Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and Yes, Your Ex

Although a great many books have been written to help soothe a divorcing couple’s wounds and spare their children, the ex-spouse relationship has been sadly neglected. The surprising discovery that ex-spouses can have positive, meaningful, and supportive relationships with one another is sorely missing from popular and professional literature. Befriending Your Ex After Divorce helps fill this gap.

Befriending is a brave and beautiful book that challenges destructive myths about the consequences of divorce, recontextualizes divorce in a new climate and creates a plan for a new divorce consciousness. Judy Rabinor’s ability to write as both a divorced person and a psychologist makes her uniquely positioned to integrate research, clinical practice, and the everyday reality faced by a divorced parent. While divorce certainly can and does have negative effects upon children, these effects are likely to result from hostile and combative relationship between ex spouses. Befriending reminds the reader that all divorces need not follow this unhappy script, and that ex spouses can collaboratively co-parent and be a source of support not only to their children, but to one another.

A guide to separating and divorced parents, this book is filled with practical exercises and suggestions offering coping strategies for anger, grief and loss and ultimately create a new divorce consciousness of befriending. Story after story—including Judy’s own story—reminds the reader that once the tsunami of divorce quiets down, exes can be connected and supportive to one another as they share a major joy: loving and raising their children and grandchildren they love, the family they have created and the new family unit that evolves in the wake of divorce.



Read Reviews

“This is an inspiring book every divorced parent should have on their nighttable and every therapist who works with divorcing families should have in their office. Judy Rabinor offers both a professional and a personal model of co parenting after divorce that nurtures emotional connection with oneself and emotional communication with one’s ex, all based on a deep understanding of the importance of maintaining healthy attachment bonds, for both our offspring and us, their parents.”

–Diana Fosha, Ph.D, Founder and Director of the AEDP Institute. Author, Accelerated,Experiential, Dynamic Psychotherapy: The Transforming Power of Affect.

“One of the hardest things we are called upon to do in life is to open our hearts to someone who hurt or betrayed us. Yet therapists deal everyday with the tragic consequences to divorced families when the exes keep feuding and stewing. Befriending Your Ex helps former partners access the love and compassion they have for each other that is buried beneath the pain. The post-divorce life of families doesn’t have to be barren and bitter. This book can help make it a period of learning and beauty.”

—Richard Schwartz, Founder and Director of Internal Family Systems. Author, You Are The One You’ve Been Looking For: A Guide to Intimate Relationships.

“Now that you are divorced, are you surprised to find that you have lingering and confusing feelings about your ‘ex’?  Whether you’re angry or sad about the break-up, Befriending Your Ex shows you how to manage your feelings and find healthy new ways to relate to your ‘ex’.  A valuable guide book that should be read by everyone who has an “ex’!”

–Constance R. Ahrons, Ph.D. Author, The Good Divorce and We’re Still Family

“We all know that when divorced parents continue to argue, their kids suffer–at worst, one parent disappears. But tolerating an ex, no less learning how to “befriend” him or her isn’t easy. This book teaches separated and divorced spouses how to let go of the anger, grief and resentment that prevents them from getting on  with their lives.”

–Melinda Blau, Author, Families Apart: Ten Steps to Successful Co-Parenting. Awared Winning Journalist and Author of 14 books.

“Judith Rabinor has written a guide to divorce that is sensitive while offering tough advice ; seemingly overly optimistic  yet realistic for those able to take the long view of divorce. I recommend this book especailly to divorcing parents and the professionals who work with them.”

–Robert E. Emery, Ph.D. Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law, University of Virginia. Author, The Truth About Children and Divorce. Divorce Mediation Expert.

Befriending your Ex after Divorce is a wise, practical and compassionate guide that will help make your transition easier, happier and ultimately a pathway to renewal. It is a gateway into forgiveness – which is the key to all lasting change. This is a must read for anyone going through a divorce with children.”

–Barbara Biziou, Author, The Joy of Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals

“Dr. Judy Rabinor is a clinical psychologist who has felt the pain of divorce herself and helped hundreds of clients through the process.  If you or someone you love are facing a painful break-up or have experienced one, this book is for you. Judy is an ally who can help you make life more peaceful and productive for you, your children and your ex.”

–Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Ph.D. Author, Forgiving and Reconciling and 25 books and 250 articles on forgiveness, marriage and family.

Befriending Your Ex is  an invaluable resource for divorcing parents who want their children to grow up healthy and emotionally secure in a dual household family.  Judy’s insight, experience, humor and spunk make her one of my favorite experts to interview for my films.”

–Leta Lenik, Documentary Film Producer, Co-director of “Women Unchained: Divorce in the Jewish community.”

“Much has been written on the importance of having a “good divorce” for the children’s sake,  but Judith Rabinor’s book goes deeper. Her fresh perspective focuses on the couple’s unique personal relationship after divorce and transitioning from marriage through divorce to friendship.   Ground-breaking, with practical guidance reframing our thinking on this important subject.”

–James Feldman, Esq.  Fellow,  American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers,  is a partner at Jenner & Block, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Family Institute at Northwestern University.

“Before you hire an  aggressive attorney, read this book. Save not only for your  child’s college education fund but for the emotional strength and sanity of your entire family!”

–Judge Irene Sullivan, ret. Author  Raised by the Courts: One Judge’s Insight into Juvenile Justice.

“For those who believe that befriending your ex is an oxymoron, Dr. Rabinor is here to show them why they’re wrong.  Based on personal as well as professional experience, she writes with compassion and insight about the damage caused by an acrimonious post-divorce relationship, and the opportunity to develop something more peaceful.  Dr. Rabinor offers practical tools to help ex-husbands and wives become friends, in order to improve their lives and the lives of their children.”

–Amie Wolf-Mehlman, PhD

“Ex” and “Friend usually equate with “Impossible” in the minds of most divorcing or divorced couples. Yet, after reading Dr. Rabinor’s book, the impossible not only seems quite possible but inevitable. Using a  compassionate yet compelling tone, Befriending Your Ex offers a much needed bridge for couples allowing even the angriest of exes to understand the importance of an amicable co-parenting relationship. Most important, she shows us how to acutally translate this understanding into constructive  action. Truly a must-read for anyone facing a separation or divorce, or, for  anyone who has already gone through one. Dr. Rabinor shows us, the reader, that its nevert too late to heal from divorce!”

–Debra Mandel, Ph.D. Author of 4 books including Healing the Sensitive Heart and Dump That Chump: From Doormat to Diva in Only Nine Steps–A Guide to Getting Over Mr. Wrong.


“I highly recommend Befriending Your Ex  After Divorce to anyone who truly wants to get along with their ex–as well as to those who have no interest in being friends. Every page is full of well-researched information, tips and ideas that can help even the most jilted of spouses find a path out of their pain and related to their ex in a way that holds the best  interest of the children as a top priority and that promotes healing for everyone involved. It should be mandatory  reading for anyone whose marriage is ending.”

–Susan Pease Gadoua, LCSW, author of Contemplating Divorce and Stronger Day by Day.


“Dr Rabinor’s book compels us to remember what we all know deep down inside: being good parents and role models to our children is the most important life purpose. While it may be human to carry the hurt and disappointment of a failed marriage, it is our job to protect our children from  our experiences. Letting go will not only be good for our children, but for us and our exes as well.  Read this book and spare your self  unnecessary time, grief and legal fees. Take her advice and you will learn  to manage your relationship with your  former spouse in a healthy, productive manner.”

–Wendy Hoyt Scheinberg, Esq.