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The Good Divorce Paperback – May 1 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060926341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060926342
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Expect a big promotional effort on this book, which argues that sometimes divorce isn't so bad for the children-if you follow a few simple rules.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Nothing is likely to make divorce pleasant or easy, but Ahrons' landmark longitudinal study of randomly selected postdivorce families offers hope that splitting spouses may be able to handle their breakup in a way that will permit both "adults and children [to] emerge at least as emotionally well as they were before the divorce." Ahrons blends insights from her own research and a cross-national European study as well as 25 years as a therapist to dispel myths, establish useful typologies, articulate the challenges divorcing spouses face, and suggest steps to make a "good divorce" more likely. Central to Ahrons' analysis is the recognition that what she calls "binuclear families" are now more common in the United States (and some other industrialized nations) than the traditional two-adults-with-children model. In either of these structures, "the psychological health of the children depends hugely on the way the spouses--or exspouses [sic]--get along." Though "family values" fundamentalists will object to the idea that "binuclear families" can ever be normal and healthy, The Good Divorce offers advice and explanations to troubled couples for whom "staying together for the sake of the children" is not a healthy or viable option. Mary Carroll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I caught my wife in an affair. She filed for divorce. I convinced her to try therapy and we saw a therapist. Before the therapist even met with me alone, she recommended my wife read this book. I found it at home and read it. I was outraged because the book was complete trash. I totally agree with some other readers that the book offers nothing except relief from guilt for breaking up a marriage and family; and that the author's purpose for writing the book was to justify her own actions in leaving her husband and hurting her daughter in the process. Read her daughter's school essay near the end of the book where she states something like "I wouldn't wish divorce on any family, but I can see where I have grown in some ways because of it." The author actually interprets that as her daughter saying, "Mom, it's OK. Yes, I suffered from your leaving Dad, but boy-howdy did it make me a stronger person. Gee, thanks, Mom! You did the right thing!" The author falls back on Darwin-inspired ideas like this (I'll paraphrase): "Society has changed, and marriage has adapted to survive these changes. Before we had the nuclear family, now marriage has evolved to the binuclear family." She thinks that by giving divorce a fancy scientific-sounding label like "binuclear family" that it gains legitimacy. You know, if my wife (now ex-wife) had not been able to surround herself with two or three so-called friends who were divorce proponents, and this lousy book, we might have had a fighting chance of reconciling our marriage. And my children, our extended families (both sides), and I wouldn't be hurting so terribly now. I can't blame everything on this book, obviously, but it was certainly not helpful, and probably harmful.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book in the esteemed Bank Street educational bookstore in Manhattan and it became the first ray of hope during the dark early months of separation. My coparent and I started experiencing our disentangling as an organic shift in our ONGOING relationship, and expressing our continued commitment to each other in affirmative and reaffirming terms. This allowed us to give our son the language and story-telling he needed to feel has HAS a family -- it's simply a differently shaped one. In the intervening two years, our friendship as coparents has continued to thrive as we began tentative steps into new relationships, and as we set up rules and rituals in two households. Ahrons got us started.
This book explains the sampling issues relevant to debunking Wallenstein. And as a person with an A.B. in anthropology from Harvard, I can tell you that Ahrons sampling methods look pretty good. And her use of positive applicable metaphors to create constructive problem-solving is innovatively brilliant.
This is the nice, smart-peoples' divorce book. Forward-looking. Our family relationships today ARE (societally-speaking) often "differently shaped." Ahrons helps us start to deal with that and grow from that base. For our childrens' sake AND our own. Families where one person is dying don't work.
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By A Customer on July 24 2000
Format: Paperback
Rather than a guide to keeping your family together if you must divorce, the author seems to want to justify divorce. Worse than that it is unsuccessful in justifying divorce. It cites a lot of studies without providing any supporting details to make those studies come to life. Her examples are many times truly unconventional or she falls back on movies such as "War of the Roses," as an example of how futile revenge is. The author seems to be trying to justify her own divorce 35 years ago, by letting us know how our society and culture have change since the first half of the twientieth century. Who cares about her divorce, she isn't even a good writer. As she rambles on and on through one chapter after another, there is always hope that the next chapter will provide insight to the divorce emotions, situation and process. Admittedly I gave up somewhere around the middle of the book, when I became convinced that a worthwhile chapter probably was not in this book. The good news is that there are a lot of books on divorce that are well written and offer real insight, and I believe good and practical advice.
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By A Customer on June 19 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very comforting, helpful and intelligent. Of course, a happy marriage and family is what everyone whats. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your marriage is unhealthy for your entire family. A major theme in the book is that you and your exspouse will always be part of a family if you have children. That you are connected through and because of your children. This book shows that it is possible to create a healthy family in which the parents do not live together. The research done, shows that your children do not have to be damaged by divorce. It shows how sucessful families have created this in their lives. Divorce is not what people expect when they get married and have children, but if it is the only option to creating a happy, peaceful home, it is good to know that your children don't have to be damaged if you take the proper steps. I highly recommend it if you have children.
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Format: Paperback
Contrary to the statements of one reviewer, this book is not an advocate for divorce, nor is it possible for a book like this to cause a divorce. It does not offer an "easy way out." This is a book for those whose marriages are ending or that are over. And sometimes divorce is a fact of life and people should not stay married at all cost. We only get to live once and we all deserve to be happy. What this book does in a very concrete way is offer hope, but also tools, to help prevent the negative impacts of divorce on families, spouses and children, and to show us how we can still be supportive and cooperative parents and friends, without being married, to the ultimate benefit of everyone involved. It's inspiring.
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