Books can be a great source of information, advice and comfort. It helps to know you are not alone, weird or going crazy. So here are some books that helped me navigate this “New Normal” I found myself thrust into:
Runaway Husbands – Based on a study of over 400 women worldwide, Runaway Husbands: The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal, is the first book to explore and offer healing strategies to women whose lives have been turned upside down by Wife Abandonment Syndrome. Wife Abandonment Syndrome is a pattern of behavior on the part of a husband who leaves his wife out-of-the-blue from what she believed was a happy marriage. Following his sudden departure, he replaces the caring he’d typically shown her with anger and aggression. He often moves directly in with a girlfriend, leaving his bewildered wife totally devastated. Written by family therapist Vikki Stark who was herself affected by Wife Abandonment Syndrome, Runaway Husbands helps women understand what motivated their loving husbands to turn into uncaring strangers and provides them with the tools they need to move forward and rebuild their lives in new and unexpected ways.
Written by family therapist Vikki Stark, who herself experienced Wife Abandonment Syndrome, and chock full of stories from the women in the study, Runaway Husbands has three main goals:
•Explanations – It helps women understand how a man who appeared to be a loving husband could morph overnight into an uncaring stranger
•Strategies – It provides women with the tools they need to push through the suffering and move forward to rebuild their lives, often in new and unexpected ways.
•Prevention – It will help women who are in happy marriages learn how to safeguard their marriages and recognize warning signs that may indicate trouble.
The focus of Runaway Husbands is on helping women turn the crisis of abandonment into an opportunity for empowerment and growth. Although it describes the difficult experiences of abandoned wives in detail, it also provides tools for recovery and recounts many stories of women who fought their way to a better future.
Lose a Cheater, Gain a Life – Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life is a no-nonsense self-help guide for anyone who has ever been cheated on. Here’s advice not based on saving your relationship after infidelity—but saving your sanity.
When it comes to cheating, a lot of the attention is focused on cheaters—their unmet needs or their challenges with monogamy. But Tracy Schorn (aka Chump Lady) lampoons such blameshifting and puts the focus squarely on the-cheated-upon (chumps) and their needs. Combining solid advice that champions self-respect, along with hilarious cartoons satirizing the pomposity of cheaters, Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life offers a fresh voice for chumps who want (and need) a new message about infidelity. This book will offer advice on Stupid sh*t cheaters say and how to respond, Rookie mistakes of the recently chumped and how to disarm your fears, Why chumps take the blame and how to protect yourself, and more.
Full of snark, sass, and real wisdom about how to bounce back after the gut blow of betrayal, Schorn is the friend who guides you through this nightmare and gives you hope for a better life ahead.
From Charm to Harm – You try to understand how another human being could psychologically terrorize you in the manner that the Narcissist you were with did to you. You loved this person and they SAID they loved you back. They participated in the relationship and it seemed like ‘normal’ reciprocation as far as them loving you back. BUT today you are looking at this relationship and wondering HOW did this turn around in such a hideous manner that you feel so lost, so confused, so broken, and disabled. What did you do wrong, why did this person that you loved unconditionally now seems to hate you and blame you and WHAT IS THE REASON? They have probably moved on very quickly and are with someone new and they are saying that they are in love and it is amazing. They are also saying that they basically had to run from YOU because you were impossible to deal with, or perhaps you have mental health issues, OR you abused them. You feel frozen in time, very vulnerable, and in shock or better yet traumatized from this and you want to dig through all of the layers and understand this so you can move on, BUT YOU JUST CAN’T SEEM TO DO SO.
Family and friends are there to support you but more than likely it is to give you a small pat on the back and say time will heal your wounds, or you HAVE to move on, OR how could you stay in this relationship for as long as you have if it was this bad. When you try to tell your story it is so incredulous that most people seem to be in shock over the allegations that you are proposing about the relationship. In turn you only feel like you are the problem and you blame yourself even more and MAYBE you start to believe that you were the problem just like that Narcissist said.
You feel like your spirit is gone and your whole belief system has been thrown out the door about life. Where do you start, how do you turn off the many negative messages? How do you reclaim your spirt and join life again? Who do you go to for the help that you need and WHY is this taking so long to get over? Every day is a struggle and you want this to stop NOW and you want to move on.
You have heard ‘things’ your Narcissist has said about you to the very people you love in your life and now they may be challenging you or questioning this from the Narcissist’s point of view. You are defending yourself when you shouldn’t have to. Again you are feeling you are the problem here and all of this has become insurmountable.
Well I totally believe you, I totally understand what you are going through and I am going to explain this abuse in a manner to educate you, as well as help you embrace this in a manner to achieve closure on your own. I am going to try to explain as much of this as I possibly can to help you get through this and achieve that “Ah Ha’ moment where you do ‘GET THIS’. I am going to do this in a manner that goes beyond the clinical definitions and put it out there in a raw manner with real definitions and explanations from the perspective of a person that has gone through this and returned back to a normal lifestyle. With each and every separate topic I am going to keep bringing you back to some of the same specific points I may have already covered in a manner that not only defines a specific situation but constantly reconnects it to the bigger picture! I will repeat and connect thoughts in each chapter because there is no real ‘rhyme or reason’ to this abuse, only the truth and facts that every target/victim of this abuse experiences the SAME thing. That is what I am trying to connect you to! Each chapter is its own separate story so you can read a chapter at a time, return and connect to a new definition that brings you back to a little more of the truth and understanding the total picture step by step.
Captivating Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child’s play. They are the secret to the feminine heart.
Wild at Heart Every man was once a boy. And every little boy has dreams, big dreams, dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress. Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.
5 Love Languages In The Five Love Languages, #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse’s primary love language—quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other. Chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with simple steps to express a specific language to your spouse and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can build a lasting, loving marriage together.
What Do I Do About (Him) Me? Shines light on the darkness of pornography and sexual addiction, the trauma felt by loved ones, and the hope that recovery and peace are possible. It is my hope that this book will help you find . . . -A pathway to healing -Hope in the present and in your future -An understanding of what real recovery looks and feels like This path to peace includes: -Recognizing that there is no way but through -Setting boundaries is the most loving thing I can do -Forgiveness is not the same as trust -I can’t, but He (God) can, and I will let Him -Having gratitude in the present moment -Self-care is His care -I’ll row my own boat -I can live happily. . . one day at a time
I’m Not Ok, You’re Not Ok, But It’s Ok People come to me because they have already worked very hard to find answers in all the self help books, but still have not found what is wrong and how to fix it. They feel like their relationship may have a terminal diagnosis, and it is just a matter of time before it dies. They feel as if it is going to take a miracle to fix their relationship.
This book is a compilation of concepts I use in relationship therapy with miraculous results. It goes beyond the modern science of relationship psychology and will show you how Eternal Principles and Divine Power can be used to heal a relationship as Christ healed individuals who were near death in the New Testament. This book bridges the gap between principles taught by prophets and the valiant efforts of scientists.
Healing Through Christ The Healing Through Christ Family Support Workbook was written to help family members meet the challenges of having a loved one trapped in addiction and assists them on their journey of healing, as they rely upon the enabling power of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The workbook was written from an LDS perspective, using quotes from LDS General Authorities, the scriptures and many other valuable resources. It was developed over a period of five years and field tested in numerous 12 Step support groups throughout the United States and Canada.
Like Dragons They Did Fight This book bravely bridges the gap between the Spiritual and the Temporal (physical) factors of addiction and addiction recovery. It pulls the essential elements of many psychological theories and fits them into an eternal paradigm as can only be seen through the eyes of those who are inspired by God. The reader will be taken on a journey from seeing the battle from high in the heavens down to the gritty and sweaty clashing of swords a warrior must experience day to day. We live in a time when many are in bondage before they are aware that there is a war. As with many examples in world history, one cannot get out of bondage with just will power and thought control.
I Thought it Was Just Me? The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.
Dr. Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is the leading authority on the power of vulnerability, and has inspired thousands through her top-selling books Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and The Gifts of Imperfection, her wildly popular TEDx talks, and a PBS special. Based on seven years of her ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.
The Gifts of Imperfection Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living–a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
Pornography: Drug of the New Millennium – After 10 years of study and research with leading neuro-scientists, and direct interaction with more than 10,000 families, renowned author, researcher and speaker Mark B. Kastleman brings the world his groundbreaking work. Rather than approaching this controversial issue from the traditional moral or religious angle, Mark sticks to the facts the brain science behind Internet pornography use.
Confronting Pornography The plague of pornography is real, and it is growing. For those who are trapped by its power, the way out may seem impossible. President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke directly to those individuals struggling with an addiction to pornography: “May you plead with the Lord out of the depths of your soul that He will remove you from the addiction which enslaves you. And may you have the courage to seek the loving guidance of your bishop and, if necessary, the counsel of caring professionals.”
Confronting Pornography is a collection of chapters and essays from professional counselors and Church leaders, as well as from people who have overcome the addiction. This book is designed to offer help to those individuals caught in pornography’s clutches and hope to all those who love them.
Love You, Hate the Porn A pornography addiction can feel like real infidelity to a spouse. There’s nothing virtual about the damage done to a relationship, and the wounds are reopened each time a relapse is discovered. As tough as it is to overcome this addictive habit, healing a marriage damaged by pornography is even harder. For spouses, it’s not enough for their partners to simply stop looking at porn. They need healing themselves. Some couples separate and divorce. Others stay together, but the strain of unresolved feelings takes a distinct toll. Many wonder, Can our marriage heal? Will we ever feel close again?
Love You, Hate the Porn shows couples how to identify and address vulnerabilities in their relationship. This book offers healing advice for spouses, provides help for the struggling partner to avoid relapse and focuses on how to make the marriage relationship stronger than it was before.
He Restoreth My Soul Technology has accelerated our fascination with pleasure. Indeed, the power of pleasure has been underestimated, and Internet pornography is changing the world in a fundamental way. In this book, author Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD explores the destructive power of pornography addiction, not just from a moral and spiritual perspective, but with the scrutiny of modern science. Current research tells us that there is little difference in physical or chemical changes in the pleasure and control centers of the brain regardless of whether the addiction is “from a chemical or an experience,” as stated in the journal Science. (Constance Holden, “Behavioral Addictions: Do They Exist? Science, 294  2 November 2001, 980.) Relying on the latest research on addiction, and merging this knowledge with spiritual aspects of repentance and recovery, the author provides understanding and hope to those who seek healing and restoration of both body and spirit, which are the “soul of man.”
Boundaries in Marriage Learn when to say yes and when to say no–to your spouse and to others–to make the most of your marriage Only when a husband and wife know and respect each other’s needs, choices, and freedom can they give themselves freely and lovingly to one another. Boundaries are the “property lines” that define and protect husbands and wives as individuals. Once they are in place, a good marriage can become better, and a less-than-satisfying one can even be saved.
7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life’s work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Packed with practical questionnaires and exercises, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.
Worthy of Her Trust Few challenges in life are as difficult as regaining a wife’s trust—and few are as ultimately worthwhile. Trust can be rebuilt in your marriage! With patient, loving, self-sacrificing effort, it’s possible that one day your wife will risk her heart with you again. And she may even have more respect and love for you than before.
In Worthy of Her Trust, Jason Martinkus relates how he repaired his own marriage after revelations of sexual addiction. Along with Stephen Arterburn, Jason offers exercises and tools rooted in counseling principles to help your marriage begin again. This comprehensive guide discusses:
· How to be truly and effectively transparent
· Combating the “he must not love me” myth and other untruths
· What to do about the Internet, office temptations, and travel
· Encouragement for wives who wonder if trust can ever be restored
· The “five-minute phone call” and other daily trust-building strategies
· What meaningful forgiveness and restitution look like
· The Amends Matrix—a concrete exercise to admit past wrongs and cast a vision for a faithful future
Including insights from Jason’s wife, Shelley, Worthy of Her Trust guides you through the process of rebuilding your relationship so it is stronger than ever.
Your Brain on Porn “This is the most considered, thorough and accurate account of internet porn addiction that exists at the time of writing.” Professor Anthony Jack, from the foreword.When high speed internet became widely available a few years ago, growing numbers of people began to worry that their porn use was running out of control. Far from preparing them for fulfilling relationships, viewing an endless stream of porn videos led to unexpected symptoms. Perhaps most surprisingly, for the first time in history erectile dysfunction was becoming a significant problem for young men. This led to one of the largest informal experiments in the history of science. Tens of thousands of people have tried abstaining from sexually stimulating material in a process they call ‘rebooting’. Many of them reported startling changes, from improved concentration and elevated mood to a greater capacity for real-life intimacy.
Gary Wilson has listened to the stories of those who have tried giving up internet porn and related them to an account of how the reward system of the brain interacts with its environment. And now a growing body of research in neuroscience is confirming what these pioneers have discovered for themselves – internet pornography can be seriously addictive and damaging.
The Smart Girl’s Guide to Self Care Are you in an abusive or unhappy relationship? Do you try too hard to please your friends at the expense of your own needs and wants? Are you subservient to others and do you find yourself unable to become independent? Do you suffer from negative self-talk? These are all signs that your self-care regimen is deficient in some way. The Smart Girl’s Guide to Self-Care tackles the common problems of effective self-care with practical suggestions for practices that will create a sustainable, lifelong self-care routine. For those who are beginners to concepts like mindfulness, meditation, opposite action, positive rebellion, positive affirmations and radical acceptance, this book will provide a useful and comprehensive introduction. For those struggling from the trauma of emotionally abusive relationships, this book will guide you in recognizing the signs of abuse, creating a reverse discourse that challenges ruminations over the abuse, moving forward successfully after a break-up using no contact, and techniques on coping with trauma in constructive and meaningful ways. Each chapter of this book also provides a list of supplemental resources as well as a recommended reading list to guide you on this journey to greater self-love and self-care.
Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare Although clinical research has been conducted on narcissism as a disorder, less is known about its effects on victims who are in toxic relationships with partners with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Individuals with this disorder engage in chronic devaluation and manipulation of their partners, a psychological and emotional phenomenon known as “narcissistic abuse.” Unfortunately, the full extent of what narcissistic abuse entails is not taught in any psychology class or diagnostic manual. Since pathological narcissists are unlikely to seek treatment for their disorder, it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes a narcissistic abuser tick and the manipulative tactics they use, which are likely to differ from those of other types of abusers as they are more covert and underhanded. What is even more baffling is the addiction we form with our narcissistic abusers, created by biochemical bonds and trauma bonds that are also unlike any other relationship we experience.
Marbles & Rowboats – The purpose of this website is simple: To offer hope to those hurt by sex and pornography addiction. In these pages, we help visitors come to understand (1) that sex and porn addiction is absolutely real, and (2) that recovery is definitely possible. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Although this site is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its creators approach the subjects of sex addiction and recovery from the LDS or Mormon perspective. Also, there is no affiliation between this site and Sexaholics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12 Step program or fellowship.
What are some of the books that have help you? Leave a comment and share what has helped you!