Out of the Fog: Post-Divorce Coping Strategies… by Lisa Kroulik
Ending a marriage or a serious relationship is never easy, especially when children are involved. Even in the most amicable of break ups, people are certain to experience intense emotions like anger and sadness. When the former partner is a narcissist or has another serious personality disorder, moving on from the relationship is especially challenging. People who finally found the courage to leave their emotionally abusive partner may feel discouraged by having to remain in contact with him due to the kids. These exchanges can be as crazy making as they were when the victim of emotional abuse still lived with her former partner.
Author Lisa Kroulik divorced a narcissist over five years ago and lived to tell about it. As with her previous books, she uses an example from her own past relationship to show readers the types of situations they may encounter while attempting to co-parent with someone who has a personality disorder. Before doing so, she offers a helpful guide on the ten known personality disorders to assist women who are emotionally struggling in the aftermath of ending an unhealthy relationship. It is affirming for readers to know there is a name to describe the way their children’s father still behaves.
After highlighting the characteristics of each personality disorder, the author discusses situations she has dealt with in the years since her divorce from her children’s father. Recently separated readers may find themselves nodding in agreement, or they may remember the story later when their former partner attempts the exact same thing. Some of the topics Lisa Kroulik discusses include:
• Dealing with the ex’s new girlfriend
• Communication tips when dealing with the personality disordered
• Child support challenges
• Providing children tools to handle their father’s emotional manipulation
• Relationships with former in-laws
• Getting past feelings of hate
The author offers readers practical advice on what to do in these common situations without giving power to the former partner. She takes a humble, been there and done that approach to everything she shares in this book. Rather than count down the days until their child becomes an adult, readers can learn to detach from the crazy and enjoy life. After all, it is pointless to leave an emotionally abusive relationship only to continue the cycle in post-divorce parenting. Those who are still trying to identify and confront their partner’s hurtful behavior may wish to read Lisa Kroulik’s first book, “Emotional Assault: Recognizing an Abusive Partner’s Bag of Tricks”.
I wanted to review this book because I am the “child” of divorced parents and I my husband had been previously married. Although I have never been divorced myself, I do have several different perspectives on divorce and the effects on children. I also have an older daughter who has some mental health issues and can’t seem to stay in a relationship for any period of time. This book breaks down certain disorders in an attempt to understand the relationship breakdowns and start to heal. My experiences were harsh. Divorce is not pretty. It is hard on everyone and very difficult to get through for everyone. Kroulik goes on to offer advice for different situations. This is a book that is critical to anyone going through the trauma of divorce. At the very least it will put the situation into perspective for those that are living through it.
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