Deleted itibaren Gramang, Himachal Pradesh 172109, Hindistan
This is a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you don't think it could possibly have anything to do with your life. The fact is, divorce is such an overwhelmingly prevalent part of our society now, and our culture, and a lot of us are working with some serious misconceptions about just what its full implications are, especially for children. People who grew up with divorced parents will find this book both validating and troubling. People who work with divorced families (as a teacher, therapist, or lawyer for instance) will gain valuable insights. Most of all, if you are the parent of a child and you are divorced or are considering getting a divorce, you need to read this book. It will be a hard read, as Wallerstein's study revealed some upsetting truths, and she pulls no punches in her presentation of the facts, but it's something you need to know, and owe it to your child to learn. The biggest myth about divorce is what Wallerstein refers to as the idea of "trickle-down happiness." Like trickle-down economics, it looks great on paper--logical, neat, good for everybody involved--but doesn't work out quite as smoothly in real life. When I was going through a very rough patch in my own life a few years back, and considering leaving my marriage (which in hindsight was obviously a very poor "band aid" solution that would have done nothing to help and much to harm) many people, trying to be helpful and "empowering," said to me, "you need to pursue your happiness and your bliss, even if that means splitting up the family, because you owe it to your daughter. If you are happy, she will be happy! " This sounds logical enough, but as Wallerstein demonstrates for us over and over again, it's just not true. It's a big fat lie we tell ourselves as adults to feel better about the extent to which we are failing our children by attending first and foremost to our own desires, selfish pursuits, and agendas. Happiness does not "trickle down" and while a child may take some emotional cues from her mother or father, she's not going to magically feel just as happy as they do even if they are turning her world upside down and betraying her need to feel absolute security. Intuitively I knew that people were selling me a load of you know what, back in that troubled moment, but reading Wallerstein's book sealed it for me, with facts, data, and interviews. I wish someone had sat me down and spelled out for me what she does in this book, it would have snapped me out of the funk a lot faster than all the enabling clap-trap. Anyone who is thinking about whether they should leave or "stay together for the kids," or who believes that it's better to have "divorced and happy parents than married and discontent ones" needs to read this book and see how much more complicated and distressing the truth is. A sobering read for anyone who cares about kids, families, and society.
I know there's a lot of controversy over the facts of this story, but I enjoyed it regardless. It gives the reader insight into drug addiction.