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Talking Divorce

Sub Title A Torah-based guide for navigating and surviving difficult relationship decisions
Author by Zalman Goldstein
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Binding: Hardcover, w/ placeholder ribbon
Pages: 304 
Size: 6x8 
ISBN: 978-1-891293-53-5

Clarity at Your Fingertips

Marriage Crisis • Divorce • Co-Parenting • Remarriage

This new practical, no-nonsense book gathers essential information and practical guidance from rabbis, attorneys, and mental health professionals for navigating relationship breakdowns, reconciliation considerations, divorce, and life thereafter. Whether you are currently in a marital crisis, are torn between thoughts of reconciliation and divorce, or are already divorced, this sensitive guide clears up many misconceptions, illuminates relevant halachic and civil processes, and arms you with the knowledge needed to make sound decisions at every crossroad.


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What the experts are saying about Talking Divorce

“To the Esteemed Rav Zalman Goldstein, Shlit”a, I received your upcoming book “Talking Divorce.” It is a comprehensive guide to the difficult topic of divorce. We are all aware that there has been a tremendous tragic increase of divorces in the frum world in this generation. The Torah created the divorce process to sever a marriage and sometimes even necessitated its use. Sadly, very often it is misused. Many of today’s divorces can be traced to a lack of education and understanding by one or both spouses on the basics of what marriage is about and a false illusion of what life will be like post-divorce.

In a clear concise fashion, you address each of the many thorny issues which arise from marital strife. It is clear by even a brief perusal of its many chapters that you put much effort and research into ensuring that you are presenting the Torah Hashkafah in a professional, practical, and realistic manner. Ranging from whom to consult (and just as importantly who not to consult) when a marriage is facing difficulties, to custody issues, dealing with an abusive spouse, the halachic, legal, and monetary angles are all explained.

By laying out step-by-step the reality of divorce and rationally explaining the proper attitude and approach one should have each step of the way, this guide has the immense potential of saving many from much unnecessary heartache and grief.
If even one marriage is saved, or one child is spared the torture of growing up in a broken home, it will have been well worth all your tremendous efforts.

May Hashem bentch you with much success from this and all your endeavors, and in the zechus of all your work may this guide quickly become obsolete with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.” 
—Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva of Staten Island

“The loving relationship between husband and wife is the cornerstone of the Jewish people and brings G-dliness into the world. Tragically, however, the specter of divorce has infiltrated even the most religious of our communities, as marriages are ripped apart by bitterness and acrimony. Over and above the breakup of the marriage, the divorce process itself can be ugly and destructive, wreaking havoc not only on the separated spouses but on their innocent children, inflicting emotional scars that may never heal. And yet the many duties of the Torah to treat all Jews with respect and compassion and to avoid disparagement or insult are not suspended merely because the parties are going through a divorce, and certainly the responsibilities of parents to their children are not abrogated. Even in the midst of a divorce, mentschlichkeit must be preserved. 

Drawing from the timeless truths of Torah, Talmud, Midrash, and Chassidus, the author has written a very useful manual helping couples navigate this difficult road. He offers sound strategies to improve marriage and hopefully keep the couple together, but then takes the extra step of showing that even when divorce is necessary, it can and should be done in an environment of mutual respect, willingness to compromise, and overarching concern to give children a loving and secure environment. Long overdue, this work will be of great benefit to many people, and I am honored to endorse it.” 
—Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Breitowitz, Rav of Kehillat Ohr Somayach, Yerushalayim, prolific author, and renowned lecturer on Jewish law and ethics

“This book should be required reading for anyone going through a relationship crisis or divorce. Not only does it offer a treasury of solid, Torah-based, practical information for people contemplating divorce, in middle of a divorce, or already divorced, it does so in an extremely organized, captivating and effective manner guiding toward the best outcome in each situation.” —Rabbi Avraham Kahan, Rosh Beis Din, Vaad Hadin V’Horaah, New City, New York, distinguished Halachic expert on marriage and divorce-related matters

“This book is smart, clear and eye-opening. A must-read education for those who are either personally or professionally involved.” —David J. Lieberman, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author and international expert on interpersonal relationships

“I’ve recently served as a Dayan in Jerusalem, where I met with some twenty couples who sought Gittin—the divorce process required by Torah law. Some couples were in predicaments whereby divorce was absolutely necessary. Most were in relationships which had deteriorated or which had never ripened in a mature manner. The rest were good people who were essentially compatible—or as I say in more psychological parlance, spouses who have compatible psychopathology. Why were they seeking divorce? Because they had never developed the tools for handling conflict and discontent. Lacking skills to communicate during times of strife and living in a world which once claimed the credo of “If it feels good, do it” but now marches beneath the banner of “If it doesn’t feel good right now, you don’t have to do it anymore,” divorce has become a facile option rather than a last resort.

Zalman Goldstein’s newest book is a valuable resource for couples who have arrived at the last resort but are now ready to address their differences without rampant conflict; to sidestep communication breakdowns by foresightful planning; and to have a clear roadmap for traveling the intricate roads which couples and families must traverse in considering the process of divorce, and in considering the prospect of reconciliation. The chapters are readable and digestible, and the checklists are usable and generate clarity beyond the haze of hurt and misunderstanding which occupy mind and heart when husbands and wives are contemplating termination of marriage.

I would recommend that couples make this volume their first resort before determining that they have reached the last resort. Talking Divorce also will enlighten those who deal with couples in professional capacities as therapists, attorneys, clergy, and friends and family of couples in crisis.” —Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox, Ph.D., Forensic and Clinical Psychologist, Director of Crisis Intervention, Trauma and Bereavement department of Chai Lifeline; Professor, retired, adjunct graduate faculty, USC and CSPP; Associate Clinical Professor, retired, LLU School of Medicine; acclaimed author and lecturer

“Many couples in crisis approach the divorce process unprepared, often with catastrophic results. Emotions run high, and life-altering decisions are made without fully considering their true implications. Ending a marriage is never pleasant and being prepared is critical to the mental well-being of all parties. Zalman Goldstein’s Talking Divorce is a practical and comprehensive compendium of issues to consider, and a must-read for those who are contemplating divorce.” —David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., ABPP, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and founder of Center for Anxiety in New York

“Zalman Goldstein’s latest book, Talking Divorce, provides a wealth of practical and meaningful advice aimed at helping Jewish couples recognize relevant issues surrounding divorce. He takes you through the different stages of a changing family, from marital distress to divorce and co-parenting, helping the reader create a clearer sense of direction and control during a very challenging time in life. This book can spare you and your family much heartache and set you in a healthier direction.” —M. Gary Neuman, L.M.H.C., New York Times bestselling author, creator of the, and author of Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way

“With this book, Zalman Goldstein has successfully made order of what is intrinsically a very messy and adversarial process. I recall attending many sessions of a convention around thirty years ago, on the topic of Jewish family, marriage, and divorce. One gripping line by Rabbi Dr. Reuven Bulka—who was speaking about the acrimony which is so common in divorce—stood out and left a large impression on me to this day. He recounted his advice to those going through divorce: ‘The marriage may not have been successful, but at least make the divorce successful.’ This is an overwhelming challenge due to the emotional, financial, familial, legal, religious, and so many other difficult situations associated with divorce. If those going through divorce follow this book’s guidance, B’ezras Hashem they will be successful.” —Professor Ari Wasserman, Esq., Harvard attorney, author and noted Jewish lecturer

“Do not divorce until you’ve read this book from cover to cover. It will guide you through every step of the process, from your first thoughts on the subject to life after divorce, from all of the practical, emotional, financial, and legal issues affecting you personally to all those affecting your children and extended family. This uniquely comprehensive manual will hold your hand, answer all your questions, and provide the expert advice that will prevent unnecessary suffering for you and your family. Ideally it should be thoroughly digested by both you and your spouse so that the two of you can make informed decisions and work together for the healthiest and most peaceful path forward.” —Sarah Chana Radcliffe, M.Ed., C.Psych., author of Better Behavior Now! and Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice

“An insightful and practical book about the consideration, legal process and aftermath of divorce. The author insightfully addresses a broad range of complex issues, beginning with the question, “Should you divorce?” While realistically acknowledging that sometimes divorce may be necessary to end ongoing marital strife, he also makes the reader aware that divorce itself can generate a whole new set of possibly even worse pain and trouble.

Geared to helping individuals considering divorce make sensible choices that avert or minimize the pain involved with confronting their situation, the book helps readers to recognize, organize, and process their thoughts and feelings throughout the process. For readers who have decided to divorce, the book encourages them to approach the process amicably rather than escalate with needless acrimony and litigation. As explained by the author, this can be accomplished by maintaining an attitude of goodwill and generosity, while still protecting one’s rights and those of their children.

In addition to offering specific guidance and hope for a better life after divorce, the author also discusses, in a serious and sophisticated way, the reality of coping with an ex-spouse who is determined to undermine the other’s attempts to move forward harmoniously by promoting ongoing hostility and trauma within the family dynamic.

This book is vastly informative and well-organized, making it easy for readers to find the topics most relevant to them. I highly recommend it for anyone going through marital and divorce-related difficulties, as well as their loved ones and professionals involved in the field. —Ed Yisroel Susskind, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, therapist, lecturer, and noted author on marriage-related issues

“For real love to exist, three things are necessary: 1) You must respect your spouse for maintaining his/her values and principles, which are upheld no matter how stressed or tempted the person may be. 2) You must trust that your spouse will be predictably reliable, caring, supportive, honest and committed. 3) You must feel that your spouse cares about your needs and feelings and feels your pain or pleasure as if it is their own. Too many people are locked into loveless marriages, often with an immature, disordered, addicted, or violent person. Adults and children who are victims of emotional or physical abuse face difficulties talking about this in public for fear of being invalidated, blamed, and shamed. It’s time to recognize that many people can act quite upright and normal in public yet act like monsters to their spouses and children in private. This well-written book offers readers rare clarity and wise instruction for navigating marital crisis and divorce in a wholesome and positive manner. I highly recommend it!” —Miriam Adahan, Ph.D., Clinical Psychotherapist, prolific lecturer, and author of I Thought It Would Be Different, Living With Difficult People, and From Victim To Victor, among other acclaimed family and relationship related titles

“Although divorce should be a last resort, when faced with the prospect of having to make that decision and others related to it, this up-to-date, thorough, and easy-to-understand book is an invaluable resource. A couple or individual who finds that they have no other option would be well advised to adhere closely to the measured, healthy, and respectful guidelines set forth in this work. It sets as its goal to minimize the negative fallout that divorce can bring not only for the couple, but especially for the children.” —Lisa Twerski, LCSW, author and noted lecturer on dating, marriage and domestic violence

“Zalman Goldstein does a remarkable job dealing with what is an unavoidably sad and unpleasant topic—divorce. Unfortunately, there is a real need for such a book, and I commend him for tackling the job. B’ezras Hashem this work will bring much clarity and comfort to those who are navigating this very painful and confusing time in their lives.” —Rabbi Shais Taub, renowned lecturer, mentor, and author

“This book does a phenomenal job addressing a very sensitive and challenging topic. So many families have suffered as a result of married couples rushing to action and initiating divorce before having adequate and accurate information about what is involved. This often results in unnecessary heartache, financial ruin, and sometimes irreparable emotional and psychological damage, especially when there are children involved. I particularly appreciate the author’s thoughtful discussion of issues commanding consideration by those facing the agonizing decision of whether to divorce or work toward reconciliation. With divorce so profound in its impact, he rightfully encourages readers to pause, reflect, and obtain expert, objective guidance before making major decisions. His encouragement for readers to work toward bringing a spirit of goodwill and kind-heartedness to every part of the process is wise and sure to alleviate much needless suffering. The comprehensive treatment of so many areas relating to divorce and its aftermath delivers a wealth of knowledge alongside wholesome, sensible direction for navigating each crossroad. —Rabbi Shimon Gruen, acclaimed relationship expert and author of Get Along with Everyone

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