by Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.

Fawcett-Columbine, Ballantine Books, RGA Publishing.

     Besides its content, this book is interesting in a very unique way.  After the author divorced her mother, she wrote this book.  Her mother bought it and read it, apologized to the author and made an effort to change her destructive behavior, and they have now reconciled.  The author then wrote a follow-up book called The Power of Apology, which we will also review.

     Beverly Engel is a psychotherapist and recognized expert in the fields of relationships, women’s issues, and abuse.  She is the author of 14 books, and has been on Oprah, Ricki Lake, Sally Jesse Raphael, and other national talk shows.  She found it necessary to divorce her mother, not because of past childhood abuse, but because of the continual abuse she suffered as an adult.  No one should have to endure an abusive, unhealthy relationship that threatens her well-being, even if that relationship is with a parent.

     Divorcing A Parent explains the right and wrong reasons for divorce.  Some of the right reasons are:  to break the cycle of abuse, when it’s either you or them, when your parent is hypercritical, controlling, or manipulative, and when your parent continues to abuse you or continues to deny the truth.

     We are taught how to confront our parent and what to expect, including our parent divorcing us when we stand up for ourselves.  We learn that abusive people don’t mellow with age, they usually just get worse.

     The book teaches you how to prepare for the divorce, how to separate emotionally, and takes you through the process of letting go, mourning the loss of your parent, and completing the grieving process.  We learn how to deal with pressure and criticism from our siblings and other relatives who want us to continue accepting the abuse.

     There are also suggestions to the divorced parent, to mates, friends, and loved ones, and to therapists.

     Divorcing A Parent  is a sympathetic and practical guide for  adult children who need to free themselves from an abusive relationship with a parent.