Breakup: Enduring Divorce by Leo Averbach
Reviewed by Deborah L. Baker for Reader's Choice Reviews
Having never experienced divorce, Breakup was a new experience for me. Nonetheless, author Leo Averbach allowed me to share the incredibly painful process of divorce through his gritty memoir. Averbach experiences a loss so deep and personal that it is hard to imagine. This story told through Leo’s journal shares the process he, his ex wife, and the children go through before the final act of divorce that eventually releases the family to heal.
The language is raw and at times acrid, as Averbach details his life’s downward spiral on learning that his wife is having an affair. He vacillates between trying to save the marriage, love for his wife and wanting her out of his life. The emotional turmoil is real and heartrending.
Averbach’s wife, Paula, moves out of their home leaving Leo and the children behind. She also struggles with the decision on whether to turn her back on her marriage and family, or give up her newfound love and save her marriage and home. Paula exhibits bitterness and anger with frequent outbursts directed at Leo. His responses range from passive aggressive to outright rage.
Breakup relates the couple’s journey through various therapy sessions both together and separately, as well as their few, futile attempts at reconciliation. As the Averbach’s relationship crumbles, the family’s home environment becomes acrimonious. Through it all, Leo’s journal entries give us a very genuine and unprocessed glimpse of the inner turmoil that divorce can have on a person’s self imagine and ego.
For those going through the process of letting go of your marriage, and enduring the painful process of separation, this book is enlightening. The path to healing is often a long and painful struggle but Leo Averbach tells us in Breakup: Enduring Divorce that it is possible. As Marcel Proust points out "We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full." Leo Averbach relates the process of experiencing the hurt, anger, and pain of betrayal and loss in full and uncut.