This is the book that really changed everything for me. It's the foundation of the kind of couples therapy my ex and I participated in for over three years, and while it didn't save our marriage, it did save our divorce. This book should be required reading for everyone getting married, already married, or getting divorced. Wanna take your communication to a whole other level? This is the book to show you how.
"Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., in partnership with his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD., originated Imago Relationship Therapy, a unique healing process for couples, prospective couples, and parents. Together they have more than thirty years’ experience as educators and therapists and their work has been translated into more than 50 languages, with Imago practiced by two thousand therapists worldwide." (Amazon)
I love this book for its exercises and frank advice about how to move forward from a breakup. Some of this advice doesn't pertain to divorcing parents, such as instituting a no-contact policy, but I use and adapt many of these exercises with my clients today.
"A proven plan for overcoming the painful end of any romantic relationship, including divorce, with practical strategies for healing, getting your confidence back, and finding true love." (Amazon)
John Gottman is the Godfather of relationship coaching, couple's therapy, and marital counseling. He is the first person to scientifically study couples in his Seattle-based "Love Lab," and based on his research he can accurately predict the demise of a marriage with 93% accuracy within minutes of meeting them. Much of my relationship coaching training is based on Gottman's work. Whether you're staying married or getting a divorce, this book is invaluable!
"Gottman offers strategies and resources to help couples collaborate more effectively to resolve any problem, whether dealing with issues related to sex, money, religion, work, family, or anything else." (Amazon)
This movie is staggeringly uncomfortable to watch, and yet vitally necessary. It uncovers how the litigation system and the family court system don't always prioritize the best interests of children, while also revealing the basis for my assertion that making the biggest financial and legal decisions in the midst of the biggest emotional upheaval of your life can set you up to be a victim of a system that would like to take you for everything you're worth.
I strongly recommend watching this before entering into the litigation system.
"A shocking exposé of the inner workings of the $50 billion a year U.S. family law industry, Divorce Corp shines a bright light on the appalling waste, and shameless collusive practices seen daily in family courts. It is a stunning documentary film that anyone considering marriage or divorce must see." (DivorceCorp.com)
Ever wonder if your relationship is really doomed or not? Well, according to Gottman, these four communication styles can signify the end. Are they present in your marriage? If so, there may be little hope for saving it. (Note: we had three out of four in my marriage...)
"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. They describe conquest, war, hunger, and death respectively. We use this metaphor to describe communication styles that, according to our research, can predict the end of a relationship..."
Why Time is a Feminist Issue is one of the most breathtaking, validating, life-affirming articles you can ever read. If you're a working mom trying to "have it all," please stop everything you're doing and read this. Now.
"Let me tell you what I did when a time-use expert told me I had 30 hours of leisure time every week: I stopped breathing. I sat in my chair, phone to my ear, jaw open, and utterly frozen in disbelief.
Because this is what my life was like: two kids, and a whole load of guilt that, as a working mother, I wasn't with them every minute of the day, twirling red and black mobiles to make their baby brain neurons grow and feeding them organic spinach lovingly grown in the backyard. (I had weeds and gravel.) A demanding job trying to keep up with a bunch of crazy workaholics and never measuring up – one boss liked to say the best workers were always in the office until 9 and 10 at night. (Never mind that half of them were fried and playing solitaire.) And husband that I had to keep reminding myself that I loved even as I burned with low-level resentment when I did the laundry, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the child care drop offs, the dry cleaning, the bills, the pediatrician appointments, the summer camp planning …"
This simple, yet astounding comic is the best way ever to explain to your husband why saying, "You should've asked" simply shifts more of the burden onto women's already exhausted shoulders. Show this to your husband. He might finally get it.
"Parenthood is a partnership, but sometimes it can be a bit uneven. As many working moms will tell you, some husbands often don't do their fair share or need to be directed to do certain chores. Which leaves moms responsible for not only their half of parenting and household duties, but also organizing, reminding and planning everything else. This burden is called the "mental load," and is very familiar to many moms around the world." (Working Mother)
Science has proven that while men think they do equal work in the house, women actually do more (shocker, I know). Real Simple has created a chore audit so you and your hubs can sit down and actually collaborate together on what needs to get done, and who should/could do what. You take this audit separately and then come back together to figure stuff out. Kinda genius, right?
"It’s safe to say that most people want a clean, organized, functional, and harmonious home—but the road to getting and keeping it that way can be rocky, especially if you share your home with, uh, pretty much anyone. That’s because running a home takes work (cleaning, cooking, shopping, scheduling), and we all have different ideas about which chores need to be done, how they should be done, and how often they should be done." (Real Simple)
About a month ago someone in a Facebook group I’m in mentioned that there was a three-podcast series by another member of our group that had completely shifted everything in her life.
That’s a really bold statement, so at first I rolled my eyes and started to scroll on by. But then I saw the title of the series: Patriarchy Stress Disorder. And I’ll tell you the minute I read those words, everything changed for me too. I didn’t know what they meant, but I knew exactly what they meant.
I recently had Dr. Valerie on my podcast, but I think you should start with her free training so you get a real sense of what this is all about.
"There’s a missing link to women’s ultimate happiness and success that no therapist, life coach, spiritual leader, personal growth program, or self-help book talks about. Psychologist, author, and speaker Dr. Valerie Baker uncovers this missing link she calls Patriarchy Stress Disorder™ (PSD)—the trauma of 1000s years of oppression imprinted in our DNA that expresses in a woman's thoughts, behaviors, and choices. Listen to her provocative interviews with successful women and solo episodes on how PSD makes daring greatly a challenge and holds us back as we work hard to lean in, play big, and thrive and how to heal your way to the ultimate success and happiness you desire and deserve." (Dr. Valerie Baker)
There is no greater power than when women gather together in community. We see this over and over again in FB groups, book clubs (we so rarely read the books!), and in our female friendships. Our desire to move to communes together is pretty much universal. None of us are all that mad at the idea of sister wives. This article, "Why Women Need a Tribe," explains why women coming together in community is so vitally important to our overall health and wellbeing.
"In ancient times women shared a lot more than they do today. They shared care of their babies, gathered food and cooked together. The women and the children shared their lives intimately, and were a source of strength and comfort to each other on a daily basis. Traditions like the Red Tent, where women came together during menstruation to be together, often with synchronised cycles, were a beautiful time for nurturing, sharing women’s business and keeping each other resilient and happy.
Today, women are a lot more isolated in their own homes and lives and more separate from each other. The opportunities for coming together are much more limited and the time spent together in this way greatly reduced. Because of this women miss the beautiful healing and nourishment that comes from being with other." (Uplift)