The Good Divorce

The Good Divorce

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by Constance Ahrons
     
 

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The good divorce? Impossible? In this provocative, groundbreaking, and authoritative new book, internationally acclaimed social scientist and family therapist Constance Ahrons defines the good divorce and shows how couples can achieve one. Counteracting the myths that divorce inevitably turns adults into bitter enemies, results in damaged children and broken homes,… See more details below

Overview

The good divorce? Impossible? In this provocative, groundbreaking, and authoritative new book, internationally acclaimed social scientist and family therapist Constance Ahrons defines the good divorce and shows how couples can achieve one. Counteracting the myths that divorce inevitably turns adults into bitter enemies, results in damaged children and broken homes, and rips apart the fabric of society, Dr. Ahrons focuses on what we can learn from those families that maintain family bonds and continue to meet the needs of their children. Drawing on her two decades of landmark research and clinical practice with families of divorce, Dr. Ahrons makes clear that in order to improve the lives of half the families in America, we must remove the stigma of divorce; redefine the divorced family as a "binuclear," rather than a "single parent," family; regard "family values" as the cornerstone to healthy families, whether they are binuclear or nuclear; help parents and children establish new roles, rules, and rituals to support the new family structure; and take advantage of divorce strategies and parenting solutions that help - rather than hinder - healthy development. Dr. Ahrons gives us more than ideas for self-help, she walks us through the lives of families at every stage of divorce to teach us what works and what doesn't. She shows us how to make the most of the families we know we have, rather than dreaming in vain for an unattainable ideal. The Good Divorce serves as a powerful tonic for the millions of couples and parents, whether they are divorcing now or have been divorced for many years, who are tired of hearing only the damage reports. Here is a hopeful, practical book, neither pro-divorce nor anti-marriage, that will change the way we think about divorce and the way we divorce, reconfirming our commitment to children and families.

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Editorial Reviews

Mary Carroll
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060169732
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/01/1994
Pages:
301

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