- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060188995
- ISBN-13: 978-0060188993
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (377 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex Hardcover – January 8, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
In Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex, Richard A. Warshak (The Custody Revolution) offers guidance to parents whose exes portray them to their children in a negative light, whether it's mild, off-the-cuff badmouthing or systematic character assassination. Common psychological wisdom, besides recommending that parents avoid fighting fire with fire, suggests doing nothing. But Warshak has witnessed the feelings of powerlessness and the increasing difficulties that come from doing nothing. So he provides "a blueprint for an effective response grounded in a solid understanding of the techniques and dynamics of parents who poison their children's relationships with loved ones." After describing numerous nuances of inter-parental malignment (brainwashing, false abuse accusations, revisionist history, etc.), Warshak moves on to "Poison Control," both independently and with the help of professional counselors. This book will seem a godsend to the many divorcs who are bashed by their ex-spouses. (Regan Books, $26 304p ISBN 0-06-018899-5; Jan.)
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Some level of animosity is typical in divorce, but when parents let those feelings degenerate into bad-mouthing, bashing, or brainwashing, they run the risk of emotionally damaging their children, according to child psychologist Warshak. He looks at the poisonous relationships that develop when parents carry criticism of their ex-spouses too far: parents and children estranged from one another, protracted and bitter custody and visitation battles, and even ruined relationships with the extended families. He uses case studies to illustrate how parents--sometimes unconsciously, sometimes deliberately--force children to choose between them and turn against the other parent. He describes a range of difficulties, from tainted parent-child relationships to an emotional disturbance known as parental alienation syndrome. Warshak offers strategies for parents to examine their motivations when they speak against a former spouse, to curb negative impulses, and to repair damage that may already have been done. Useful resource for families dealing with divorce and child rearing. Vanessa Bush
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a loving father of five children. Immediately after my divorce my children began distancing themselves from me. I thought at first it was just the trauma of the divorce, but throughout time I began to be forwarded Facebook posts telling the public I had abused my children and do not pay child support. My daughter would post similar things alleging that I did not care about my them (my children) and did not care if they had food to eat or clothes to wear. I was even contacted by a former employee I had to fire a few years back, claiming my children's mother was trying to lay guilt trips on him about my treatment of the children. My children began blocking me from their phones, refusing to come for holidays, or scheduled residential time. I have gone months without contact, of any kind, from my older children. When I show up for visits and my children do no come, law enforcement will not respond even with my court order in hand. My children have gone as far as to block me and all my relatives from social media and have refused contact with them. I am a father that kissed my children good night each night, and was fully immersed in their everyday lives. I have never missed a child support payment. I was completely confused and tried many good faith efforts to stay patient and wait for things to blow over. It was not until I read Divorce Poison did I open my eyes to this problem and realize that even a loving father like me could have my children turned against me given the right circumstances.
I have had to thicken my skin and suffer tremendous emotional insults by my children and my ex-wife, but without Dr. Warshak providing this practical advice, I may have just given up. The pain at times has kept me up at night, questioning the motives behind such cruelty from my once loving children that used to follow me around the house everyday. Now however I know this is what I can say...READ THIS BOOK... Don't ignore the signs, this problem is very real. As I read the book, I felt like it was written for me. I would also highly recommend that you buy the DVD too, Welcome Back Pluto to watch with your children also by Dr. Warshak. Divorce Poison is very real. I would never have believed my children could be lead astray by false information, bad attitude, or embellishment of pieces of information taken out of context or aggregated to purposely mislead.
Children should not have to endure the emotional trauma that surrounds this poison inflicted upon them. While it may be impossible to avoid, arming yourself with knowledge will help both you and your children to survive and continue to rebuild the loving relationship you once had. Now that I know what I know, I am going back to court and hoping this problem is recognized by the judges in the county where I live. There is no easy answer, but reading this book truly helps a person understand the process of alienation and the strength it will take to overcome it. God Bless each good mother or father that is having to go through this emotional assassination, stay strong.
I cannot say enough not to give up on your children. I was able to go to court and outline my journey through parental alienation. The judge believed me. For the first time in two and a half years my daughters came willingly to my home for eleven days. Before the judge sent my ex-wife a very strong message and found her in contempt of court in multiple areas, my daughters would not come willingly with me for any length of time or with any consistency. My daughters would send me very strong messages of disdain and often rude messages that lacked any emotion at all. The first few days of their time with me were awkward and somewhat tense, however eventually they began to relax. Our relationships are far from healed but we were finally able to open a new chapter of our lives. I look forward to watching them grow up and to be an active part of their lives. I am sure there will be many more obstacles to jump, but in my case, the legal system was on my side. Like Dr. Warshak says, be ready to toughen your skin and try to be as non-reactive as possible. Keep good data. Take the high road and don't get caught up in the emotional destruction going on, be strong. Good luck and read this book. It worked for me.
It never worked out. My one son is 48 and has refused every effort I make to renew a relationship. I have not seen him in 23 years. The other son lives many miles for me and treats me like casual acquaintance. There is no love. Whenever I try to arrange a visit, there are always major complications in arranging a time. (His mother lives close by). At first I was welcome to stay at their home. For future visits I was informed I needed to make arrangements to stay in a hotel.
Your book has finally opened my eyes. I see how their mother continues to poison their thinking. It will never end and I am preparing to "Let Go". It deeply saddens me to do this but I understand there is nothing I can do to change the situation.
I am sending a copy of "Divorce Poison" to both my sons along with a letter expressing my love for them and leaving the door open for a future relationship.
There were many times I could not understand what happened. Your book explains it all. Now I know.
Thank you for writing the book.