Peltz, who was just a child when she wrote them, and of Catherine Graham. Some of the stories were moving and inspiring.
But…the book seemed to be a celebration of divorce, and this was reflected in the cartoons. It’s pro-divorce and that doesn’t sit right with me and the things I have learned over the past five years, through my own experience and from encounters with others whose lives have been touched or shattered by separation and divorce. Children aren’t necessarily resilient and we need to stop pretending that they are. Even adult children of divorce can still suffer dreadfully – long after the actual divorce. Divorce isn’t necessarily freeing to both parties. Free to do what exactly? Be more selfish? Have “control of the remote”? Come on! We need tools to make marriages work not stories to say that the 50 per cent divorce rate is cool.
As another reviewer alluded to, the book is full of stories by women who imply that it was just great to get rid of their ghastly husbands and how they’d never looked back since dumping them. Mmm. That’s not much comfort to those who have been left behind.
Only one writer, a man, looked back and said that in his opinion the majority of divorces are unnecessary. His first wife had developed MS (long after they parted). Maybe it was guilt that formed his opinion but he was a least voicing an opinion based on moral issues and the long-term effects of divorce. Read Bill Doherty’s ‘Take Back Your Marriage’ (available on Amazon) for a great examination of how to build a great marriage, avoid a divorce and how whole communities need to support marriages. This is the best relationship book I have ever read, even though, sadly, it was too late for me.
Will I keep the Chicken Soul book? Probably. There were enough little gems in there for me to use. But would I recommend it to others? Probably not. If there’s any chance you can avoid a divorce read Doherty’s book. If divorce is inevitable read something else. Or join a forum. I’ll keep searching.