Posted By: june72 Suggested Books - 03/29/10 03:58 AM
Hey all,
I often see suggestions of books that are good for a troubled marriage or spiritual growth or personal insight. I write them down here or there and always intend to look them up in the library or purchase a few but has yet to do it. I bet many would like a list of what books really helped others.

I would love an evolving "Master List" of sorts. If people could post a book they found helpful a possible subject it would fall under ie. affairs, or self-esteem, etc. and maybe their personal comments on the book I would love it!

After a few posts I or anyone (since this is for all) could list the title and author by subject lists. And then with more additional posts the "Master List" can be continually updated.

So people please list those books!!!! smile
Posted By: DanceQueen Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 04:11 AM
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus...John Gray. This classic book isn't for every couple, but if you read a few chapters and lightbulbs start going off, then its probably going to help you understand how communication with the opposite sex actually needs a roadmap.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work...John Gottman. To me this book wasn't so much helpful in actually making marriage work, but rather in understand what marriage "poison" is and then you can find out how to avoid it.

Why Men Love Bitches...and No More Mr. Nice Guy. These books say basically the same thing to men and women: "gain his/her respect or he/she won't be sexually attracted to you, period".

Posted By: Cadet Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 08:50 AM

This list is from the MLC resources.

Add to this 5 love Languages by Gary Chapman

I am just finishing Male Menopause, and Surviving Male Menopause books by Jed Diamond and I can highly recommend them to men and women on these boards.

Also Read the whole thread on the above link there are more suggestions for all 13 pages. Just reread part of it and all the books I recently read are on it.
Posted By: FindingMyVoice Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 11:04 AM
Hold Me Tight, by Dr. Sue Johnson - helpful for understanding why we become disconnected from our spouses, and reconnect again
Posted By: Puppy Dog Tails Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 12:58 PM
Chapman's "Five Love Languages."

MWD's "Divorce Remedy."

"Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus."

"Love and Respect," by Eggerichs.

"His Needs, Her Needs," by Harley.

Those would be my "Big Five." Specifically, for:


"NOT Just Friends," by Glass.

"Surviving an Affair," by Harley.

"After the Affair," by Janice Spring.


"No More Mr. Nice Guy," by Glover.

"Hold onto your N.U.T.S." by Levine.

Posted By: Wired Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 01:34 PM
-Hold on to Your NUTs: The Relationship Manual for Men
Wayne Levine
Outside of DR this is one of the better books I have read in awhile.
I didnt care to much for him trying to "pitch" his retreats throughout the book, but the rest of it was very good.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:00 PM
Thanks so much everyone!!!

Pilot- gold, absolute gold. Will have to extract some of that stuff.

Here is a book that is slightly off topic but I really found helpful-
Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Spencer Johnson

written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one's work and life, and four typical reactions to said change by two mice and two "littlepeople", during their hunt for cheese. A New York Times business bestseller since release, Who Moved My Cheese? remained on the list for almost five years and spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly's hardcover nonfiction list
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:02 PM
Credit below goes to Snodderly and Sting from a thread in the MLC archives:


The Depression Source Book by Brian P. Quinn, C.S.W., Ph.D.
Understanding Depression by Raymond DePaul, Jr., M.D.
The Secret Strength of Depression by Frederic Flac
I Don't Want To Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real
Unmasking Male Depression by Archibald Hart
The Pain Behind The Mask: Overcoming Masculine Depression by John Lynch, Christopher T. Kilmarting
The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
Unholy Ghosts, Writers on Depression by Nell Casey
Depression, Questions You Have...Answers You Need by Sandra Salmans

Personality Disorders:

I Hate You–Don't Leave Me: Understanding Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kriesman, Hal Straus
Stop Walking On Eggshells by Paul T. Mason
Narcissism–Denial Of The True Self by Alexander Lowen, M.D.
Narcissism and Character Transformation, The Psychology of Narcissistic Character Disorders by Nathan Schwartz-Salant
Malignant Self Love, Narcissism Revisited by San Vaknin, Ph.D.
Why Is It Always About You, Saving Yourself From the Narcissistic In Your Life by Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW
Living with the Passive Aggressive Man, Coping With Hidden Aggression–From The Bedroom to The Boardroom by Scott Wetzler, Ph.D.
Nasty People: How To Stop Being Hurt By Them Without Becoming One of Them by Jay, Psy.D Carter
Controlling People, How To Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You by Patricia Evans
Stop Being Manipulated by George H. Green, Ph.D., Carolyn Cotter, MBA
In Sheep's Clothing, Understanding And Dealing With Manipulative People by George K. Simon, Jr., Ph.D.

Mid-Life Subjects:

Men in Mid-Life Crisis by James Conway
Your Husband's Mid-Life Crisis by Sally Conway
Surviving Male Menopause, A Guide For Women and Men by Jed Diamond
Male Menopause by Jed Diamond
Understanding Men's Passages by Gail Sheehy

Abusive Subjects:

Allies in Healing, When The Person You Love Was Sexually Abused As A Child by Laura Davis
Abused Boys, The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter
Victims No Longer, Men Recovering From Incest And Other Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew

Miscellaneous Subjects:

When A Mate Wants Out, Secrets for Saving a Marriage by Jim and Sally Conway
Moving On After He Moves Out by Jim and Sally Conway
Love Must Be Tough, New Hope for Families In Crisis by Dr. James C. Dobson
The Myth Of The Greener Grass, Affair-Proof Your Marriage, Restore Your Love, Recover Your Dreams by J. Allan Petersen
Mars and Venus, The Languages of Love by John Gray, Ph.D.
After the Affair: Healing The Pain and Rebuilding Trust When A Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms, Phd Spring, Michael Spring
What About The Big Stuff, Finding Strength and Moving Forward When The Stakes Are High by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
Divorce Busting by Michele Weiner-Davis
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Relationship Rescue by Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D.
Solo Partner by Phil Deluca
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:03 PM
From MBW on the MLC archives:

Here are some other good ones I have read, or that were recommended to me by relationship councilors over the last while. Some have some good scientific facts, others add a little humor, but they are all helpful:

His Needs, Her Needs How to affair proof a marriage - by Dr. Harley (works for marriages that arent in an adultry situation too.)

How To Hug a Porcupine: Dealing with Toxic and Difficult to Love Personalities - Dr. John Lund

The Case for Marriage- Linda Waite and Maggie Gallasker

Avoiding Emotional Divorce - Dr. John Lund

Hope for the Separated: Wounded marriages can be healed - Gary Chapman

Marital Relationships Seminar - Douglas E. Brinley

Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps - Barbara Pease

Why Marriages Succeed of Fail: And How you can Make Your's Last - John M. Gottman

When Men Batter Women: New INsites into Ending Abusive Relationships - John M. Gottman

The Marriage Clinic: A Scientifically Based Marital Therapy - John M. Gottman
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:04 PM
From Deb M in the MLC Archives:

Torn Asunder: Recovering from Extramarital Affairs, by Dave Carder

Getting Back Together: How to Create a New Loving Relationship With Your Old Partner and Make It Last, by Masa Goetz

The former is helpful in understanding how affairs get started, types of affairs, stages both spouses go through, etc. The latter has a lot of info about working on yourself while you're separated, that I think could be beneficial whether you get back together or not
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:04 PM
From Sting in the MLC archives

Undoing Depression--What Therapy Doesn't Teach and What Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor, PhD.
Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, MD
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:06 PM
From Magic in the MLC archives:

this is for the "self help" category.

"Sacred Contracts. Awakening your Divine Potential"
by Caroline Myss

"Anatomy of the Spirit"
by Caroline Myss
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:10 PM
OK, obviously this growing compilation has to be organized. I can get to it eventually (maybe in a week) but anyone feel free to create a an evolving "Master List" since this thread is meant for everyone.

On, another note, any and all books you like, if not in your local library can usually be requested free of charge from the library loan department of your public library. Will just take a week or so to be sent over from another library system...I know books can get expensive.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 02:13 PM
From wiseguy in the MLC archives:

I'll add a few....

The Five Love Languages.... by Gary Chapman....

Very simply, if you can understand and apply this one, you can learn to understand and apply any self help book.

This one should be read in conjunction with Michelle's thoughts about Trying Something Different...

Good Grief by Granger Westburg

A VERY SHORT and helpful primer on dealing with change in your world....

"Is it you or is it me? (why couples play the blame game)
by Scott Wetzler. ( again, from Crisch's library)

Helps in understanding our own perceptions and baggage in relation to the marriage relationship.

"Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom

a highly aclaimed book about life's enduring lessons from a dying man to a young man in search of answers...
( Crisch's ex-husband read this book before he left...., as I read it this past week, it echoed all the themes and puzzles I dealt with in my own MLC....)

"The essential Crazy Wisdom" by Wes Nisker....

a convoluted but entertaining book describing how life simply doesn't make any sense..... and never will... and how to manage that perception.... for anyone who wants to learn about Michelle's "counter-intuitive" thinking .....

"Passionate Marriage" (author's last name is Schnarch)

A very long book about how a sexual therapist assits people in understanding larger issues in their lives by assiting them ni the bedroom... not for prudes, but very informative about "hangin on to yourself" in the middle of conflict.

as Dr. Phil would say, the tempuratutre of the amrriage is measured ni the bedroom.... Schanrch examines it closely.... but it is NOT a "how to" book.

Having not read Michelles' Sex Starved Mariage book yet,
I cannot compare it... but I suspect it would be a fitting companion book for anyone who is into heavy thinking....

these are my added worthy library additions

From Barbie Doll in the MLC archives:

Well, I was just about to add to the list & see that Paul beat me to it with "Love Languages". Another book he suggested for me is "Crazy Time" - surviving divorce and building a new life by Abigail Trafford.

The Divorce Recovery Sourcebook by Dawn Bradley Berry is very helpful

Taking the High Road by Nailah Shami - how to cope with your ex-husband and maintain your sanity.

Of course I picked these books up later in my own journey. I still found Divorce Remedy the best & have read many of the books previously suggested here.

Snodderly - I promise to return your books soon, so someone else can benefit from them.


From Sparky in the MLC Archives:

Let me add that all of these books are great EVEN IF YOUR GOAL IS RECONCILIATION!

Spiritual Divorce - Debbie Ford
Mars & Venus Starting Over - John Gray
Living Alone and Loving It - Barbara Feldon
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing - Susan Anderson
Oh Solo Mia
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:04 PM
Also, "The Hell with Love"

This is a WONDERFUL collection of poetry that is broken down into the stages we go through at the end of a romance. It is just amazing!

From Carlotta in the MLC archives:

The best book I have read in a long time:

Uncoupling by Diane Vaughan. Describes how a marriage comes apart. Describes it from the side of the "Initiator" and the "Partner" (the left-behind).

Every question I have had about why my STBX acted the way he did is answered in this book. It is not a DB book. It assumes the marriage is over. But it is a fascinating, blow-by-blow description of what goes on in the mind of the leaver, how they go about extricating themselves from the marriage. There are excerpts on Amazon that give you a feel for it.

I wish I had read this book two years ago. It would have helped me see my X's actions for what they were a lot sooner and allowed me to move ahead faster.

From leosmp:

I want to recommend another book to read, it's not realated at all to DB'ing or Mid life, but I think it may help many as it helped me.
"More Language of Letting Go". My daughter got it for me for Christmas. It is a daily meditation. It has really helped me spiritually to get through a lot of tough days!

From out of Sync:

Also "The Language of Letting Go" and "CoDependent No More" are good and by the same author, Melody Beattie.

ALL of Dr. Wayne Dyer's books are food for the soul and the hurting heart!! They will help you survive while reading the others for understanding. Especially "There Is a Spiritual Solution for Every Problem".

From Jorge:

How about Zukav's "Heart of the Soul" and Tolle's "The Power of Now"....Bot of them help to get the focus back onto ourselves, the only one we control.

Outofsync, I too found great comfort in Dyers books, esp "Spiritual Solution". And I'm enjoying his specials on the PBS fundraisers.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:04 PM
From Helen87 in the MLC archive:

One of the best for figuring out who you are dealing with, how to protect your kids and yourself....very recently published.

Lundy Bancroft. WHY DOES HE DO THAT? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. G.P. Putnam ISBN 0-399-14844-2. published 2002.

Abuse (see definitions) is not an illness nor an addiction. Not a question of childhood issues nor low self-esteem. It is a choice based on his skewed core values. He has a distorted sense of right and wrong. So, concentrate on the way he thinks, not what he feels, to protect yourself.

Chapter 3, The Abusive Mentality: He feels ENTITLED. He is controlling, manipulative, he isn't abusive because he is angry, he is angry because he is abusive, he twists things into their opposites (you are abusing him and he has to defend himself), he disrespects his partner and considers himself superior to her, he strives to have a good public image, he feels justified, he denies and minimizes his abuse, he is possessive AND he confuses love and abuse..."So, is he lying when he says he loves you? No, usually not. Most of my clients do feel a powerful sensation inside that they call love. For many of them it is the only kind of feeling toward a female partner that they have ever had, so they have no way of knowing it isn't love. When an abusive man feels the powerful stirring that other people call love, he is probably largely feeling:

1) The desire to have you devote your life to keeping him happy with no outside interference. (Have you isolated yourself?)

2) The desire to have sexual access.

3) The desire to impress others by having you be his partner.

4) The desire to possess and control you.

Genuine love means respecting the humanity of the other person, wanting what is best for him or her, and supporting the other person's self-esteem and independence. This kind of love is incompatible with abuse and coercion.

Highly Recommended: Chapter 10. Abusive Men as Parents. Tells how your kids might see you as mom in this situation, how you can protect them by telling them the truth, not protecting him or his image, and taking care of yourself, setting boundaries and expectations (ala Michelle) working to maintain the relationships with mom and kids, kids and kids, and how he uses devisive tactics to keep you all unstable.

Chapter 12. The Abusive Man and the Legal System. What to expect from legal authorities, therapists, why the system often dis-protects the mom and kids, how the controlling man uses the system (claiming you have influenced the kids against him. etc.), and makes allies against you.

Chapter 9: The abusive man and breaking up. Be careful! Be wise. Plan ahead. Even if he is the one who left.

Part IV: Changing the Abusive Man. What to look for in a process of genuine change.

An excellent orientation and resource. Why didn't I have this book earlier? So much of it rings true to what I have lived and read here on the BB. Finally, something that is a good predictor of ex.'s behavior and outlook during this mess (yes, narcissism and borderline personality are mentioned). Probably even explains why he left! Depression and he got to the point where he didn't care about what happened to him or couldn't see it because of Entitlement, mixed with my independence (I "wasn't going to change").

Chapter 2: The Mythology. Myths about Abusers: 1) He was abused as a child 2) His previous partner hurt him 3) He abuses those he loves the most 4) He holds in his feelings too much 5)He has an aggressive personality 6) He loses control 7)He is too angry 8) He is mentally ill 9) He hates women 10) He is afraid of intimacy and abandonment 11) He has low self-esteem 12) His boss mistreats him 13) He has poor skills in communication and conflict resolution 14) There are as many abusive women as abusive men 15) His abusiveness is as bad for him as for his partner 16) He is a victim of racism 17) He abuses alcohol or drugs.

Bancroft explains from 15 years of experience why each myth is not true. Simple questions, simple answers
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:05 PM
More from Helen87

Definitions from WHY DOES HE DO THAT? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft.

"In referring to angry and controlling men in this book, I have chosen to use in most cases the shorter terms "abusive man" and "abuser". I have used these terms for readability and not because I believe that every man who has problems with angry or controlling behaviors is abusive. I needed to select a simple word I could apply to any man who has recurring problems with disrespecting, controlling, insulting, or devaluing his partner, whether or not his behavior also involves more explicit verbal abuse, physical aggression, or sexual mistreatment. Any of these behaviors can have a serious impact on a woman's life and can lead her to feel confused, depressed, anxious, or afraid."

Abuse? Look for patterns.

"The term "abuse" is about power; it means that a person is taking advantage of a power imbalance to exploit or control someone else. Wherever power imbalances exist, such as between men and women, or adults and children, or between rich and poor, some people will take advantage of those circumstances for their own purposes. Thus the defining point of abuse is when the man starts to exercise power over the woman in a way that causes harm to her and creates a privileged status for him.

The lines where subtler kinds of mistreatment end and abuse begins include the following actions:

=He retaliates against you for complaining about his behavior. (You have no right to object to how I treat you)

=He gives apologies that sound insincere or angry, and he demands that you accept them.

=He blames you for the impact of his behavior.

=It's never the right time, or the right way, to bring thngs up. (With an abuser, no way to bring up a complaint is the right way....sometimes you have to leave an argument and come back to it in a couple or hours or the next day, and then you find your partner more prepared to take in what is bothering you. With an abuser, however, the passage of time doesn't help. He doesn't spend the intervening period digesting your comments and struggling to face what he did, the way a nonabusive person might. In fact, he does the opposite, appearing to mentally build up his case against your complaint as if he were preparing to go before a judge.)

=He undermines your progress in life. (If he causes you to lose a job or to drop out of a school program; discourages you from pursuing your dreams; cuases damage to your relationships with friends or relatives; takes advantage of you finanacially or damages your economic progress or security; or tells you that you are incompetent at something you enjoy, as a way to get you to give it up, he is trying to undermine your independence.)

=He denies what he did. (While a nonabusive partner might argue with you about how you are interpreting his behavior, the abuser denies his actions altogether.)

=He justifies his hurtful or frightening acts or says that "You made him do it." (The abuser uses your behavior as an excuse for his own. He therefore refuses to commit unconditionally to stop using a degrading or intimidating behavior. Instead, he insists on settingup a quid pro quo, where he says he'll stop some form of abuse if you agree to give up something that bothers him, which often will be something that you have every right to do.)

=He touches you in anger or puts you in fear in other ways.

=He coerces (pressures) you into having sex or sexually assaults you.

=His controlling, disrespectful, or degrading behavior is a pattern.

=You show signs of being abused. (Do you feel like you can't do anything right? Is your level of energy and motivation declining, or do you feel depressed? Is your self-opinion declining, so that you always are fighting to be good enough and to prove yourself? Do you find yourself constantly preoccupied with the relationship and how to fix it? Do you feel like the problems in your relationship are all your fault? Do you repeatedly leave arguments feeling like you've been messed with but can't figure out exactly why?)


--The more time he has to tear down your self-opinion, the more difficult it will be for you to believe that you deserve better treatment.

--The more time he has to hurt you emotionally, the more likely your energy and initiative ar to diminish, so that it gets harder to muster the strength to get out.

--The more damage he does to your relationships with friends and family, the less support you will have for the difficult process of ending the relationship.

--The longer you have been living with his cycles of intermittent abuse and kind, loving treatment, the more attached you are likely to feel to him, through a process known as traumatic bonding.


=You do not cause your partner's slide into abusiveness, and you cannot stop it by figuring out what is bothering him or by increasing your ability to meet his needs. Emotional upset and unmet needs have little to do with abusiveness.

=Abused women aren't "codependent". It is abusers, not their partners, who creat abusive relationships.


Abusive men do not "bottom out."

Over time, the man grows attached to his ballooning collection of comforts and privileges:

The intrinsic satisfaction of power and control.

Getting his way, especially when it matters to him most.

Someone to take his problems out on.

Free labor from her; leisure and freedom for him.

Being the center of attention, with priority given to his needs.

Financial control. (One of the most common tactics I hear about, for example, is that the abuser manages to finagle dealings so that his name is on his partner's belongings--along with, or instead of, her name. In fact, I have had clients whose abuse was almost entirely economically based and who managed to take many thousands of dollars away from their partners, either openly or through financial tricks.)

Ensuring that his career, education, or other goals are prioritized.

Public status of partner and/or father without sacrifices. (With his strong people pleasing skills and his lively energy when under the public gaze, the abusive man is often thought of as an unusually fun and loving partner and a sweet, committed dad. He soaks up the smiles and appreciation he receives from relatives, neighbors, and people in the street who are unaware of his behavior in private.)

The approval of his friends and relatives. (An abuser often chooses friends who are supportive of his abusive attitudes)

Double standards.

If we want abusers to change, we will have to require them to give up the luxury of exploitation. (When you are left feeling hurt or confused after a confrontation with your controlling partner, ask yourself: What was he trying to get out of what he just did? What is the ultimate benefit to him? Thinking through these questions can help you clear your head and identify his tactics. Certainly the abusive man also loses a great deal through his abusiveness. He loses the potential for genuine intimacy in his relationship, for example, and his capacity for compassion and empathy. But these are often not things that he values, so he may not feel their absence.)


More later about the "good periods" and how he uses them.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:07 PM
From Helen87:
CC, I answered you on Snod's Reality thread. Glad to see you got it. Here's why an abusive man would marry. The book also talks about how the good periods occur less frequently over time and how the tension building phase can meld into passive aggressive behavior.

Here's more from Lundy Bancroft, WHY DOES HE DO THAT? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

When an abusive man is being charming at the beginning of a relationship, is he already thinking ahead to abusing the woman? Does he have it all planned out? Is he deliberately hooking her emotionally so he can be cruel to her later? The answer is generally no. The abuser doesn't picture himself yelling, degrading her, or hurling objects at her. As he falls in love, he dreams of a happy future of conjugal bliss, just as the woman does.

So, if he isn't laying plans to hurt her, what is going on in his mind? First, he is gazing longingly at the image he holds of the future, where the woman meets all of his needs, is beautiful and sexy at all times of the day and night, has no needs of her own, and is in awe of his brilliance and charm. He desires a woman who will cater to him and never complain about anything he does or darken his day with frustrations or unhappiness about her own life.

The abusive man doesn't expose these self-focused fantasies to his new partner. In fact, he is largely unaware of them himself. So she has no way of knowing that he is looking more for a personal caretaker than for a partner.

He may truly believe his own promises, because he wants to see himself as a generous and thoughtful partner, one who does not use or disrespect women. Later, when he begins to control the woman and take advantage of her, he will find ways to convince himself that it's not happening or that it is her fault. Abuse is not his goal, but control is, and he finds himself using abuse to gain the control he feels he has a right to. On the other hand, a certain number of my clients are consciously manipulative from the outset....He creates the kind of relationship he wants through charm and dishonesty and expects to continue in that mode for good. Manipulation feels clean and satisfying to this style of abuser, while degrading language and physical intimidation do not. He doesn't consider manipulation abusive. An abuser is a human being, not an evil monster, but he has a profoundly complex and destructive problem that should not be underestimated. An abuser's behavior is primarily conscious--He acts deliberately rather than by accident or by losing control of himself--but the underlying thinking that drives his behavior is largely not conscious.

The abusive man's cycles: The tension building phase (during this phase, your partner is collecting negative points about you and squirreling them away for safekeeping. An abuser nurtures grievances. An abuser falls into a routine of walking around dwelling on his partner's purported faults. Since he considers you responsible for fixing everything for him, he logically chooses you as his dumping ground for all of life's normal frustrations and disappointments), the eruption, the hearts and flowers stage.

The good periods function as part of his pattern:

--His spurts of kindness and generosity help him to feel good about himself. He can persuade himself that you are the one who is messed up, "because look at me, I'm a great guy."

--You gradually feel warmer and more trusting toward him. The good periods are critical to hooking you back into the relationship, especially if he doesn't have another way to keep you from leaving, such as financial control or the threat of taking the children.

--While you are feeling more trusting, you expose more of your true feelings about different issues in your life and you show him more caring, which creates vulnerability that he can use later to control you.

--He uses the good periods to shape his public image, making it harder for you to get people to believe that he's abusive.

Being kind and loving usually blends back into more overt abuse. I recognize how painful and frightening it can be for an abused woman to accept this reality, because those times of kindness, and the hope that comes with them, can feel like all you have left to hold on to, given how much he has taken away from you. But illusions of change also keep you trapped and can increase your feelings of helplessness or disappointment when he returns to his old ways. Real change looks very different from a typical good period
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:08 PM
From Helen87:

From MEN ON DIVORCE, The Other Side of the Story, ed. by Penny Kaganoff and Susan Spano. 15 stories from male writers.

Excerpts from "Getting the Point" by Ted Sototaroff:

Most marriages do not separate equally.

I've been through three separations, and each time I appeared to have the long end of the stick. My wife was left in the dismembered household with the troubled child or children, while I went forth to my new flat and free time. She had a new and difficult life to put together, while I went on, more or less, with the one I had been leading when I was away at my office or working in my study, which was most of the time. She had to make do on a reduced income, while I had only to provide my share and could moonlight more easily than before. She had to deal with the isolation of the single woman while I had only to pick up the phone to become an available man. Each breakup was a shattering experience, but the evening after I moved out, there I was, forlorn but high and dry, arranging my books the way I wanted them, cooking a favorite dish, an evening of undistracted contemplation of the irrevocable before me. It's as though after a serious car crash, my wife remained inside to extricate herself and the kids from the wreckage, while I opened the only working door and went off to recuperate, promising to send money, phone the kids, and stop by on the weekend to take them off her hands.

Along with typically having easier circumstances to contend with, the husband of a failed marriage is likely to suffer the failure less intensely. Traditionally, the man provides for the family while the woman maintains it, and though these roles are no longer as clear-cut, they haven't been canceled. The woman generally puts more of herself into the marriage and sacrifices more of herself in holding it together. The chances are that the man is the one who has been straying, or if both are unfaithful, he is the one who started it, his biology as well as his buddies prompting him to do so, society winking at his roving moves and saying that's the way the cookie crumbles. So, while the wife still has two feet on the platform, he already has one foot on the train and the breakup places him on his own two feet and on the move, feeling ten years younger--except when the kids visit: Fathering after divorce is a whole other subject that I don't want to go into here.

There is also his work. Most men do better at work than they do at home because they have to be more grown-up there---more temperate, responsible, dedicated, focused, sensible. The blowups and sulks that the man of the house visits upon his wife and kids he spares his colleague and assistant. If he listens carefully when he loses his head, he can usually hear the voice of his own dominant parent that he is parroting. Also his work habits are built on a later, less vulnerable stage of the self than his family ones...

Getting on with it, putting the problem behind you, is what men are trained to do....Comebacks are the heroic form of competitiveness, and competitiveness is what masculinity is supposed to be about.

All of which painfully comes back to mind when I think of my behavior in the aftermath of each separation, and all of it adds up to a great big error of good sense and feeling. When a marriage that is meaningful ends, it is not like a lost tennis match or business setback; it is more like the death of someone once loved whom you have been a party to doing in through betrayal, negligence, selfishness, stupidity, or whatever mode or modes of malfeasance and malpractice you committed your share of. What is needed is not to just do something but to sit there with the guilt and grief--to mourn and learn and begin to atone...
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:09 PM
Another book from Helen87:

But today I have spent my day with most pleasurably reading Michele's FIRE YOUR SHRINK! Do-It-Yourself Strategies for Changing Your Life and Everyone In It. 1995. Simon & Schuster. A pleasure because I finally got to read her in English, not in translation. A pleasure because when I find an author I like, I enjoy reading the books and seeing the development. A pleasure because when I was stuck in the boonies and alone with my problems, it was this BB that was a lifeline, a major resource. And a pleasure because so much of what she says in it is applicable to my situation. The biggest is The Solution is Within.

"Believe it or not, the solution for which you ar searching is within you. I realize you may not believe this right now. You may feel that you haven't a clue as to what to do. But I guarantee that, on some level, you know a great deal more about how to take control of your life than you think you do. In fact, after years of working with people plagued by all kinds of problems, I can comfortably say that the only experts on people's lives are themselves. They just don't know it."

That and keeping your feet moving. "No matter what they are seeing, thinking, feeling, or hearing, they must keep their feet moving. As long as they keep their feet moving, they will get to the other side." "The more inactive a depressed person is, the less likely he will get out and do something, and the more depressed he will be about his inertia. The antidote to these vicious cycles is to step out of them by doing what you know you should even though you may not feel like it."

Feet, Don't Fail Me Now...What you've been doing is not different enough from your "more of the same."

"Approaches that usually do not work"

The unsolicited lecture
-lectures and advice (especially when given 'for your own good')
-encouragement ("Why don't you just try to...')
-begging/pleading/trying to justify your position
-appeals to logic or common sense
-pamphlets/newspaper articles strategically left lying around or read out loud
-=the silent, long-suffering "look at how patiently and bravely I am not saying anything" approach

Taking the high moral ground by beginning your arguments with
-"If you really love me...."
-Anyone with sense..."
-"After all I've done..."
-"Look how ill/desperate/depressed I've made myself by worrying about..."

-continually operating to keep peace
-constantly "walking on eggshells" in order not to upset or anger others
-constantly putting the happiness of others before your own
-protecting others from the consequences of their actions
-putting your own life permanently on hold while you wait for other people to change

A word to the wise: if any of these approaches seems vaguely familiar to you, it's time to switch gears.

"Take it from me, unless you are the one who is motivated to change, you will probably not be successful. You--not your spouse, friend, parent or therapist--have to decide it is worth the effort to make things different. The decision to change comes from within. If you come to realize that the person most concerned about your situation is someone other than you, politely thank that person for his or her concern and explain that you are working on accepting yourself exactly as you are."

"Expect Success."

"Believe in yourself; do more of what works and less of what doesn't; and don't analyze problems to death."

That last one is still on my personal list, darn it! And probably will be until things in my life get more automatic, routine.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:10 PM
From Snodderly:

Here are a couple of new books that I have just completed and I highly recommend them. The first one is entitled "Silent Sons" by Dr. Robert J. Ackerman. It is a book for and about men. A man's manual, a handbook on masculine health, sanity and soul It is a must read for men and the women who love them. The second book is entitled "The Half-Empty Heart" by Alan Downs, Ph.D. It is a supportive guide to breaking free from chronic discontent. Both books are about how children are stunted at an early age and how they stuff their feelings, etc. At some point in their lives, they will explode or could just withdraw completely from what they have detached from, be it a job, person, marriage, etc. Both books are easy to read and not very thick. They are a must if you want to understand about the childhood issues and how they play out with depression and mlc. I rated both A++.

The number one book for all newbies is the book entitled "Understanding the Mid-Life Crisis" by Peter O'Connor. The James Conway book on the Mid-Life Crisis is a nice start, but it doesn't tell you enough about what the mlcer is actually thinking/feeling. The O'Connor book is a very "deep" book that will bring your emotional side to the forefront as you read it. It deserves an A++++.

Many people have asked about books written by women on MLC. I just finished reading two extremely good books written by women. The first book was recommended by Sting and it is entitled, "When The Heart Waits" by Sue Monk Kidd. Ms. Kidd described her spiritual journey through her crisis in a very easy to read writing style. She used the analogy of the cocoon and the butterfly and I truly believe it will help many of you to understand the transformation of your spouse from the person you knew to the person that he/she is now and will be once they exit the cocoon. The second book is entitled, "My Time. Making The Most Of The Rest Of Your Life" by Abigail Trafford. She has interviewed a number of people who have gone through or are going through a crisis. She is also the author of "Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building A New Life". Both of these books are worth the time it takes to read them.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 06:13 PM
By ottocat:

Anyhow - I have another book to recommend: "The Emotional Incest Syndrome - What to do when a Parent's Love Rules Your Life" by Dr Patricia Love. I have gotten a lot of great info out of it - and feel it's another must read. I know that emotional incest went on in my H's family - and I think this would be common in many other MLC'ers families too!
Posted By: MrBond Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 10:16 PM
A great one to help change the WAS's negative opinion of you back into positive. Like Jedi Mindtricks:

"How to Change Anybody" Dr. David J. Lieberman

Also very insightful and straightforward:

"Ten Stupid Things Couples Do To Mess Up Their Relationships" Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: Suggested Books - 03/29/10 11:56 PM
Recommended reading(listed in order) follow links to amazon:

The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage by Michele Weiner Davis

The Four Agreements Toltec Wisdom Collection: 3-Book Boxed Set by don Miguel Ruiz

Boundaries by Cloud

Radical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle, 2nd Edition by Colin C. Tipping

Hold on to Your NUTs: The Relationship Manual for Men by Wayne M. Levine

Keeping The Love You Find: A Guide for Singles by Ph.D. Harville Hendrix

The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley Jr.

Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding...hirley P. Glass

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus:...ex by John Gray

Teach Yourself Flirting ( Book + Audio CD) by van Rood Sam
Posted By: trytryagain Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 12:20 AM
i'm reading one now i really like by gabriel cohen. it's called "storms don't hurt the sky" and it's a buddhist approach to dealing with divorce. the author talks about dealing with his anger, despair and depression after his wife walked out and never came back by trying to change his perspective and take a new approach to hurt.

it's been a very good read so far and is really challenging me to open my mind a little further and possibly accept my situation for what it is without carrying the feelings of anger and hurt in my heart.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 02:15 AM
Gosh, this is all awesome. Going to take some work to organize an evolving list. Keep them coming!!!
Posted By: chatterbug Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 02:49 AM
I am a little disappointed that this self help book is not one there
Could be important
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:03 AM
hahahaha! I like! The Zombie Survival Guide....Could see how it could apply in a weird obtuse way. Esp., the section on Weapons and Combat Techniques! A lesser used alternative to DBing tactics. Much needed at times-lol.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:17 PM
I read these before the bomb:

98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

They have some good insight into surviving. I am sure some of the concepts could be applied to D.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:24 PM
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:27 PM
From Vineland in the MLC archives:

I highly recommend that if you can get the book from Peter O'Connor, Understanding the Mid-Life Crisis, that you get it and read it. It gives you a much deeper understanding of what they are going through.

There is also a part in there that give a deeper understanding of what a woman goes through when she goes into it. I can tell you this, it totally explained everything that I was feeling and exactly what I was going through when I was in mine.

You may think that people understand what they are going through as they are going through it, but they do not. You have no clue as to what you are dealing with or why you are having the feelings that you are having. After reading this book, I understand everything that I was going through. It helped me to realize that it was a normal process that everyone goes through. It cleared things up that for a very long time I didn't understand and felt guilty for. When you understand exactly what it is that you are going through and you realize that it is a part of life, you do not feel so guilty.

Yes, you feel guilty for some of the decisions that you made, but you do not feel guilty for going through something that is a very normal part of life. You do realize that there are others out there that are going through the same thing and you find comfort in that.

Please take the time to find the book and read the information that is in there. It will give you a better understanding of what the other person is going through.

Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:28 PM
From Snodderly:

Also, I just finished reading a book entitled "The Wisdom of Menopause--Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change", written by Christiane Northrup, M.D. This is an excellent book for both women and men to read. Dr. Northrup described her changes, not only w/her body but her emotional well being as well. I think it's a book that will give you some insight as to what your mlcer may be thinking along the lines of the emotional health. I spotted a number of "emotional" issues that surfaced in my little squirrel way back when. I rated this book a A+++.

Men, don't be shy about reading this book. It may help you better understand what your spouses are going through, especially if they are of the age where menopause may be beginning for them.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:32 PM
From Vinlad:

It is called Wild at Heart Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul. This is about a man's spiritual journey, but it is so informative for women as well. It also helps you to understand the spiritual side of the journey of MLC that we all go through. I highly recommend this book for anyone to read.

From HappyCanuck:

One book that I found very beneficial for my own journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth is "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama. It isn't a religious book as such (in that it doesn't get into doctrine and practice), it deals more with the state of happiness and how to find it inside yourself and around you. It has been a good friend to me at times during my ongoing crisis.


It's "When Good Men Behave Badly" by David Wexler. I highly recommend it for all of us wives who wonder how we became the enemy. For men (whether in MLC or not), there's some good tips for understanding your own feelings and

Very simply written with examples taken from popular movies and books, it's easy to follow the Wexler's theory. Much of the book could apply to women too, although the forces at work on our self-esteem are somewhat different.
There are tips for using Wexler's theories to work out
relationship problems and tips for helping your man or boy(s) to be the good guys you know they can be.

I felt better after reading this, like I'd finally gotten a handle on the "why" of my marital breakup after three years of abandonment and very little contact from walkaway H.
Vee - I hope you, in particular, will read this.

From Kazzieb:
Bump and to add a fantastic book that has really helped me to no end:
The Tender Heart...conquering your insecurity...by Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D
ISBN 0-684-87167-X
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 03:32 PM
From Snodderly:
For all of you who are reading this thread, I strongly urge you to purchase the book entitled "THE SCRIPT--The 100% Absolutely Predictable Things Men Do When They Cheat".

I just finished reading this book and 99% of the predictable behaviors that we have discussed on this forum are in this small, compact book. It's a shame that this book wasn't around 6+ years ago, it would have been an eye opener to many of us who are now divorced and for those who are still struggling w/the mlcers.

Here are just a few words from the very last page that are very interesting... "That is why the sad, amazing, and absurd last line of the Script is, This Is Not the Way I Planned it." This particular line has spewed forth more times than not from the walk away spouse because once the fantasy is over, or you stand up for yourself, they realize too late that the grass really isn't greener over on the other side.

The book is written by two women who were divorced a long time ago and have listened to other men who have cheated on their wives. Their names are Elzabeth Landers and Vicky Mainzer. In fact, this book was just mentioned on Tuesday on the Oprah show when she was interviewing 7 men who had cheated on their wives.

Please, read this book. It will help you w/all of the one liners that your mlcers are spouting, their behaviors, the other women and yes, their promises of taking care of you when they walk out the door. I promise you, you won't be disappointed that you took the time to get this book and read it
Posted By: BobbiJo Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 07:17 PM
A book that I called "life changing" when I read it, is "Boundaries In Marriage" by Cloud and Townsend.

Even though I read this after my husband had already had an affair and moved out, it was still amazing. Reading how things ought to be in a marriage helped me identify and own the places where I needed to grow as a wife, where I had come up short. Not that this excused my husband's actions, but it helped me identify my part in the problems of our marriage. And if/when I ever decide I want to be married again, I will reread it to remind myself how to do things better/differently...

It also helped me see from an outside/impartial perspective how the things my husband had done/was still doing were not acceptable. That I had a right to expect/want more and better things. Hard to explain but it was an amazing book and I will apply its principles in a ny relationship I have from here on out...

My other, lighter favorite was a tag team combo of "He's Just Not That Into You" and "It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken". Both written by Behrent. The first I read while we were separated and H was claiming that he was "trying to figure out how to fix things" and "wanted to reconcile but didn't know how".... It helped me to see that his actions were not those of a man who was "into" me and wanted me in his life.

The second I read while we were actually going through the divorce process and I was having a mental battle, not wanting to actually get divorced but knowing I didn't really have the choice anymore. It helps to identify what is wrong in the relationship and why we shouldn't go running back and trying to hold onto something unhealthy for us!
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/30/10 11:06 PM
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 03/31/10 07:36 PM
Posted By: DiamondGirl Re: Suggested Books - 03/31/10 07:37 PM
Here's my contribution to the list:

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler

Very helpful in reading the person you are talking to's signs of discomfort etc when talking whether it be personal or business related. Lots of good info in it IMHO
Posted By: Kalni Re: Suggested Books - 03/31/10 08:40 PM
How to improve your M without talking about it by Stosny and Love, a great book together with Passionate Marriage (which in my head has little to do with sex, it discuss sex as an "extension" of deepr issues, gives a GREAT explanation of detachement and healthy attachement IMO) probably the BEST books I have read.
Posted By: Ken62 Re: Suggested Books - 03/31/10 08:59 PM
My WAW is currently reading "Listening to Midlife - Turning Your Crisis into a Quest" by Mark Gerzon.

Has anyone read this book or know anything about it and how it would be perceived by a WAS/MLC?


Posted By: givingitmyall Re: Suggested Books - 03/31/10 09:06 PM
Haven't read every post on this thread, but it if it hasn't been added,

"Learned Optimism" by Martin Seligman.
Posted By: tristan Re: Suggested Books - 03/31/10 09:11 PM
"Emotional Intelligence" - Daniel Goleman
It doesn't discuss marriage or even relationships. But it does go into the science behind emotions. Having read this book helped me understand my emotions through my whole ordeal. An understanding that was greatly helpful when I was trying to control them.
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 04/09/10 12:52 PM
Hi Ken,
Sorry I haven't heard of it. Are there any user reviews on Amazon?

I am buying those books based on your advice....
Posted By: june72 Re: Suggested Books - 04/13/10 06:02 PM
I swear someday I will have time to list these books into a neat list
Posted By: pandora Re: Suggested Books - 05/31/10 02:16 AM
second to Kalni's suggestion of "How to improve your marriage without talking about it"

amazing, eye opening and interestingly enough, i mentioned it to DB coach and she said that book changed her life too.

when both parties are willing to put effort in...7 principles to making marriage work by John Gottman.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: Suggested Books - 06/12/10 04:44 AM
This is a great book to read:

"Anger" by William DeFoore

If you don't feel like reading the whole book, read page 8.
Posted By: job Re: Suggested Books - 11/30/20 09:29 PM

Here is a thread that was started many years ago with suggested reading material for posters on the Newcomers Forum. If you have book recommendations and would like to share them w/posters, by all means let's continue adding the recommendations here.
Posted By: ovrrnbw Re: Suggested Books - 06/25/21 03:10 PM
I am adding the Four Agreements.

It is a very easy read and I think in a way it reminded me of the Stoic teachings, just from a different angle.
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