The Way They Were: Dealing with Your Parents' Divorce After a Lifetime of Marriage

Brooke Lea Foster, Author, Ian Birky, Foreword by . Three Rivers $14.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-4000-8210-0

Whatever we believe about the effects of divorce on young children, we often assume "parental divorce won't hurt an adult child." Foster, a writer for the Washingtonian and a member of the "lost-nest generation," couldn't disagree more strongly. Adult children of divorce often end up being their parents' caretakers, she says, forced to listen to details they'd have been spared if they were younger. Now Mom's crying about Dad's slutty girlfriend, Dad's trying to figure out why Mom's not satisfied anymore and each parent is busy lobbying for sympathy or assistance. Adult children may even be made to feel guilty that their parents stayed together so unhappily for so many years, just for their sakes. With much empathy and little jargon (she's talked to therapists but she's not one herself), Foster discusses the process of adjusting to parental divorce, detailing the challenges of each stage—how to set boundaries on parental ranting, quit trying to make everyone happy, deal with the inevitable stepparent, etc.—with a summary of main points at each chapter's end. Given the paucity of books on this subject, Foster's helpful, down-to-earth approach should result in solid sales. (On sale Jan. 24)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 160 pages - 978-0-307-42246-0
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