The best books to free you from the pain of a toxic relationship or marriage

Who am I?

Sonia Frontera is a divorce lawyer with a heart. She is the survivor of a toxic marriage who is now happily remarried. Sonia integrates the wisdom acquired through her personal journey, her professional experience and the lessons of the world’s leading transformational teachers and translates it into guidance that is insightful and practical. Through the years, Sonia has supported domestic violence survivors as an advocate, speaker, and empowerment trainer.


I wrote...

Relationship Solutions: Effective Strategies to Heal Your Heart and Create the Happiness You Deserve

By Sonia Frontera, Connie Wilson,

Book cover of Relationship Solutions: Effective Strategies to Heal Your Heart and Create the Happiness You Deserve

What is my book about?

Your marital troubles are not the end of the road but a detour on the road to happiness. 

Whether you’re unhappily married, on the road to divorce recovery, or somewhere in between, this inspiring guide will lead you step by step through a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation, so you can create the happiness you deserve—with your spouse... or alone.

The books I picked & why

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The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello

By Anthony De Mello,

Book cover of The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello

Why this book?

I am a self-help junkie and have read a ridiculous amount of books about relationships. But if I had to pick one, this would be it. This little book reveals the secret to peace in your relationships… and it’s not what you think. Anthony de Mello teaches that love is found only in fearlessness and freedom. He provides a simple formula for releasing the angst caused by unhealthy attachments to our partners, so we can feel joyful and complete in their company or on our own. Anthony de Mello’s wisdom has been instrumental in my personal healing and provided the foundation for my own teachings. 

The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello

By Anthony De Mello,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Way to Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the international bestselling author of Awareness, a pocket-sized guide that will bring you to new levels of spiritual awareness.

The Way To Love contains the final flowering of Anthony de Mello's thought, and  in it he grapples with the ultimate question of  love. In thirty-one meditations, he implores his  readers with his usual pithiness to break through  illusion, the great obstacle to love. "Love  springs from awareness," de Mello insists, saying  that it is only when we see others as they are  that we can begin to really love. But not only must  we seek to see others with…


On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself: Turning the Life You Have Into the Life You Want

By Sonya Friedman, Guy Kettelhack,

Book cover of On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself: Turning the Life You Have Into the Life You Want

Why this book?

This book kept me afloat while I was recovering from a toxic marriage and divorce. In this timeless classic, Dr. Sonya Friedman delivers the prescription for women who want more out of life. Dr. Friedman delivers a healthy dose of empowerment with gusto, like a dear friend who wants the best for you. The book reveals the nine myths that women are taught about their lives and the nine facts that free them, strategies to jump-start their lives, embrace change in positive ways, chart a new direction, and achieve their dreams. A great read for anyone seeking to rebuild their life! 

On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself: Turning the Life You Have Into the Life You Want

By Sonya Friedman, Guy Kettelhack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On a Clear Day You Can See Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, the author exhorts each woman to be the sole arbiter and architect of her life, showing her how to find and heed the unique voice within her, and how to distinguish her internal needs amidst the welter of external expectations and demands.


Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything

By Iyanla Vanzant,

Book cover of Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything

Why this book?

Much of the pain experienced in toxic relationships stems from lack of forgiveness–forgiveness of our partners as well as ourselves. In this book, Iyanla Vanzant comes to the rescue with simple yet powerful strategies that help readers gain clarity and free themselves from the toxicity of unforgiveness. The book contains a 21-day workbook and a CD with guided meditation exercises for every day of your forgiveness journey. I experienced increased inner peace and freedom within days of sharing this journey with Vanzant.

Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything

By Iyanla Vanzant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forgiveness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today, too many of us stay stuck in stagnant intimate, family or workplace relationships, imprisoned by memories of what others have done to us or not done for us. Weighed down by toxic thoughts and emotions, we are quick to judge, self-righteous about what we feel and slow to pardon.

In Forgiveness, New York Times bestselling author and legendary life coach Iyanla Vanzant challenges us to liberate ourselves from the energetic blockages and wounds of the past.

Her powerful 21-Day Forgiveness Practice, which is also offered as an OWN Lifeclass, combines inspirational stories and intensive journal work with the revolutionary…


Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

By Lundy Bancroft,

Book cover of Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Why this book?

One in every four women and one in seven men experience partner abuse during their lifetimes. In this gem, renowned expert Lundy Bancroft uncovers the myths surrounding this epidemic. He offers victims and their loved ones a deep understanding of the dynamics of an abusive relationship. The book contains tools to help readers dissolve the erroneous thought and behavior patterns that keep them stuck in these harmful relationships and strategies to end them safely. But most importantly, Bancroft reminds them that the abuse is not their fault–that responsibility for the abuse falls squarely on the abuser. Full of insights and helpful resources, this gem is a must-read for anyone who is or suspects they or someone they love is being abused by a partner.

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

By Lundy Bancroft,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft—a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men—uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued, and to find ways to get free of an abusive relationship.

He says he loves you. So...why does he do that?
 
You’ve asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men—and change your life. In Why Does He Do That? you will learn about:
 
• The early warning signs of abuse
• The nature of abusive…


God, the Devil, and Divorce: A Transformative Journey out of Emotional and Spiritual Abuse

By Linda M. Kurth,

Book cover of God, the Devil, and Divorce: A Transformative Journey out of Emotional and Spiritual Abuse

Why this book?

Divorce is a devastating experience, especially where ending a marriage is viewed as a separation, not only from your spouse, but from your church as well. In God, the Devil and Divorce, Linda M. Kurth shares her personal divorce journey in spite of the opposition of her community of faith to escape the pain of an abusive marriage. She emerges triumphantly as a trailblazer for Christian women enduring spousal abuse, offering hope and reassuring them that life goes on—and happily. 

God, the Devil, and Divorce: A Transformative Journey out of Emotional and Spiritual Abuse

By Linda M. Kurth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God, the Devil, and Divorce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

God, The Devil, and Divorce tells the story of a Christian woman's marriage and divorce recovery from her "crazymaking" spouse; and how she learned to trust God along the way.

How could Linda Moore Kurth's marriage that once seemed so right become so wrong? Put-downs, shaming, and distancing grow into habitual emotional abuse. Counseling provides glimmers of hope, only for that hope to fade. She is shocked when her latest Christian counselor tells her, "If you divorce, Satan wins."

Linda receives a dichotomy of reactions from other Christians for her ultimate decision to leave her marriage. Betrayal and heartache bring…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in psychological abuse, domestic violence, and self-actualization?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about psychological abuse, domestic violence, and self-actualization.

Psychological Abuse Explore 13 books about psychological abuse
Domestic Violence Explore 29 books about domestic violence
Self-Actualization Explore 120 books about self-actualization

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Boundaries, A Cry for Justice, and Medical Apartheid if you like this list.