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Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Favorite Book on Divorce

Book Review by Susan Knight

When I was going through my divorce, it seemed nobody could tell me a title to read which helped me with what I was going through.

Once I got to Utah, I just happened to find the book "Shattered: Six steps from betrayal to recovery" at an author signing during one of the writing conferences I attended. Serendipity!

This book, by authors Fay A. Klingler and Bettyanne Bruin, answered all of my important questions. Why did this happen to me? How could I have let this happen? How could I have been so stupid all those years?

I was lucky enough to meet one of the authors, Fay Klingler, at a library lecture. I brought the book along for her signature. I showed her that the book was highlighted on every page, and thanked her profusely.

My blog here is about the "Triple A." This book gave me more A's to think about. The chapter headings, the six steps, are: Awareness, Acceptance, Action, Authorization, Accountability and Advancement.

In the Acknowledgments, Klingler wrote, "I used to think my story was unique, but I've learned that's not so. On the one hand I find it sad because that means, like me, others have been deeply hurt. But on the other hand, I find it exhilarating because it shows we share a resiliency, a desire to make life good in spite of our traumatic experiences."

I have said many times, and on this blog, I felt like I was the only one going through all the drama and heartache. I slowly learned there were many other women in the dark as to what happened to our marriages. We all had these burning questions. Our questions are addressed in this book.

Most of us have a healthy dose of denial our psyches just can't get through. We are also good people. Since we are good, we think everyone is good and could never do us any harm. This is what the predators (i.e., spouses/significant others) count on. This is how they gain control over us.

I never wanted to get a divorce. My ex-husband knew that and took advantage of it. If I was doing all the work in keeping the marriage together, why should he do any work? It's the greatest manipulation game. While I was reading, it was my first "ah-ha" moment.

The authors address a woman's safety. Many times with verbal abuse, the attitude can turn on a dime and become physical abuse. For those of you who are being abused, PLEASE run for your life. Seek help! Get out!

For many of us, it's the betrayal that finally initiates the beginning of the end of our marriages. While reading this book, I realized I was betrayed and that's what hurt so much. I couldn't put my finger on it. And those of us who are hurt so deeply--betrayed--find it very hard to trust people of the opposite sex again.

At the end of each chapter is a little work space, a plan, to write how we are going to overcome each of the "A" headings. I have to admit I didn't do this part. I'm not ready yet. I'm still going through a lot inside of me.

The last chapter is Advancement, the healing step. That's where this book will take you--when you're ready.

On page 139 is the statement, "Be patient with yourself. You won't suddenly forgive. You won't suddenly let go. It's more like the process of a flower in bloom."

Those words gave me hope.

I heartily endorse this book. It will help you see your arduous climb has an end. A light bulb will shine over your head and you will say aloud, "Ah-HA!"

Fay A. Klingler and Bettyanne Bruin, Shattered: Six steps from betrayal to recovery, Mapletree Publishing Company, 6233 Harvard Lane, Highlands Ranch, CO 80130,, 184 pages.

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