In a perfect world, or at least in a much kinder one, a book like BREAKING BONDS: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal, wouldn’t be necessary. Sadly in today’s world it is. Thankfully there now exists this stage by stage instruction plan to help women escape their abusive situation and begin again to live their best lives.
In the introductory thematics of the book, author Rosemary Lombardy sets forth a number of assumptions about her reading audience. She assumes that anyone seeking the help this guide offers is in a fully legal, fully realized marriage. She assumes that there are children in the picture. And she assumes that abusive behavior, be it physical or emotional or both, is a major component of the marriage. While this may seem, at first, to put limits on any accepted audience, it actually accomplishes the opposite; by setting the bar of these assumptions at the absolute of each the author invites anyone who is anywhere on the spectrum of these assumptions to be helped by the book’s program.
This help is not simply assistance in the charitable sense of the word. While that type of help would definitely be beneficial in the immediate sense for women in an abusive situation, it doesn’t do as much in the long run. Help here comes in the form of overt encouragement, a coaching of abused women to retake charge of their own lives. As, theoretically, abuse is the taking away of power, the help here is intended to drive women to regain that power and implement an action plan to better their entire world.
This action plan in BREAKING BONDS is broken down into four broad categories of information and instruction. The first deals with “the facts”, covering the textbook specifics of an abuser/abused relationship and touching on contributing factors such as gaslighting, narcissism and guilt. The second is an overall health plan of sorts. Being in, and subsequently leaving, an abusive marriage takes the utmost in physical and mental strength. Tips on diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, meditation and emotional health are just a few of the areas that are touched on in order for women to get themselves into the best shape in both mind and body. The third category addresses the business of the divorce itself. Legal issues and actions common to most divorces are broken down in concise, easy to understand lessons, while other fields of concern such as those financial, penal and child-related received detailed legal outlines. Finally, the guide discusses life after a divorce. A program of follow-up counseling and treatment is suggested, as are warnings about depression, continued safety concerns, and jumping back into the dating scene too soon. But after all the harsh lessons, the guide leaves off with a message of hope and a heartfelt push for all women to rediscover their true worth and to find true love and happiness within themselves.
BREAKING BONDS concludes with eighteen full pages of reference material and sourcework, covering every topic related to being in an abusive marriage, from psychotherapy to financial assistance to physical fitness websites, from any number of domestic violence hotlines to those for teens in crisis. Such an exhaustive trove of resource material presents a fitting coda to an already priceless resource in itself, and leaves any woman who follows the program with everything she could possibly need to reclaim her happiest life.
Transforming the pain of her own abusive marriage into a guide to help others do the same, Rosemary Lombardy has crafted in BREAKING BONDS a must-read for any woman suffering through and longing to escape from that abuse.
~Johnny Masiulewicz for IndieReader