Self-Help Books

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I LOVE books.  I enjoy the fact that fictional books transport me to another world.  As in away from my sometimes painful world.  There were some rough times (like 2008-2009) when I was in so much pain that I was unable to distance myself from the problems that I was facing.  Watching television, listening to music, or reading fictional books sparked painful memories and I couldn’t face it.  In those times, I found comfort in reading self-help books about whatever situation I was facing.  They helped me understand, analyze my feelings, and make a plan to recover from the pain.  Sometimes they offered a morsel of information that allowed me to breath a momentary sigh of relief that “I’m okay.  This too shall pass.  I am not crazy.”

I want to share these books, in case you are walking down that path of darkness.  I hope they help to shed some light on your situation.  Or at least let you see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Infidelity, Abuse, and Divorce

I spent many years trying to understand what was going wrong in my marriage.  Why wasn’t I good enough?  Why couldn’t I make him happy?  Why was I so weak?  These books helped me understand the lack of control I had over my life.  During my separation and divorce, the last two books were read and re-read, underlined, highlighted, and tear-smudged.

  • Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Controlling and Angry Men by Lundy Bancroft
  • When Your Lover is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal by Susan Forward
  • The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick J. Carnes
  • Surviving Separation and Divorce by Loriann Hoff Oberlin
  • Surviving Infidelity:  Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain by Robin B. Subotnik and Gloria Harris

Addiction and Codependency

My Ex struggles with addiction.  First, it manifested itself in gambling, then it changed to drinking.  Here are books that deal with those topics, as well as my struggle with Codependency.

  • Behind the 8-Ball: A Recovery Guide for the Families of Gamblers by Linda Berman and Mary Ann Siegal
  • The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage by Al Anon Family Group Head Inc
  • Getting Them Sober by Toby Rice Drews
  • Codependent No More:  How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

I have no doubt that there were MANY more that shed light on this painful situation or that one.  And I have no doubt that I will hit a few more bumps in the road that will lead me to revisit the self-help section of the bookstore.  (In fact, I should probably add a section for Raising Teenage Boys and jump in my car to head to the bookstore RIGHT NOW.)  As I find new books, I will continue to add them.  And feel free to email me with suggestions!