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Top Ten Books for Separated Men

  Many books on the topics of marital relationship and separation have come to our attention over the years. The books below have been recommended again and again and so have been given a listing on our Top Ten List of Books for the Separated Man.
   
  Changes That Heal
  by Henry Cloud
  Publisher: Zondervan
  In this ground-breaking book, Dr. Cloud takes the reader step-by-step through the four basic tasks of becoming mature image bearers of God: Bonding to others - Separating from others - Sorting out good and bad in ourselves and others - Becoming an adult -- Dr. Cloud not only explains and describes each task, he also identifies the problems that result when we fail to accomplish that task, and he shows us what changes to make in our lives in order to bring about healing. Zondervan; Reprint edition (December 1, 1993)
   
   
  Boundaries in Marriage
by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
Publisher: Zondervan (September 1, 1999)
ISBN: 0310243149
  Establishing and understanding boundaries are crucial to the success of a marriage, according to authors Cloud and Townsend, who cowrote the award-winning and biblically-based book Boundaries. For example, boundaries help us understand where one person ends and the other begins, the authors claim: "Once we know the boundaries, we know who should be owning the problem we are wrestling with," they write. "This issue of ownership is vital to any relationship, especially marriage." But more significantly, couples need to claim and take responsibility for the "treasures that lie within their individual borders," such as: "feelings, attitudes, behaviors, choices, limits, desires, thoughts, values, talents, and love." Based on the book that elevated them to national prominence, Cloud and Townsend caution readers not to use this self-help manifesto as a means to change one's spouse. Rather, this is a book about taking responsibility for oneself in all aspects of life, but especially within the boundaries of marital commitment.
   
   
  Safe People
  by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
  Some people are good for us, some are not. Safe people are people who help drive emotional healing and character growth. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend show how we can find the people who will help us down the path to healing and void those who may damage our emotional health. Safe People: How to Find Relationships that are Good for You provides practical ground-breaking help which lays a firm foundation for personal growth. Safe People is important, practical reading for today's modern world. Zondervan (November 1, 1996)
   
   
  Separated and Waiting
  by Jan Northington
  Publisher: Church Initiative (December 1, 1994)
  If you are physically separated from your spouse, chances are you're searching for answers to some very tough questions--such as "Why did this happen to me?" or "How will I cope?"
Waiting to be reconciled or divorced can bring confusion, despair, and hopelessness. Whether you've been separated for a short while or a long time, "Separated and Waiting" offers the motivation and understanding you need to bring wholeness back into your life--despite the uncertainty of the future of your marriage.

Marital separation brings with it unique fears, uncertainties, and struggles. From her own experiences, Jan Northington offers hope as she encourages you to think about such questions as: Who are you waiting for? Why? Do you think that you are worth changing? Why? What emotions do you have that surprise or embarrass you? What have you used to bargain with? Did it work? If you could draw a graph of your self-image over the years, how would it look? Do you feel isolated and cut off from social relationships? Do you find it hard to fit in? What can you thank God for?

"Separated and Waiting" provides good advice and comforting words for facing the fears, confusion, and struggles that lie ahead. You will find freedom from guilt and loneliness. You will also find freedom to love without expectations.
   
   
  The Purpose Driven Life
  by Rick Warren
  Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2002)
  The spiritual premise in The Purpose-Driven Life is that there are no accidents---God planned everything and everyone. Therefore, every human has a divine purpose, according to God's master plan. Like a twist on John F. Kennedy's famous inaugural address, this book could be summed up like this: "So my fellow Christians, ask not what God can do for your life plan, ask what your life can do for God's plan."

The book is set up to be a 40-day immersion plan, recognizing that the Bible favors the number 40 as a "spiritually significant time," according to author Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. As an inspirational manifesto for creating a more worshipful, church-driven life, this book delivers. Every page is laden with references to scripture. This is probably an excellent resource for devout Christians who crave a jumpstart back to worshipfulness.

   
   
  Love Must Be Tough
  by James Dobson
  Publisher: Multnomah (January 1, 2004)
  At the core of most marital conflicts lies an overlooked but vicious culprit: disrespect. According to Dr. James Dobson, this symptom is the most serious indicator of potential family breakup. In his groundbreaking classic that popularized the "tough love" principle, Dr. Dobson offers practical help for the spouse who wants to hold the marriage together. He shows how to rekindle romantic interest and draw the offending partner back home. For new generations faced with ever-increasing threats to stable and loving bonds, Love Must Be Tough offers realistic hope.
   
   
  Codependant No More : How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
  by Melody Beattie
  Publisher: Hazelden
  This book is good for people who find themselves depressed and needing some insight on why they feel the way they do. It will help anyone who is dealing with an alcoholic relationship or any other dependent relationship. If you find yourself caretaking all the time, ie: thinking or feeling responsible for other people, feel it is your responsiblity to help other people solve their problems, feel needy people are always attracted to you, and feeling unappreciated or used; or you have weak boundaries with the people in your life; you have dependency issues; poor communication; and low self-worth- you are codependent. I didn't think I was, but this book laid my life out perfectly. If you are feeling crazy for the way you are feeling read this book and you will understand why you are feeling the way you are.
   
   
  Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs
  by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  Publisher: Integrity Publishers (September 1, 2004)
  Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It's the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find.

Today, you and your mate can start fresh with the ground-breaking guidance that Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides in this book. His revolutionary message, featured on Focus on the Family, is for anyone: in marital crisis...wanting to stay happily married...who's feeling lonely. It's for engaged couples...victims of affairs...pastors and counselors seeking material that can save a marriage.
 
   
  The Five Love languages —How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
  by Gary Chapman
  Publisher: Moody Publishers; Reissue edition (June, 1996)
  Unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root cause: we speak different love languages, believes Dr. Gary Chapman. While working as a marriage counselor for more than 30 years, he identified five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. In a friendly, often humorous style, he unpacks each one. Some husbands or wives may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one spouse, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their "love tank." Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. Chapman illustrates each love language with real-life examples from his counseling practice.
How do you discover your spouse’s – and your own – love language? Chapman’s short questionnaires are one of several ways to find out. Throughout the book, he also includes application questions that can be answered more extensively in the beautifully detailed companion leather journal (an exclusive Amazon.com set). Each section of the journal corresponds with a chapter from the book, offering opportunities for deeper reflection on your marriage. Read more

Although some readers may find choosing to love a spouse that they no longer even like –hoping the feelings of affection will follow later– a difficult concept to swallow, Chapman promises that the results will be worth the effort. "Love is a choice," says Chapman. "And either partner can start the process today." --Cindy Crosby.

   
   
  How People Grow
  by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
  Publisher: Zondervan (November 1, 2001)
  Whether you're hoping to achieve personal and spiritual growth or are looking for guidance to help others, you'll find practical and proven wisdom in Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend's How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth. Starting with the premise that all growth is spiritual growth, the authors then expound on the concept. Cloud postulates that we spend too much time focusing on problems, rather than on root issues. "We are not just to help others 'feel better' or relate better or perform better," writes Cloud. Rather, he says, people must get back into a relationship with God. With this in mind, there's a brief lesson in theology ("the 'Big Picture'"), then a look at topics such as acceptance, forgiveness, obedience, and suffering. The authors have impressive credentials: they are cofounders of Cloud-Townsend Clinic, cohosts of the nationally broadcast New Life Live radio program, and Gold Medallion winners for the bestselling Boundaries. Boxed summaries of important concepts for growth facilitators, charts, counseling anecdotes, and lots of bullet-pointed text make the content accessible. Professional and lay readers will both find biblically based tools here for personal growth and guiding others.
   
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