The Optimist's Guide to Divorce: How to Get Through Your Breakup and Create a New Life You Love

The Optimist's Guide to Divorce: How to Get Through Your Breakup and Create a New Life You Love

by Suzanne Riss, Jill Sockwell


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“Like having a heart-to-heart with a compassionate, no-nonsense best friend. It’s chock-full of wisdom, practical advice, encouragement, and what every woman in the midst of a divorce needs the most: hope.”—Cynthia L. Copeland, author of Good Riddance: An Illustrated Memoir of Divorce

Shortly after their marriages ended, Suzanne Riss and Jill Sockwell realized that the best way through divorce is with the support of other women who understand what it’s like, who know the practical issues as well as the emotional ones, and who can help you keep a sense of hope and a sense of humor.

Brimming with stories and insights, from-the-trenches tips, and sanity-saving takeaways, this girlfriend-to-girlfriend guide prepares you for each phase of divorce, from “the talk,” to figuring our where to live, to co-parenting with an ex, to rebounding and rebooting your life. Covering the process from start to finish, this comforting and uplifting book makes it easy to jump in no matter where you are in your journey. And, even better, to make the choices that will ultimately help you develop a better relationship with the one person you’ll be with for the rest of your life—yourself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761187424
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 12/27/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 395,605
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

SUZANNE RISS is an award-winning writer, former editor in chief of Working Mother magazine, and author of Working Mom Survival Guide. She lives in Maplewood, N.J., with her 11-year-old son

JILL SOCKWELL is a former advertising copywriter, top real estate sales agent, leader of the Maplewood Divorce Club, and lifelong optimist. She lives in Maplewood, N.J., with her 9- and 11-year-old daughters.

Table of Contents

Introduction A Friend in Need vii

Part 1 Deal

Chapter 1 "I Don't" 2

Having the "it's over" talk

When you leave him

When he leaves you

Telling family and friends

Things to do now

Riding the emotional roller coaster

Chapter 2 The Kids: Handle with Care 24

Explaining the separation to your kids

Helping them express their feelings

Easing the transition to two homes

Finding support Take the Parenting Pledge to avoid putting down their dad

Chapter 3 Law & Disorder 43

What you can expect financially

Understanding your divorce options

Dos and don'ts of hiring the right professional help

Popular misconceptions

Custody and child support basics

Chapter 4 Temporary Chaos 61

Making a new budget

Safeguarding your job during the divorce

Careers you can launch in six months or less

Single mom money-savings tips

Leaving room for small miracles

Chapter 5 A Place to Call Home 78

Moving out: Understanding your options

Can you afford to stay in the marital home?

Handling credit problems

Selling your home The difference between alone and lonely

Chapter 6 The Ex Files: Communicating 101 93

Lessons from the trenches

Strategies to keep your cool no matter what

Setting healthy boundaries

Why nobody truly wins a fight

What role does your ex play in your divorce drama?

Chapter 7 Your Ex and the Warm Body Replacement 108

When your ex moves on before your side of the bed is cold Coping with jealousy-even if you left him

Feeling replaced or rejected

Focusing on your new life, not his

Part 2 Heal

Chapter 8 The Golden Key: Acceptance 118

Letting go of how you thought things would turn out

Embracing uncertainty

Forgiving yourself-and him

Finding that after acceptance come energy and light

Chapter 9 It's an Inside Job 129

Learning from your relationship patterns

Being gentle with yourself

What to do differently next time

Why a romantic relationship can't fix everything

Simple steps to healthier relationships

Chapter 10 Finding Peace of Mind 145

Meditating to find calm anytime, anywhere

Dealing with depression

When you need professional help

20 Things that will make you feel good

Cultivating self-reliance

Chapter 11 Your TLC Action Plan 162

Embrace our 3-week plan for a healthier you

Sleep your way to the top

What to eat to improve your mood

Sweat the stress out with exercise

The power of gratitude

Chapter 12 Write Your Own Happy Ending 179

Refraining your divorce story to accentuate the positive

Avoiding the shoulda-coulda-woulda trap

Accepting things as they are

Learning from the past

Exploring new possibilities

Part 3 Reveal

Chapter 13 Guide to Gorgeous 192

Updating your wardrobe from married to single

Fake it till you make it-with makeup

Rebound hair beyond compare

Recognizing that true beauty comes from within

Chapter 14 Happily Ever After … With Yourself 210

Knowing your best qualities

You're complete just as you are Dating yourself

Reasons not to put your life on hold

Goals vs. dreams

Creating a vision board for your future

Chapter 15 Socializing Again the Scarlet 220

Strategies for stepping out solo

Easy conversation starters Getting out of your comfort zone - in heels

Confidence boosters

Navigating the holidays

Creating new traditions

Chapter 16 Drinks & 8 - Time to Oatt 246

Ready-to-date quiz

Prepping your dating profile

Online dating: fakers, felons… and fun prospects

Meeting people IRL (in real life)

Dating dos and don'ts Your next relationship

Chapter 17 Create Your Own Community 262

Launching the Maplewood Divorce Club

Easy steps to start your own club

Guiding principles

Tips for running successful meetings

Paying it forward: friendship and support

Afterword It Got Better 277

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