on March 2, 2000
A friend lent me this book when my husband left me and I was in the depths of dispair. I was reading anything I could find to try and help me understand, but this is the one book that really helped. I latched onto it like a life-preserver to a drowning person. I have read each chapter several times now, and keep getting more out of it as I progress in my healing. I returned my friend's copy and bought my own (which I have now in turn lent to a friend in need.)
One of the revelations I found comforting was simply to know what the physical symptoms of grief are - that my sore throat, my aching chest and my dry mouth were all manifestations of my emotional trauma.
This book felt like I was talking to a friend who had been there and back, and could take me by the hand through the healing process and help me find my way back to joy. Please read it if you are hurting from the loss of a relationship - it will comfort you a great deal and help you move forward constructively. Then lend it to someone you know who could be helped by it.
In its third printing, this book is a self-help manual for those trying to recover from a divorce, or going through the process of divorce. The first thing I noticed about Rebuilding is the feelings that surface during this trying and stressful period of your life are identified. When we are really suffering, it is hard sometimes, to analyze what we are feeling. Is it pain? Depression? Self-hate? All of the above? It is comforting to read that you learn we are not alone in our pain and confusion and that given the circumstances, the turmoil you are experiencing is quite normal. As each emotion is explored, the reasons for them are also examined. An example from another who has suffered the same misery is given, then the best part--what we can do with and about those upsetting, hurtful and sometimes hateful feelings that want to pull us under and drown us. For example, Chapter 7 looks at the two, " . . . very strong feelings which accompany the trauma of divorce--guilt and rejection. Advice given is to do a self-examination. Do we need to learn new ways of relating to people? Do we realize that feeling rejected is a part of ending any relationship? It's normal. It's natural. There is nothing wrong with us. Whew! If you are the one leaving the relationship, you are probably feeling guilt. You don't want to hurt someone you do or did love. However, say Fisher and Alberti, "To end a love relationship may be appropriate because it has been destructive for both people." Leaving can be a good thing for both people in the relationship. The chapter continues to describe the emotional cycles the "dumpers" (the one ending the relationship) and the "Dumpee" (the one being rejected) go through. Fisher and Alberti acknowledge not everyone is going to react the same, but no one escapes the pain. No matter how we are affected, though, we must remember guilt and rejection are tied to feelings of self- worth and self-love. Build up these two areas and we will be less devastated by life's inevitable rejections. And how do we go about building our self-worth. Chapter 11 tells us how to go about that. The end of each chapter has a "How Are You Doing?" section. A list of questions will help us think our way through our dilemmas and offer ideas with which we can rebuild our lives. I like this book because it forces us to do something besides sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. There are ways to work through relationships that end, and we have the power and the tools to do it. We don't have to feel helpless. I like this book because it acknowledges we are not alone with our feelings. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We can go on to live a normal, happy life. It gives us hope. Bruce Fisher, Ed.D., (1931-1998) was the founder and director of the Family Relations Learning Center in Boulder, Colorado. He was a divorce therapist, author, teacher and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Robert E. Alberti, Ph.D., is a psychologist marriage & family therapist, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and author/coauthor of several books. A 287-page volume that demands us to do some work, but it is well worth the effort.
on November 8, 2001
The book "Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends" was one of the things that really helped me get thru my own divorce process and create a whole new wonderful life. It truly showed me that my feelings and reactions were normal and that they could be worked thru. After all Bruce Fisher and Robert Alberti worked with people who were rebuilding their lives after divorce for over 25 years and they ought to know. The book has a style that is very very readable. You can begin at the beginning and read it straight thru or open it to just the chapter that is appropriate for you at that moment, like "Loneliness", "Anger". "Self-Worth", or "Sex". The book is built around the metaphor of climbing a mountain, and you are shown just how achievable it is to successfully rebuild your life one doable step at a time. Once you reach the top of the mountain you experience a wonderful sight of a new you and a new life. As Alberti says, "So prepare yourself for a journey. Pack up your optimism, your hopes for the future. Discard your excess baggage. ---- And the Rebuilding mountain lies ahead for you." If you are only going to buy one book to get yourself thru the divorce process this is the one. I can't recommend this book more highly. Other books I would recommend are "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" by Colgrove, Bloomfield, and McWilliams, "Spiritual Divorce" by Debbie Ford, "Life after Divorce" by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, and "Finding Love (Again!)" by Connie Merritt.
on August 20, 2000
This book is a self-help manual for those trying to recover from a divorce, or going through the process of divorce. "Rebuilding" is the feelings that surface during this trying and stressful period of your life are identified. It is comforting to read that we are not alone in our pain and confusion and that given the circumstances, the turmoil you are experiencing is quite normal. As each emotion is explored, the reasons for them are also examined. An example from another who has suffered the same misery is given, then the best part--what we can do with and about those upsetting, hurtful and sometimes hateful feelings that want to pull us under and drown us. The chapter continues to describe the emotional cycles the "dumpers" (the one ending the relationship) and the "Dumpee" (the one being rejected) go through. Fisher and Alberti acknowledge not everyone is going to react the same, but no one escapes the pain. No matter how we are affected, though, we must remember guilt and rejection are tied to feelings of self-worth and self-love. Build up these two areas, and we will be less devastated by life's inevitable rejections. The end of each chapter has a "How Are You Doing?" section. A list of questions will help us think our way through our dilemmas and offer ideas with which we can rebuild our lives. I like this book because it forces us to do something besides sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. There are ways to work through relationships that end, and we have the power and the tools to do it. We don't have to feel helpless. I like this book because it acknowledges we are not alone with our feelings. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We can go on to live a normal, happy life. It gives us hope.
Going through divorce is difficult, alienating, and painful. I found this book to be a great source of material on the stages of pain that you go through with a divorce. This book takes you through the building blocks of what it will take for you to go through, and ultimately rebuilt from. Some of the topics covered are denial, fear, adaptation, friendship, loneliness, self-worth, transition,love, trust, and future relationships.
I found myself clearly identifying with many of the stages that others go through in a divorce. It was refreshing to hear what you feel is normal and others feel that way too. Fisher and Alberti definately speak with insight, and understanding on this topic. This book was part of the reading along with the a divorce recovery class I took, this book was an important reasource in the class. It is definately worth picking up or checking out at your local library.
on December 16, 2007
I thought that this book had some very good content. It reviews the "19 building blocks" of divorce, going over each of the significant emotions/stages a recently divorced person experiences. As far as my experience goes, the emotions identified were all correct. According to the book, if you work through all the stages you arrive at "freedom." It does include information for parents, but it was separated in the chapters, so a divorcee without children could easily skip those sections.
My problem with the book was the writing style. I felt like the author spoke in a slightly condescending tone and kept reminding the reader how well he knows us and how wonderful and correct his program is. So while I appreciated what the book had to say, I got tired of hearing it tell me how fabulous it is!
on December 23, 2005
I found Rebuilding at the local Library when I went looking for a different Amazon bestseller, and I am SO glad I picked up Fisher & Alberti's book first. I was lucky enough to get this book just a couple weeks after my wife asked for a divorce, and so I was starting right into the phases of Denial, Anger, and so forth just as I read about them in the book. I read it over the course of 3 weeks, then checked it out again and started over -- and the second time, I took my time and actually focused on the exercises at the end of each chapter. By the time I was done, I was pretty much done with hoping for a reconciliation, and the anger is pretty much all gone.
I do recommend having someone to talk to about the exercises in the book -- a sort of accountability partner, a friend to whom you can REALLY open up. (Guys, take note of that: You need someone who is willing to listen to your pain, not someone to slug back a couple of cold ones while throwing darts at her picture.) It's important to have someone to talk to about the various topics in each chapter -- not just to vent but to discuss the ideas, to focus on your situation and find ways to move on with rebuilding your life.
During my second read, I also took the time to write a long letter of goodbyes, as recommended in the book. (My soon-to-be-ex has never seen that letter, and she doesn't need to.) I was surprised at some of what I wrote, but it really helped to dig up those hidden resentments and now-dashed hopes. By the end of my second read, I was ready to focus on other things besides HER.
Only time will tell how effective Rebuilding will be for me, but in these first 4 months, it has been invaluable. The library finally has their copy back and now I've bought my own. If you're starting into the divorce process, get this book to go along with one about the legal stuff. AVOID a book that tries to cover both the legal and the emotional problems in one volume, as it will invariably give both topics insufficient coverage.
on July 14, 2005
After my marriage suddenly ended I spent all my time in the self-help section of a major book store chain looking for the one book that would have the answers to help me get over the traumatic break up. I flipped through every book they had on the shelves. I went to through every section that was remotely related. 'Relationships', 'Self-help', 'Divorce' 'Loss', 'Grieving', 'Psychology', etc. I wanted to find that 'quick fix'.
After purchasing a few books that did really nothing for me, a friend recommended this book to me.
I wished that I had found this book earlier. This book is like a relationship bible. It has practical steps on how to get through the pain, talks about the different feelings that you will go through and coming through the other side into your new life just to name a few. There will be times when you read it and will totally identify with what's being said. This book contains many little 'gold nuggets' of information. Little gems of wisdowm sprinkled throughout the book.
This book was the best one out there that I found and it was very much worth the money. This is the only book that you will need. You won't be disappointed.
Have faith and trust that you will recover. I did.
on September 29, 2003
This book gives excellent, practical advice for toiling through 19 stages of recovery in a divorce. Each chapter is unique, and gives homework for the person to work through topics like anger, loneliness, grieving, etc. I found the chapter on dumper/dumpee relationships (grief vs. guilt) and the chapter on love to be the most valuable. Fisher describes many types of love, and allows a confused person to sort out where they and their spouse actually stood with each other, both during and after a marriage. Unravelling confusion is important to anybody going through a divorce. I cannot more strongly recommend this book to anybody who has been dumped by their spouse. Buy it, keep it, and go back to it many times over the months you may be trying to "climb your mountain".
on May 29, 2004
Years ago, when my first marriage ended, a friend loaned me this book and I'm so grateful that he did. Well, I need it again. So I picked up another copy of this book. Divorce and separation is an excruciatingly painful experience. The author gives straight forward and practical advise on how to cope with this type of loss. When your heart is breaking and you feel as if you will drown in your grief, having this book will help anchor you when you might not be thinking very straight. The book "Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends," will not only comfort you, it will be your own personal guide to aid in the healing process and starting your life over.