The following are Web Site links and recommended resources with descriptions on the subject of Separation and Divorce. These can help you as you work through your marriage difficulties. We pray they will be of help to you. You may also want to look at the links we make available in the Marriage Counseling topic.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: Web Sites
• Acodtimeforserenity.blogspot.com This Adult Children of Divorce, Time for Serenity blogging web site is put together by a “40 something adult child of divorce who has been married more than 20 years. My parents divorced within the past few years after years of what I thought was family closeness and no sign of what was coming. Within the past few years I have received wonderful help and counsel. So I want to share this with others who are going through a parent’s divorce. I hope we can help each other heal and move forward.”
• ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE: Healing the Pain That Lives On —A Family Life Today broadcast with Dennis Rainey. The guests include Jen Abbas (author of the book “Generation Ex”) and Elizabeth Marquardt (the director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values). The following is a description of the broadcast: “While most people acknowledge the children’s pain during a divorce, few realize that the most significant insecurities, questions, and doubts may not show up for years, when the children seek their our own intimate relationships as adults.” This is a link to the 5 part series on this subject.
• Beforeyoudivorce.org This link leads you to resources that could help you step back from the emotional turmoil you now face to take. It helps you take an objective view of how divorce can affect your life in several different areas. They include: Emotional, Physical, Financial, Legal, Children and family, and Spiritual. It’s essential that you have this information before making your decision. This may be the biggest decision of your life. One that will affect you for years to come. Don’t let the emotional intensity of a marriage crisis drive your decision. Before deciding whether to divorce or stay together, you need information —LOTS of information.
Before You Divorce provides a “reality check” for the divorcing couple. Through videos and a workbook, this marriage crisis intervention tool provides a realistic and stark picture of the impact a decision to divorce will have on each partner and on those around them. It features top experts on marriage and divorce topics from a biblical, Christ-centered perspective.
• Brokenheartonhold.com This is the web site for author Linda Rooks who has a passion to help heal marriages, a passion that is fueled by the hope she and her husband found together when their own marriage was restored after a three-year separation. Linda has a ministry to bring hope and understanding to women (and couples) experiencing crisis in their marriage.
Linda’s book offers hope and encouragement to those in marital crisis by helping them find emotional and spiritual strength to make it to the other side. On her web site you will find helpful articles as well as a number of Bible verses individually formatted so that you can download them to post onto your wall or a prominent place where you can see them regularly to be encouraged.
• Childrenofdivorce.net Adult Children of Divorce Ministries provides resources, which tackle the fears, trust, anger, and other issues that uniquely impact adult children of divorce. Once identified and dealt with, ACD can improve the stability of their relationships and break the generational cycle of divorce.
• Divorceministry4kids.com This is a ministry to equip churches and children’s workers in churches to more effectively and compassionately minister to children of divorce. The Bible tells us that: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” These words, and many like them in the Bible, remind us that God is the ultimate source of healing for the children of divorce, and our churches owe it to these kids to be equipped to minister to them effectively.
• Food for Thought on Separation and Divorce This is a web site page, which is featured on the web site for the Richmond, VA Examiner. Please carefully and prayerfully read what is posted on various thoughts concerning the issue of separation and divorce.
• Marriage 911 God’s Way This is a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides resources for churches, and help, hope, and reconciliation for couples and individuals in crisis —even with an unwilling spouse! Joe and Michelle Williams are the founders and directors. With divorce in their backgrounds prior to becoming Christians, and also having gone through a time of separation in their present marriage, they can relate to most couples whose marriages are in crisis.
Through speaking at national marriage conferences and providing workshops for pastors and leaders of all denominations, Joe and Michelle have been instrumental in helping churches begin marriage reconciliation ministries. They have coauthored the Reconciling God’s Way workbook and a support partner handbook, which you may find to be helpful in your own relationship and/or in your church. They have also authored the book, Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved: 12 Truths for Rescuing Your Relationship (Focus on the Family Books).
• NEW BEGINNING MARRIAGE SEMINAR Family Dynamics Institute provides an intensive seminar for help with marriage problems. This seminar is for those whose marriages have been hurt by affairs or other major issue. Please CLICK HERE for more information.
• Retrouvaille.org (meaning, “rediscovery” and rhymes with apple pie). This is a program for couples with serious problems who are disillusioned, separated and/or on the brink of divorce. You’ll be helped by volunteer couples who have experienced serious problems. These include affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, etc. or who have fallen out of love. But they have worked their way back. They’ll teach you how to fall back in love again, heal your own marriage and make it stronger than ever before. This successful program (85% when both partners work at it) teaches techniques of communication and exercises to work on forgiveness, healing, and restoration of trust.
The program begins with a weekend and includes 12 follow-up meetings over 3 months. These are not spiritual retreats, sensitivity groups, seminars or social gatherings —there are no counselors involved and you don’t have to say anything in front of anyone else. Couples discuss the topics and practice the skills in private. It has a blank envelope-donation system and is open to couples of all faiths and to the non-religious. For those in the USA: to find a program in your area call, 800-470-2230 or you can visit their web site at Retrouvaille.org.
• Savemymarriage.com You can find help and restoration for your marriage through A New Beginning seminar, which was developed by the Family Dynamics Institute, which is a nonprofit organization that works with marriages across the country. They have strategic alliances with therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, researchers, and authors to develop great tools for reviving distressed relationships.
As they say, “We’re not miracle workers, but we’ve seen miracles worked with troubled marriages that appeared to be absolutely beyond repair. Some have called us “The Emergency Room for Couples in Trouble.” Others have called us “911 for Marriage.” We can’t make guarantees, but we know our track record and it’s amazingly good.”
• Thethirdoption.com This is an organization based on reconciliation —a new beginning. Most hurting couples will say they’ve “tried everything” but what they usually mean is they’ve tried the same things over and over. In this group setting you’ll learn new ways to handle old problems. The Third Option isn’t counseling. It’s an educational and support group where you learn and encourage each other along the way. However, they recommend participants seek counseling when appropriate.
The Third Option is a peer ministry and an educational program. It combines: a support group, “sharing” couples and workshops on relationship skills. The Third Option can be both a stepping-stone to counseling and an adjunct to it.
• Time for Thirty Questions This web site is created by a 50-something adult child of divorce. She has been married more than 30 years. Her parents divorced after years of what she thought was family closeness. She saw no sign of what was coming. That is why she began a blog for adult children experiencing this life changing situation. There is hope and healing ahead. Visit Time For Serenity.
• A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage is written by Scott Stanley, Daniel Trathen, Savanna McCain, and Milt Bryan. It is published by Jossey Bass. It’s based on sound research that shows why married couples separate. And then it gives guidance to help them stay together in a loving way. This book gives solid tools couples can use to make their marriage stronger, happier, and lifelong. The techniques in this book are for any couple. This ranges from the newly engaged to long-time married couples who want to solve problems.
• Because I Said Forever: Embracing Hope in an Imperfect Marriage is written by Deb Kalmbach and Heather Kopp, published by Multnomah Publishers. This book is by far one of my (Cindy’s) favorite books on the subject of marriage addressed specifically to women. It’s a compilation of true testimonies on various subjects of marriage lived out by different women who have and are living through some really tough situations and yet God has helped them to live victoriously despite the difficulties.
The reflections you read in this book will help you in your decision to stay in your marriage. But they will also offer you encouragement and help for moving beyond simply enduring a bad marriage. You’ll discover that it is possible to be personally fulfilled even if your marriage is not fulfilling. It is possible to discover joy, to find the support you need, to thrive in your spiritual life and Christian walk, and to turn your challenges into opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.”
• Before A Bad Goodbye: How to Turn Your Marriage Around is written by Dr Tim Clinton, published by Word Publishing. This book is especially for couples at the breaking point, showing that there’s a 3rd choice outside of divorce or a marriage in name only: reconciliation. Dr Clinton is a licensed marriage and family therapist, an ordained minister and president of the American Association of Christian Counseling. This book is excellent if you’re trying to reclaim a love that has nearly slipped through your fingers. It has spiritual encouragements, cognitive tools, and practical behavioral suggestions. It teaches you how to build (or rebuild) a foundation one brick at a time and is “must-reading” for a divorce-minded culture.”
• Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce is written by Elizabeth Marquardt. It is published by Crown Publishers. In this book, Elizabeth answers the question: “Is there really such a thing as a ‘good divorce’? Determined to uncover the truth, Elizabeth Marquardt —herself a child of divorce —conducted, with Professor Norval Glenn, a national study of children of divorce. They surveyed 1,500 young adults from both divorced and intact families. Elizabeth weaves the findings of that study together with powerful stories of the childhoods of young people from divorced families.
When a family breaks in two, children who stay in touch with both parents must travel between two worlds. They try alone to reconcile their parents’ often strikingly different beliefs, values, and ways of living.” This book is “alive with the voices of men and women whose lives were changed by divorce.”
• Breaking the Cycle of Divorce: How Your Marriage Can Succeed Even if Your Parents’ Didn’t is written by John Trent. It is published by Focus on the Family. This book is written on the principle that “when you come from a home of divorce, making your own marriage work can be tougher than average. But, you can stop the cycle. In Breaking the Cycle of Divorce, author John Trent, an adult child of divorce himself, offers encouragement. He also offers insight and tools to equip you to beat the odds. Learn to face your fears, and make realistic changes. Also get the help you need to avoid becoming a negative statistic. You can have a marriage that’s strong. And it can give your own children a solid foundation for happily married lives.”
• Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation is written by Linda Rooks. It is published by Life Journey. This book will help a woman who is separated, who needs a friend to walk beside her on her difficult journey. Broken Heart on Hold is that friend. It will uplift, encourage, and hold her up while offering practical insights. Plus it points her to God. Because it is written by a woman who has gone through the trauma of a separation and the eventual healing of her own marriage, the reader will know she is not alone. This collection of honest, heartfelt messages reaches down into the valleys of a woman’s loneliness. It travels with her through her mental labyrinths. And it sheds light in the dark tunnels where answers seem nonexistent. It provides the emotional and spiritual strength to help a woman sort through her confusion.
• Hope For the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed is written by Gary Chapman. It is published by Moody Press. If you’re separated, you may not feel like reconciling. You may not see hope for a reunion. But through small, simple steps, Dr. Chapman shows that you may be able to achieve reconciliation with your mate. He deals with the question of dating while separated. Also he deals with how to relate to your children during this time. Plus he gives ways to improve communication. Assignments are given to encourage growth both as individuals and as a couple. It’s a practical book for both the separated husband and wife.
• Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis is written by Dr James Dobson. It is published by Multnomah Publishers. In this book, Dr. Dobson offers practical help for the spouse who wants to hold the marriage together. “Dr. Dobson’s premise of tough love, which essentially means defining and maintaining the line of respect around yourself, seems sound and practical. Dobson makes the seemingly radical recommendation that people facing infidelity or other marital crisis of similar proportions precipitate a crisis to bring the situation to a boil.
Dobson’s point is that that boil will very often restore the relationship. Precipitating the crisis shows your mettle, which commands respect and even admiration.” “This book is NO GUARANTEE that you will win your spouse back. But if you don’t do something you will more assuredly lose them anyway. Pray hard and read this book if you want to keep them. Learn to give them space.”
• New Life After Divorce includes: “The Beginning of the End, The Aftershock of Divorce, and The Worst of Both Worlds.” It’s a Family Life Today Broadcast with Dennis Rainey, aired on 9/18/2006. (This is Day One of a 3-day series.) The guests include Bill and Jesse Butterworth. You can choose to read the transcripts of this broadcast and/or listen to it on Real Media or Windows Media.
The following is a description of the broadcast: “On today’s broadcast, award-winning communicator Bill Butterworth and his son, Jesse, talk to Dennis Rainey about the divorce that changed both of their lives forever.”
• Six String Rocketeer: Holding Life Together When Your Parents Split Apart is written by Jesse Butterworth. It is published by WaterBrook Press. In this book, Jesse tells the story of the break up of his parent’s marriage and his home. He tells this with humor, honesty, and heart. He also shows how he figured out what to do with the emotions that come with divorce. This includes anger, hurt, frustration, and loss. Picking up a beat up guitar, Jesse discovered that he could turn his misery into music. He turned his pain into passion —becoming the Six String Rocketeer.
In the process Jesse realized that the wounds that hurt you can become the wounds that heal you. Author Lee Strobel said of this book: “It’s heartbreaking one moment, and laugh-out-loud funny the next. Jesse Butterworth has written a valuable book for anyone whose parents are going through a divorce. Without preaching, he invites readers into his own story of how he coped with his parents’ breakup. He brings much-needed encouragement along the way.”
• SPLIT ASUNDER: Divorce and Remarriage Scripturally Explained This is a free On-Line Book. As the author Craig W. Booth explains, “This is not a self-help book. It is not meant to address individual situations. It is, after all, a book dedicated to understanding doctrine. Doctrines are instructions and teachings, which are extracted from the Word of God through the disciplined reading of passages within their given written contexts. It includes study of the words used in the passages. This places the principles in their proper cultural backgrounds. You are comparing one passage to another for consistency. And you are attempting to understand what the author meant for us to take away from the passage.”
• The Big D; Divorce Thru the Eyes of a Teen Student Workbook This is a workbook that can be used to help a family. It can particularly help teens get through the crisis of divorce. It’s “an interactive curriculum to encourage teens ages 12 – 18. It helps them to deal with their parents separation or divorce. Plus, it gives them the tools to take control of their futures.” The author, Krista Smith, “wrote it after watching her own teens process her divorce. She used many techniques that have proven extremely effective. The program is well crafted and engaging.” (John Dunham – Tools Reviewer)
• The Walk-Out Woman: When Your Heart is Empty and Your Dreams Are Lost is written by Dr Steve Stephens and Alice Gray. It is published by Multnomah. We HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s written for women who need practical and help to breathe new life into their marriages, which may seem hopeless.
As the authors say, “We want to help you understand your husband better. So, we show some ways you can encourage him to listen to your hurts and anger. We help you understand more about yourself as well. Additionally, we talk about realistic and unrealistic expectations. Plus we give you strategies for taking care of yourself. And we give insight into getting connected again with your husband. Also, we help you to resolve conflict, and deal with anger and loss. We help you to remember the good times, and press closer to the Lord.”
• When Love Dies How To Save A Hopeless Marriage is written by Judy Bodmer. It is published by Word Publishing. This is an honest look at one woman’s journey to the edge of divorce. She made a commitment to stay even though she didn’t feel like it. Eventually she rediscovered the love that she thought had died.
Additionally there are the subjects of: I Can’t Forgive or Forget, I Can’t Change the Way I Feel, and I had So Many Dreams. Plus, there are the subjects of: I Don’t Love Him, We Can’t Talk, I Feel So Angry, and I Married the Wrong Man. Other titles are: I Don’t Want Him to Touch Me; I Don’t Feel Loved; and I Just Want to Be Happy.
• Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved: 12 Truths for Rescuing Your Relationship is written by Joe and Michelle Williams. This is a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House. This book is based on the personal experiences that Joe and Michelle have learned. They’re learned what works and what doesn’t in the tough times of marriage. Having experienced several divorces each before becoming Christians (plus a time of separation in their own marriage), Joe and Michelle write with great insight and wisdom. The book includes a Temperament test. Plus they provide a survey to help readers evaluate their marriage. There are also questions for self-evaluation, and group or support-partner discussion questions.