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Contemplating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go Paperback – August 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the Publisher

By clarifying assumptions about and expectations for their relationships to their spouses, the step-by-step approach in Contemplating Divorce helps readers decide whether to try to make a flagging marriage work or proceed with the difficult decision to divorce.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781572245242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572245242
  • ASIN: 1572245247
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Pease Gadoua is a best selling author and speaker. She is a licensed therapist, an expert on marriage and divorce, and has been working with individuals, couples, and families as well as leading groups and workshops for nearly twenty-five years.

Susan has been a featured guest on numerous radio and television programs across the U.S. and Canada including The CBS Early Show, ABC's View From The Bay, has appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, REDBOOK Magazine, and Divorce Magazine. She is also a regular columnist for The Huffington Post and PsychologyToday.com.

Along with her husband, Michael, and two dogs, Susan lives in Sonoma County, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I gave this book only two stars because, although it is well-written and informative, the book does not deliver on the promise of the title ("Deciding Whether to Stay or Go"). The book reads as a guide to rationalizing the decision that the reader has already made (to get a divorce) and does not offer much in the way of deciding whether staying in the marriage might be the appropriate outcome. The case study examples rarely end in the couples reconciling and frequently concern more grave situations (for example, abuse and alcoholism or drug addiction) than the garden-variety marital issues that might lead one spouse to think about divorce. Most of the case studies that don't involve abuse or addiction demonstrate repeated missed opportunities for working on marital issues in a healthy manner that could have strengthened the relationship. Instead, the examples gloss over any attempts to reverse the negative patterns established through periods of insufficient articulation and responses to needs and tend to reveal and attitude more of "it's broken - time to go" rather than "it's broken - time to fix it."

This book would be great for the reader who already knows that they want a divorce. However, I would absolutely not recommend it to someone who still believes that they have or might have a reason to stay in their marriage or that the marriage can be saved. There are other books that can help readers learn how to stop their negative behavior patterns and develop positive relationship skills. This book skims over that crucial aspect of determining whether one should "stay" in a marriage--an aspect that might save more marriages.
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Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic, and was instrumental in parting the clouds for me during one of the most difficult times of my life - determining whether my marriage was salvagable or not. The exercises in this book are very helpful in assessing the work that needs to be done on a marriage, and in determining whether that work can be done by the two of you or not. I highly recommend this book whether you are contemplating divorce or not - in my case, I was contemplating it, and some of the exercises in this book made it crystal clear to me which path was the right one for me. I can't begin to express how thankful I am to have run across this book, and highly recommend it to anyone facing even the smallest difficulties in their marriage - it can help you see how to approach fixing things if you choose to, or deciding that it is time to end things if you choose to.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a friend, and ended up previewing it myself to make sure it was worth passing on; it definitely is. Having gone through a split 5 years ago (not of my choosing, but ultimately of my relief), I was able to look at this book through the lens of hindsight. I think it is an excellent guide, and I've recommended it to a therapist friend of mine, and she agrees. The most important aspect of the book is that there is no right or wrong answer for any/every reader, of course. Every relationship is different, and anyone reading this book will have the opportunity to consider the thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter to see if the marriage can be saved, or if too much damage has been done. Especially if the question of therapy or counseling is currently not an option for you, this book provides a most excellent and inexpensive substitute first step in the process of considering what to do next. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book offers the reader a wealth of information about the difficult, limbo space between an unhappy marriage and making the decision to stay or leave. I especially appreciated Susan's applications of the theories of phases of contemplation and Maslow's hierarchy of needs to help the reader gain clarity about his or her own process. The exercises are helpful and worthwhile to do. This is a very practical volume that gave me much to reflect on. I recommend it highly for both therapists and the general public.
Dorie Rosenberg, L.M.F.T.
San Rafael, CA.
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Format: Paperback
After reading many books on the subject, I found the material in 'Contemplating Divorce' to be thought-provoking and original, particularly about the cyclic nature of denial and grief. The author outlines clear stages of the process and direction on the most difficult decision: how to know when to keep trying at a marriage and when to let go. Although "Divorce" is in the title, the book has a wealth of wise counsel on doing what's possible to mend a relationship and an expanded definition of 'failure' and 'success.' I recommended this book and the writing exercises at the end of each chapter to many clients. The author has a refreshingly balanced perspective that provides readers with a clear light.
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Format: Paperback
The book Contemplating Divorce is a unique and valuable resource for both psychotherapists working with couples and individuals contemplating divorce, as well as for individuals who are contemplating divorce to use as an adjunct with professional psychotherapy.

The author provides exercises and case studies that can be used to help and encourage individuals and professionals to think about and examine the state of a marriage in a concrete way. The exercises provide a language so that a dialogue can occur within a marriage or within a therapy session. What is the foundation of a healthy marriage? What is it about the foundation of my/our/your marriage that is creating sorrow? How have I/we/you contributed to the sorrow? In becoming more aware of the answers to the questions that the exercises provide, the questions can then be asked, how might we be able to address and solve the problems that exist in the marriage? Is it possible? Can we/you move forward together in marriage? These exercises provide a guide for an individual and/or couple to turn over every stone before a decision is made.

There are so few resources available for people and individuals contemplating divorce and for professionals working with clients struggling with the question of whether or not to remain married. There are even fewer resources available that are unbiased and non-judgmental. This is a painful stage for an individual, a couple and a family. Author Susan Pease Gadoua offers help in a cerebral, compassionate, mature and unbiased manner.
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