Short Book Review
Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex: A Hands-on, Practical Guide to Communicating with a Difficult Ex-Spouse, by Julie Ross and Judy Corcoran.
A friend came across this book at the library and dropped it off for my review. This is a fine book, with a number of excellent tips for working with your own emotions and communication style to improve things with your former spouse.
One concept that resonates with me is the idea of thinking not in “shoulds” but in “coulds.” The authors point out that “should” makes people feel forced and then they resist the force. But thinking in terms of “could” opens up the possibilities and creates a feeling of relief and openness. You can try it on yourself. Just think, “I should work on my taxes this weekend,” and notice whether your heart sinks, as opposed to “I could work on my taxes this weekend,” which allows you some space.
Only the title of the book is unfortunate. Even if you feel your former spouse is a jerk, you accomplish nothing by advertising that perception. So you can’t leave the book lying around—despite the excellent info—for the kids or visitors to see. A great book, and an accurate title, but you’ve got to hide it.