Books That Can Help

Here on this page you will find a list of books and other literature sources that can provide guidance when going through the horrible pain of a broken heart. While none of them can heal the pain, only time can do that, they can and will provide you with some comfort. Summary's marked with a * are all books I read or read part of. Almost every single one of these books I read within the first two months of Mary leaving me. While this might be a little excessive, it is what I needed to do to try and cope with my loss. With these books that I did read, I will include my personal thoughts and feelings.

*This was the very first book I read after Mary left me. I was an absolute mess when I started reading it. Most of the pages are filled with dried tears on them. I remember reading this book, searching every page for the words "don't worry Michael, Mary still loves you, she will come back to you very soon." As long and as hard as I searched, I never found that phrase. What I did find was a wealth of knowledge on relationships and communication within these pages so well written by John Gray. This book, I believe every couple should read...TOGETHER. The book talks in depth about effective communication in relationships and how to utilize these to build stronger more fulfilling relationships. If you are fresh into the world of heartbreak, but you feel there is still hope for your relationship. Read this book first before you try to reconnect with your lover. The communication skills the book teaches in it our invaluable. It lends a much deeper understanding to male and female nuances, why we act so different from each other, and why when we say one thing we mean another. Understanding these things and knowing how to respond will you a much better understanding of your mate and hopefully will help you guys work out your differences. Couple's like I said before, please read this. If you really love one another this book will give you a competitive edge at tackling the world together as it will allow you to understand each other much more. I wish I had read this book three years ago before I first met Mary. I also wish her and I would have read it together. I think it would have eliminated a lot of the little petty arguments we would get into.

*The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman explores the concept that each and every one of us has a unique language of receiving love. These languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch. Some of us may be more than one of these languages, but essentially what the book is saying is that you can best love your current or future partner by identifying their primary love language and thus catering to it. Chapman says that we each have "love tanks" that need to be kept full. The best and most effective ways to keep these tanks full is to speak to one another via our primary love languages. An example: for me my primary love language would be quality time. It did not matter if we were at the beach, if we were watching a movie, if we were just sitting quietly and not even talking, I loved being in her presence. I valued hers and mine one on one time. I felt that I did not need to hear her say I love you, to know that she loved me. Just the quality time with her was enough. I think one of Mary's main love languages would be words of Affirmation. She needed and wanted to be told she was loved all the time, or that she was beautiful. I did not understand this since our languages were different. I tried communicating with her via my primary love language... thinking that if we are spending the time together that's what is important. Mary needed to be told more often that she was loved, or how beautiful I thought she was. This is really where the value of this book comes in. Learn how to communicate with your partner in a way that they want to be communicated with. All of us are different beings, that's what makes me me, and you you. Since we all have these differences our needs and wants are going to be different. This is another book that is great to help you better understand your partner and is another one I wish I had read years ago. If you feel like you are not able to give and receive love from your partner like you used to I highly recommend this book for yourself or for the two of you to read together.

*In the Meantime, Finding Yourself and the Love You Want, by Iyanla Vanzant was one of the books I gave Mary to read after I read it. I felt like she was as lost, if not more so than me, and that this book might give her some guidance while we were apart, in hopes that it would bring us back together. This book talks about cleaning out your emotional basement while you prepare yourself for enjoying and receiving the love of your life. I have probably put more into practice from this book than any other, as I have devoted the last several months to doing things that improve me and worked relentlessly on cleaning out my own "emotional basement." The book is inspiring as Vanzant talks about her emotional basement and how she ultimately marries her soul mate 30 years after they first met. She said that it was a relationship that could not have lasted 30 years earlier. For me this was something I wanted to read. I searched for phrases of hope like this one in all the books I read. Phrases that brought two estranged people back together. I do not want to wait 30 years; I want to have someone to enjoy my life with much sooner than that. The practice of cleaning out your emotional basement, as talked about in here, is one of the best things you can do for yourself as you heal. All of us come with baggage into relationships. Most of us never really sit down and work on ourselves. If we don't work on our own individual self, then how can we ever really work on a relationship that consists of two people? Could this be one of the reasons divorce rate is so high right now? This book is a book as it really does give you some guidelines to helping you to work on you.

*The first time I felt a glimmer of being strong again was when I watched the secret. I have not actually read the book, but I have been told that the book and DVD are very similar. I have however watched the dvd many times. About the second on third week into our breakup I was holed up into my room crying my eyes out feeling miserable. I decided to watch this movie. I had watched it once or twice a few months earlier, and had been trying to implement the power of positive thought and law of attraction into my life. Now I was really being tested because without Mary, I could not even smile let alone think happy/positive thoughts. So I put the movie on and watched it. I remember I watched it and I put a picture of Mary over my heart as I watched. I tried so hard that day and every day after to will her to come back to me. That has not happened. What did happen though was as i was watching this movie, I felt empowered right after it was over. It gave me hope that I could control my own destiny and perhaps I could also attrac Mary back into my life. As soon as the movie was over I got up and wrote up a less of affirmations about me. I printed up four copies of these and put each one in a place that I would see it all the time. For the next six weeks, every time I got in and out of the car, woke up, went to sleep etc... I read my affirmation list, out loud, to myself. It helped, and I still read this list everyday at the start of the day. The secret holds a special place in my heart as it really did empower me watching it that day. I believe it can empower anyone whose heart hurts if you listen to the message in it. It is not going to erase the pain, but try and implement some of the daily exercises they talk about in the film. It does help, and some help, even if it just a little, is better than none. I definitely recommend it to everyone as I believe we can all learn something from it.

*While this book is marketed largely for business professionals and self-improvement, I found the concepts in it are great to apply towards relationships. Stephen Covey spends a lot of time talking about and giving examples of better more effective communication skills in both the business world and in the family. The concepts are simple and easy to follow, yet can be very effective if implemented properly. I had a friend of mind about a month ago come up to me and tell me that he felt like his and his girlfriend's relationship was coming to an end because they just could not seem to get along. I asked him if he still loved her and he said yes. Not wanting to have a friend go through the pain I just went through I went out to dinner with the two of them to observe how they interacted with each other. Now I am not an expert in communication or relationships, but I have learned a lot in the last few months. Utilizing skills that I learned largely from this book, I later gave him some advice on how to better communicate with her. I then gave him some advice on how to better address her needs. Two weeks later he came back to me and told me thank you and that they were getting along much better. He told me his girlfriend wanted my advice as well, so I did the same for her. Now they are both getting along better than ever and feel very secure with each other and their relationship. It is cool to see two friends be happy like that when the other option was for them to be sad because they really are a good couple. I was glad I could help. This book is great for any couple struggling with communicating with each other or looking to make some changes in the dynamic of their relationship. It is also great for individuals who are seeking to improve themselves and grow (which I highly recommend, see "IN THE MEANTIME") before entering into a new relationship.

*While I have not read a lot of the words in the Bible, I have read some. When I began delving into the world of religion, I did it thinking that I would win Mary back. This did not work. However, I remained as committed as I could to continuing on my journey of self and spiritual growth. The Bible does provide a great deal of guidance and comfort from the written word of God. I believe that there is a passage of scripture in here that anyone can benefit and learn from. This book is not just for the extremely religious and deeply faithful, this book is also for those of us who are searching for answers and are looking to God for guidance. I highly recommend everyone read at least some part of the Bible. If you have a deep seeded faith in God already, you especially want to turn to the Bible while going through your time of heartbreak. This is also a great compass for couples that are struggling in their relationship. Studying the Bible together may provide you with the guidance from a spiritual standpoint that will get your relationship back on track.

*A friend, gave this book, by Steven Pressfield, to me. The book is written as a motivational book to overcome blocks that inhibit you from unleashing your inner creativity. The reason my friend gave it to me is it talks largely about making changes in your life. I felt, when Mary left me, that I needed to make a lot of changes in my life. If I was really to work on me then I would need to rid myself of all the negativity in my life. This book is a good guide for that and guide for helping you grow. It helps identify the roadblocks that we place in our lives that prevent us from doing the things we want to do. When fresh out of a relationship, you are essentially starting over. It might be a good time to make some changes in other aspects of your life that you have always wanted to. This book is a good place to start. There is no better time to try something new, for you, than immediately post break up. I talk more about my own growth in other sections on this site, but I can tell you I have made many phenomenal changes in my own life. A book like this one served as a great guide to allow me to identify some of the everyday things in my life that were inhibiting me from making the changes I wanted to. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to work on himself or herself, and make some significant changes in their lives.

*This book, by Louann Brizendine, was recommended for me to read by my therapist. Like all books I read, this one still did not answer my ultimate question, "WHY?" And like all the books I read I searched the pages looking for the words, "Don't worry Michael, Mary still loves you, she misses you and she will come back to you." Sadly I never found those words in this book, but what I did find was a wealth of information and better understanding on our female partners. This book chronicles female lives and chemical evolution from early adolescence into late adulthood. It explains, in detail, important information about hormone changes, mood swings, sexual appetite, life focuses, parenting habits etc... The book talks about how hormones can hugely impact mating habits. I thought after reading this book, ( i guess i really hoped) that maybe Mary had just had some sort of crazy hormone shift that she did not know how to deal with. That once it passed maybe she would come back to me, this still has not happened. However, what has happened is that i have noticed that my relationships with my female friends have all strengthened as a result of me having a better understanding of them. As important as this book is for women to read to better understand themselves, I think this book is even more important for men to read to better understand our female partners. Trust me guys, your ego is only challenged for the two minutes it takes to pick the book up off the shelf and walk to the check out line and pay for it (I timed this). The return you get on that small two-minute sacrifice is invaluable. The knowledge you get from it could potentially save, strengthen, and/or help build a stronger relationship. I recommend this book to individuals, (both women and MEN); as well as couples no matter what stage, or age you are in a relationship.

*This book, by Spencer Johnson, is a book about making changes in your life. This is another book (I actually got the audio cd for this one) I gave to Mary after I was done with it, hoping that some of the words in it would help guide her in her own quest. This book is very simple and easy to follow. The story is told at a reunion by one of the attendees to his friends. At the heart the story is basically saying to embrace change. However, change can mean a lot of things. This was something I was very guarded against when I read it. I did not want to think about the possibility that Mary might not come back to me. So the phrase I held onto more than others was "making changes in an old relationship". Changes are referred to as the cheese and the book talks about how if we become complacent in our lives, then the cheese will eventually mold, start to smell, and finally vanish. I embraced the concept of making changes in my life. I quit my job and started my own business. I started going to church, doing volunteer work amongst other things. I did these things because I examined my life and realized much of "my cheese" or my day-to-day life had caused me to become complacent and was keeping me from attaining my life goals. This is a great book to read to help redefine YOU and want YOU want in your life. It is also a great book to read if you are going through a tough time in a relationship.

*I read this book, written by Laura Rosen and Xavier Amador, and this is a great book in helping people you know and love cope with depression. Depression affects approximately 10% of us at some point in our lifetime. That means the probability of us knowing someone closely who will suffer for this is more likely than not. The hardest thing, I learned, is that when you are the helper, you are also the one that gets pushed away more than anyone else. This book provides some great communication tools and strategies to help you in tackling this issue if you ever are put in the situation. It talks about different forms of depression, different ways we can get it, and also about symptoms and different kinds of treatments. It is a great book to read if you have a loved one in your life who is down, or you have noticed them acting out of character (in a bad way) lately.

*This book, by Friends in Recovery, was bought by accident. I went to the bookstore looking for another book to answer my questions and I saw this one. I read the first sentence on the back of the book which says, "The 12 Steps for Adult Children is a unique tool for the millions of adults who seek healing from the hurtful effects of life events and experiences of growing up in a wounding environment." That is all my brain registered, I thought that this would be the perfect book to read to help release me from my own issues I had from growing up. Much to my surprise when I started reading it and it focused on alcoholism. Nonetheless the book offers some good guidelines, as there are many of us out there who may find ourselves in relationships with an alcoholic, or might be alcoholics ourselves. I include this book on this page because this sites underlying message is to love ourselves. This book really does offer some good guidance for loving ourselves when coping with this addiction. Some of the tools and exercises in it can also be interchanged to deal with other problems and issues in life. I recommend this book for people where alcoholism is a current or shows signs of being a potential issue in a relationship.

*This is another book by Robin Sharma. I really have enjoyed all of his books that I have read as I feel he is an articulate writer that is able to convey powerful messages in a very simple way to his readers. This book follows along a similar path as "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari." The book focuses on abiding by specific principals to enhance and live your greatest life possible. It provides some guidance to in this quest through the fictional character of Julian Mantle. This book is all about living life and how we can make the absolute most out of the limited time on this earth. The book has some very inspiring quotes in it that will surely motivate any who read it to attempt to take action on making their life the best they possibly can. This book is a great post break up book as it really is all about soul searching and discovering your self. The character Julian mentors in the book is in the midst of a separation from his wife and suicidal. Julian comes along and is able to guide him to a path of healing and loving of himself. Soul searchers will really benefit from this book as well. We all lose our way at some point in life; this book is a great guide to point us back in the right direction.

*I did not read this book from cover to cover. I skimmed the book at random. This was one of the last books I read in my two-month crash course on trying to understand what was going on in my life. I read the first 20 pages about 10 times though. In the first 20 pages, Bill and Lynne Hybels talk about their courtship through life. How they fell for each other, then had an on again off again relationship. Eventually the split up and had no contact for over a year only to find their way back to each other and finally getting married. This was another book I read for the hope it gave me, the hope that Mary would find her way back to me. The book is different than many of the other books I read, as this one can from a more religious perspective. Bill is the senior pastor of a church and so there is a spiritual overtone to the book, which is great as it lends a different perspective from the books that deal from a psychology standpoint. The Hybels talk openly about their marriage, about their ups and downs, which gives the book a very real, very human feel to it. These are people sharing their stories with you, trying to help, trying to heal, and trying to teach in much the same as I am with this website. They cover the good times and the bad times equally to show that marriage/relationships take work, it is not always a picnic. I think this is a great book to read, especially for people with a deep faith in God. This is not the best book for working through a breakup, but it is great for trying to mend one, and for couples who are considering marriage.

*I did not read this book cover to cover like most of the other books, I did however read major chunks out of this book. The book is basically about building a better YOU, or what the book refers to as what it means to feel at "home". Home is of course an illusion to attaining total self fullfillment with who you are. There are tools in this book that I have implemented in my daily life, but more importantly I have embraced the idea of working on being completely at home with myself. One of Mary's friends asked me not to long ago if I had dated anyone yet. I told her no. I told her I was incapable of it as Mary still had my heart, and I told her that right now the number one priority in my life is to work on me. In my apartment I have put a bulletin board up with different facets of who I am and my life. It is essentially me bullet pointed. I have put that up on my wall for everyone to see and have used it as an evaluation tool for whom I let into and whom I want in my life. My real true friends I have noticed come over, look at it and tell me that is really cool I have done that. They essentially accept me for who I am and who I will become. The people who are not my true friends have laughed or felt uncomfortable with my bulletin board. It does not make them bad people; it just means they are not the right people for me to be around as I am seeking a path to be completely at "home" with myself. This book is great for people post break up looking to work on themselves.

*I have not completely finished this book yet. I started it and realized much of what the book talks about is what I have been working through in my own experiences in my therapy sessions. It is good as it addresses the individual and loving yourself. This is the number one thing I needed to work on. I carried into my relationship with Mary a lot of baggage from my childhood. Insecurities I was not aware of, but were triggered because I loved her so much. Mary used to get upset with me because she felt like I would not be affectionate enough at times, I tried to explain to her that I did not know and I was sorry. There were times I could not be as affectionate as she wanted because I truly did not love myself in the way that I wanted to. We all carry different types of insecurities, some more prominent than others. Some are enhanced based on our personality type. This book is a great starting point to address some of the insecurities that may be following you through life. Again, I wish I had tackled my childhood insecurities long before I met Mary, but I had no way of really knowing that they were there. If you sense you do have some, or you notice that you love your partner, but can't express it in the way you or they want to, then this book might be a good place to start looking how to love yourself first.

*I saw this book at Costco on one very sad day after Mary had left me. I read almost half of it while I was standing in the store. The book is very easy to read. I read it because this was another book I was searching for hope in. It also spoke to me because the book deals largely with putting your trust and faith into God. As I have mentioned in "My story of heartbreak", one of the things I did after Mary left was attend church. As I said before it started as a quest to win her back, but it has evolved into a self-growth institution for me. Denise talks about her separation from Alan and the pain it caused, but then she also talks about how when she truly put her faith in God, he came back to her. This was the hope I was looking for in this book when I read it. I prayed harder everyday as much as I could that Mary would return. Although she never did, I feel like my spiritual side is much more solid. I think this book is a great book for people who have a deep faith in God, as I think they can really appreciate the spiritual ness here. I also think that others who are looking to heal a breaking relationship can benefit regardless of their religious standpoint. This book is also a great starting point for people who want to bring God and religion into their lives but are not sure how.

*This book, by Robin Sharma, was one of the books I actually read while Mary and I were still together. This book had been recommended to me by an acquaintance and said it would serve as a great guide to help me achieve my life's goals. When reading it, I searched for guidance on how I could improve the quality of Mary's life and mine. I looked for solutions on how I can take the next step forward in business, in our relationship, and in life. I have since re-read the book post Mary. It is still a wonderfully inspiring book and I highly recommend it to everyone who is searching for something in their life. This book is great for couples that are looking to build a greater life together. This book is really great for singles that are looking to figure out how they can improve the quality of their life. The wisdom the book imparts on the reader is there and easy to follow if only we will implement it into our daily lives. This book carries with it an underlying theme of loving yourself and the exercises and guidelines that are laid out in it offer you a foundation to not only love yourself, but to build a great life on. There are other books in The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series, but this one is by far the best and most beneficial to anyone who reads it.

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