CRAZY TIME: Surviving Divorce by Abigail Trafford

CRAZY TIME: Surviving Divorce

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This is one of those wiser-than-Solomon divorce manuals with very little to offer beyond the conviction that since the author and her interviewees made it through the bad times and lived to tell the tale, others probably will too. It attempts to chart something like a predictable emotional seesaw course, roughly akin to the now-recognized stages of mourning. This course includes such emotions as ""numbness""--paradoxically related to reactions of relief or disbelief, depending on whether or not you are the initiator of the divorce action; ""deep shock""; anger; ambivalence (do you really want it all to go down the drain?); and depression. Trafford leans rather heavily on ""hundreds"" of interviews to flesh out her thin material and premise: that a ""Crazy Time"" of about two years follows divorce--and the recovery takes about three to five years after that. You know you're on the road to recovery when the sex becomes less promiscuous and more meaningful, when you dare to love and possibly even marry again. Trafford also postulates--with the help of some therapist friends--a universal scenario for marriages that are time bombs: one partner is dominant, one submissive, and as life situations change, the couples fail to renegotiate the unspoken wedding ""contract."" (Generally, we're told, it's the previously submissive one who becomes the ""Deceiver"" via affairs, the threatened ""dominant"" one who acts the part of the ""Denier."") Only for the most disoriented of the newly-divorced.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Harper & Row