|After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful
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For the 70 percent of couples who have been affected by extramarital affairs, this is the only book to offer proven strategies for surviving the crisis and rebuilding the relationship -- written by a nationally known therapist considered an expert on infidelity.
When I was 15, I was raped. That was nothing compared to your affair. The rapist was a stranger; you, I thought, were my best friend.
There is nothing quite like the pain and shock caused when a partner has been unfaithful. The hurt partner often experiences a profound loss of self-respect and falls into a depression that can last for years. For the relationship, infidelity is often a death blow.
After the Affair? is the first book to help readers survive this crisis. Written by a clinical psychologist who has been treating distressed couples for 22 years, it guides both hurt and unfaithful partners through the three stages of healing: Normalizing feelings, deciding whether to recommit and revitalizing the relationship. It provides proven, practical advice to help the couple change their behavior toward each other, cultivate trust and forgiveness and build a healthier, more conscious intimate partnership.
- Too abbreviated
This says it was an unabridged version. The product that was sent to me was clearly marked "abridged." I bought the book too so I noticed how much was cut out of the audiotape. Book is excellent. Too much was missing from the tape....more info
- Coddling advice that justifies adulterers
Spring says, "I don't make blanket judgments about whether affairs are, in themselves, good or bad."
In many ways, our culture condones and even glorifies affairs. The author's statement implies that like the weather or flavors of ice cream, affairs can be viewed differently. If your author's husband had an affair and she contracted a STD such as HIV/AIDS, would she still be unwilling to say that affairs are bad or wrong? Affairs are wrong and bad just as spousal battery is. Imagine someone saying in a book on spousal abuse/battering saying "I don't make blanket judgments about whether beating your spouse is good or bad." Beating your spouse or having an affair are bad and wrong. People who have such desires and feel the need to act upon them should instead put their energies into immediately contacting a competent marriage counselor or divorce lawyer.
Spring says "I don't separate the two of you into victim and victimizer, betrayed and betrayer. Each of you must accept an appropriate share of responsibility for what went wrong. Rather than assign blame, I encourage each of you to confront those parts of yourself that led to the affair..."
While I have not wanted to play the role of victim at various times in my life, the fact of the matter is that I have been the victim of an affair. The second part of the above statement is even more troubling. Can you imagine saying to the victim of spousal battering, "Each of you must accept an appropriate share of responsibility for what went wrong. Rather than assign blame, I encourage each of you to confront those parts of yourself that led to the battering/abuse..." Sorry Dr. Spring, but you're no expert on affairs. Victims of affairs, just as victims of spousal battering, are not responsible for the wrong choices and decisions their partners made.
Spring seems to be more concerned with offering coddling statements and reassurances to adulterers. ...more info
- Excellent Resource for Surviving and Growing after Infidelity
After the Affair is a comprehensive and insightful manual that has provided extraordinary help in my life and Im sure will help millions. It helped me to get through the crisis and shock after finding out that my partner was having an affair. It explained the "normal" feelings and helped me to gain insight into what i was going through. After an affair there are of course choices you have. You can stay with your partner and make a committment to working on the relationship or you can move on to the new adventure that awaits you. This time in your life can be truly transformative. This book offers practical information on rebuilding trust if you choose that path. Personally I got a lot out of the book but I chose to move on with my life. The answer lies within your heart. You just need to listen closely. Highly recommended reading for anyone dealing with this challenging situation....more info
- This was the first book we read together. It helped.
What I never thought would happen, happened. I discovered my spouse was having an affair. It ended immediately. For my spouse, deep regret, shame, remorse, and humiliation set in. For me, anger, grief, disbelief, and an 'avalanche of losses', including the sweet memories of our marriage ceremony......gone.
We went through what I call 'post-affair hell' for some time. Five months into recovery and working with a wonderful marriage therapist, I came upon this book. We began reading it ever so slowly, one chapter at a time on weekend mornings. (We even bought a huge cushy chair-and-a-half with lots of pillows to sit and read together, cuddle, talk, connect, recover and heal in.)
This book made so much sense to us. It shed light on the truth of what happened and why. The affair was put in it's place......a big fat mistake. It became increasingly clear to my spouse what non-substance that illicit 'love' was based on. When you don't even know each other, it's basically a lot of hormones and self-suggestion.
"After the Affair" helped bring back into focus what true lasting love is, the gift of a lifetime, and the importance of work and commitment in order to maintain it. We are still recovering, but are so glad to have survived this crisis and kept our family together....more info
The one good thing I found in this book is the expression of real rage and the range of emotions that are most often felt when the "faithful" one has been betrayed by the "unfaithful" one.
I found the book does bring some vlauable insight for the 'unfaithful' to understand the emotions that the 'faithful' does go through. If you are looking to rebuild and restore your life, I recommend the insight this book gives, along with another one called 'Stop Being the String Along' by Barbara Rose which has provided me with life changing answers.
Give both books a look, as you will find enlightening answers.
- highly recommended
No two situations are exactly the same but what this book successfully does is try to help both parties address why it happened and how they can move on together...or apart. I found it very helpful and very thorough. The flood of feelings you go through when an affair occurs is overwhelming and reading this book helps you realize that: 1. you're not alone, 2. that people can and do get past it and 3. that there were probably reasons that it happened that are worth examining if you want to move forward and have a healthier relationship....regardless of whether it's with your partner or not. That is why I would recommend it to anyone who has gone through an affair either as the "hurt" one or as the "unfaithful" one.
I would also like to counter what another reviewer suggested when they remarked that having an affair is the same as physical abuse. I think it's important to understand that while an affair is emotionally hurtful for one's partner, it is generally not done to deliberately hurt one's partner. Intent and outcome are rather important in debunking the correlation. I have also been the victim of physical abuse and personally found such a suggestion out-of-line to say the least. ...more info
- A comprehensive self help book!
It's really comprehensive. It helps me to put things in perspectives and provide useful information to make a choice to stay or leave. ...more info
- A must-read for anyone going through betrayal
This book is excellent for anyone going through the pain of betrayal, man or woman. As I understand it, many marriage counselors recommend it and consider it invaluable for couples who are trying to rebuild. If I have any quibble about the book, it is with the author's refusal to make a judgment about whether infidelity is 'right' or 'wrong'. It's wrong in every corner of the universe and I thought she copped out a little with that statement -- had to take off a star in my ratings for that faux pas!...more info
- After the Affair
I read "After the Affair" about three weeks after discovering my husband had been having an affair for a year. It was helpful for me, because I thought the feelings I was feeling were abnormal. I didn't care for the term the "lover". I don't view the other woman as that. The book did help me come to terms with my husband's behavior. I do wish it had more information about the "lover" as Dr.Springer referred to them. (personality type)etc. I would recommend it. It is soft reading at a time that you may feel angry!!!...more info
- How to Heal and Restore Your Relationship After Infidelity
This is one FANTASTIC book to help each partner in the relationship take full responsibility for their part in the relationship breakdown that led to infidelity, and shows exactly what you can do to restore trust, intimacy, and a renewed sense of wholeness as well as a renewed commitment to continue with the one you love.
This wonderful book clearly shows how EACH partner reacts, and how those reactions feel, and it is a vital resource for both partners to read in order to heal, and move forward together in a healthy, positive manner. It is also important to remember that trust is built again over time, and through many small experiences.
You will learn how to stop negative reactions, and how to communicate with authenticity from the heart, rather than blame. This book is a MUST READ for anyone who is with someone that has been through the guilt, pain, and trauma of an affair, and how re-build again. Highly Recommended!
Barbara Rose, author of "Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE" and 'If God Was Like Man'
Editor of inspire! magazine
- If you realize your part, this is the right book
My situation was a bit complicated but "technically" he didn't do anything wrong seeing both me and his ex-. After we decided to go exclusive, I was still hurt. After reading the book, it made me realize that what I was going thru is normal and helped me slowly get better. The author doesn't judge who's right or wrong, so in my situation where my boyfriend definitely doesn't see himself doing any wrong can read it and be able to understand what I was/am going thru. People who are the one hurt looking for sympathy probably want to read another book first. But if you want to work on the relationship and seemed to get stuck not able to let go, this is a great book to read....more info
- Excellent, insightful work
as a psychologist, i have found this book to be a wonderful resource. i have used it with many patients who have been on the giving or receiving end of an affair and have also used it with patients who have a family history characterized by an affair. the book is great for getting both members of the couple to look at the ways in which they could do things differently in the relationship. it's unfortunate but true that an affair can often bring couples closer together. i certainly do not think that this is the way to get your partner's attention (!), but i do believe that relationships can survive an infidelity. this book provides hope and help for strengthening a marriage after an affair.
one of the best parts of the book discusses the process of learning from the affair. this chapter includes a section on how our own family of origin issues can contribute to our tendencies to push others away, withdraw from others, or otherwise sabotage a relationship. for instance, dr. spring speaks of a situation in which a person never got to be a child and sought a lover to get in touch with that impulsive, childlike side of the personality. none of the tendencies that she describes are meant as excuses for behavior, though. rather, they are meant as potential reasons and points of consideration so that the individual may work toward preventing an affair. this section alone made the book worth reading for me, and i have used it with faithful couples who appear to be attempting to sabotage their relationship in some way.
for those who say that this book blames the faithful partner, i remind you of what anais nin said: "we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." while this book provides the faithful partner with points to ponder during the process of recovery, the message is not one of blaming that spouse for driving the unfaithful spouse to an affair. in my opinion, that is simply NOT possible. i can't MAKE my spouse have an affair any more than i can MAKE him stand on his head or eat asparagus! if it's not yours, don't own it. simply read the book, do some instrospecting, and work to make your love strong enough to withstand the trials and tribulations that characterize a relationship between two people who love each other deeply....more info
- Three Years Later
If you suspect your spouse is having an affair, or if you know for sure an affair is occuring--YOU NEED THIS BOOK!!! If your suffering and think your losing your mind; or, if your on a road traveling from one extreme emotion to another---YOU NEED THIS BOOK When your suffering on such a magnificent scale, you need serious help. This book will provide you with that help. It will give you all the background knowledge you need--for both partners. She gives advice and information to the cheating spouse AND the faithful spouse. With her help, I was able to see that it wasn't ALL my fault, nor was it ALL his fault. She explains what the typical reactions of both parties are, and how to respond to those reactions. I found myself running back to read, and reread, sections that were pertinent to my situation, over and over again. My husband would say, or do something so typical of people involved in affairs, and I'd have already read about it. I can't even explain to you how much that helped me. I guess knowing what to expect kept ME from responding in unhealthy ways, at least most of the time. I won't say that it was easy to read some of the things she said, especially the section about revealing an affair to your partner, but it was enlightening and non-biased, nonetheless.
Today, three years later, we are still married. Our marriage is a LONG way from being healed, but it is also a long way from the unhealthy realationship that it was.
Whenever I think back on those painful, raw nerve, early days of our recovery, I am forever grateful to Dr. Abrahms for writing this book....more info
- Trust again
I have only read part of this book so far but I was amazed by how much I read that reminded me of what I have been going through. My wife of 11 years had an affair with a friend of ours at work. We are working things out but one big problem has been my feelings----I had no idea what to think and if these feelings were normal or if I was going out of my mind. It has already made a big differance to me....more info
- Good to read immediately after discovery
If you have recently discovered your spouse's affair, or if you suspect your spouse is having an affair, this is a good book to read. It does not attack either party's position, but explains the emotions both the betrayed spouse and the wayward spouse are going through. When I discovered my husband's affair, I did not know anyone who had gone through this and survived, so I felt very alone. After reading the book, I was relieved to find that my thoughts and feelings were very normal. Unfortunately, so was his behavior! That was the hardest part to take, but it was very necessary for me to understand his side as well.
What I did not like about this book was that it left things open-ended for me. It didn't really seem to get past the "Do I stay or do I go?" stage. Obviously, if I left it would mean starting over. There was a brief section about rebuilding trust, but it really didn't give me enough information about moving on WITH my husband.
This book is really for "beginners" in life after an affair. I would follow it up with "Surviving an Affair" by Drs. Harley and Chalmers. If you are already past the discovery stage, I would skip "After the Affair" altogether. I don't think you would find anything you don't already know....more info
- Got to get it
Very good, easy to read. Really a great help to get back on your feet....more info
- Mental saviour for the wounded
Our therapist recommended this book. It has been a life saver. The feelings I was experiencing were put into words so perfectly. It gave me hope and made me feel like I wasn't quite so crazy after the worst experience of my life....more info
- After the Affair
This was a very well written book and very helpful for all kinds of marital problems. ...more info
- no nonsense
I was appalled to see how many copies of this book have been sold, and how many books there are dealing with this sad issue. Such a big problem, and it's so devestating that everyone who experiences it seems to feel desperate for an answer. This book is one of the best out there, and was recommended to me by our marriage counselor. It doesn't provide absolutes, 'must do' things, but it does provide very helpful insights into both the hurt partners point of view as well as the straying partners point of view, which is helpful when making the decision to stay or leave the relationship. I haven't run across another book that was so clearly written, and from two viewpoints. Ms. Spring certainly tried very hard to be unbiased, and for the most part succeeds. I would recommend this to anyone suffering this kind of anguish, as well as for their partner....more info
- Author places far too much blame on the faithful spouse.
Her opening statement in the introduction says volumes about her very liberal perspective. "I don't make blanket judgments about whether affairs are, in themselves, good or bad. What may be enhancing for one of you may devastate the other, and destroy the relationship."
Further, she continually places too much blame on the faithful spouse, while coddling the unfaithful spouse. "Each of you must accept an appropriate share of responsibility for what went wrong. Rather than assign blame, I encourage each of you to confront thse parts of yourself that led to the affair, and to change in ways that rebuild trust and intimacy."
She further says that I should apologize to my wife for driving her to the affair.
Having said all that, the book does have some redeaming qualities. She does an excellent job of addressing all of the range of emotions that we go through. I might recommend that the faithful, hurt, confused spouse read this book to help understand what you are going through, but take the parts that blame you with somewhat of a grain of salt.
I am not saying that the faithful spouse is always free and clear of blame in my opinion. I just find it hard to believe that the faithful spouse is always to blame....more info
- REALLY helped me by giving me validation
When my husband had an affair with my best friend, my therapist recommended this book to me. It was VERY, VERY helpful. It really explains all the reasons people have affairs - the circumstances that can create them, what's missing inside you and in your relationship, etc. I cannot recommend it enough. It helped validate a lot of things for me and helped me gravitate back to good self-esteem. Get a copy for your spouse, too....more info
- Title says it all
This book was recommended to my husband and I, by a marraige counselor after I found out about his affair. It's unbiased and focuses on underlying reasons for unhappiness within a marraige and how to help mend it if possible. After 13 years of marraige, this book really taught my husband and I to effectively communicate OPENLY and honestly. I recommend this book to anyone going through the effects of an affair either for yourself or with your spouse. Actually Id recommend it to any couple to possibly stop an affair before it happens....more info
- Great book even 9 months later
Even 9 months after learning of my husband's string of affairs - long term and one night stands - this book was a huge help for me. Our counselor was treating my husband for sexual addiction but not treating the severe depression I was slipping into. The book opened my eyes to some of the issues he was dealing with and put words to many of my deep feelings. Bottom line I realized the feelings I were having were normal and I wasn't out there alone! The book gave me hope. We are trying to rebuild our marriage - I was 10 days away from giving birth to our second son when I confronted his affairs. This book made me realize I wasn't a push over for wanting to try and build a family - that there was hope and there were steps to help us try. I am trying to find a counselor who can work with us in the same techniques found in the book. You'll see once you read the book - high cost and low cost actions - my one and only high cost for my husband - read the book! It would help him see what I am going through also and bring up some subjects that are hard to find a way to put into words. Not the one and only answer - it won't help you forget - but it will give you a starting point....more info
- An important book that should be read before you marry too..
The author shows in-depth experience that is not to be quibbled with. I bought the book because my spouse was having an affair and I wanted to recover the marriage. I suggested we read it together, but nothing could convince my spouse to read it. As I read I found out WHY my spouse would not read it, and gave me the courage and conviction that I was not nuts, and showed how the affair involved partner would try to turn the tables all the time. Thank God for the section that mentioned NPD (narcissitic personality disorder). After researching further and talking with my own therapist about my spouses history, we came away without any doubts as to this devastating disorder, and that it's almost never curable. I'm out of a horiffically manipulative and loveless marriage perpertrated by the acting capabilities of my spouse. Thank-You Dr. Springs for saving me from hell....more info
- Good Stuff
This book was suggested by my couples therapist. I admire the view form both sides. You can read how the offender felt and how the victim felt. This is a non-judgemental book and is helping our relationship immenseley....more info
- A Life Saver
When I found out that my wife had a lover, I was overcome by a million thoughts and feelings. I wandered if I was being too "whatever". I hated and loved her. I wanted to kill/ignore him. I admired/despised myself for how I was handeling it. What is the normal response to such a revelation? After the Affair told me exactly how and what I was feeling and also told me that these things were normal. The book helped a lot. We are still together, but only physically. Emotionally, we have a long way to go. Because of my wife's abuse as a child, she is struggeling with who she is and what she wants. This book explains a lot about this as well. The other part about these reviews was that I could e-mail other readers and ask questions and discuss their experiences. My wife also read it, and it helped her to understand how I felt as well as what she was feeling. If you are on either side of this equation GET THIS TOOL in your briefcase....more info
- Avoid this book, Avoid this lady
If your wife is reading this book, you must divorce her immediately. It is a primer for how to collect evidence for a divorce under the guise of trying to become secure in her marriage. Janis Spring has been divorced at least once and this is her primer on screwing the guy....more info
- Didin't fit the profile
After continuously skipping threw the book, I came to page 111 and realized this book was not for me. So if anyone knows of a book for those of us who don't blame ourselves and want to try and put the marriage back together. Please let me know. This book is for people who need moderate-serious counseling....more info
- Best on the topic
I've read a lot of books on this topic, and this was the most helpful by far. I also strongly recommend the author's other book "How Can I Forgive You," which addresses forgiveness issues in a lot of relationship contexts, not just marital infidelity. ...more info
- Help Yourself - Read this Book!
This should be the first book you read after you find out about the affair. You will find out that what you feel is normal, you're not going crazy, you're not the only one, and there's hope for you. The author does this in a straightforward, balanced way, with no mention of religion or spirituality (important for more secular readers).
This book is divided into 3 parts. 1 - Reacting to the Affair(Is What I'm Feeling Normal?), 2- Reviewing Your Options (Should I Stay or Leave?), and 3-Recovering from the Affair(How do We Rebuild our Life Together?)
The books shows the point of view of BOTH spouses. This is a great way to gain insight into your partner's feelings and actions. It's especially valuable if BOTH of you have had an affair.
If you decide to try to rebuild, "Not 'Just Friends'" is a great book about creating solidarity in a marriage, and "Fighting for your Marriage" has specific, concrete steps to take with plenty of examples. Great book on communication....more info
- Affairs not bad?Seriously lacks compassion/understanding
Perfect for making the betrayer feel better -- see 5 star reviews are often from betrayers not the betrayed.
This is rough reading from the start. In the intro chapter, the author makes the statement that she doesn't classify affairs as bad or good. She then proceeds to formally state that both partners are responsible for the affair occuring. Not responsible for issues in the relationship, but directly responsible for the affair. For many this is pure baloney!!! She has very little compassion for the betrayed and it is clear even in the intro. If you are the betrayer, you will love this book. If you are the betrayed, this book may actually be traumatic to read. You will feel no empathy from Spring. She talks about people who are essentially describing how they feel they have been disemboweled and their guts are everywhere as 'normal' and again w/o empathy. She practically says, see those intestines, that is normal, now step over the mess and lets proceed with how they helped cause the betrayal.
I continued reading until I really couldn't take it anymore. I think it is written so callously it is scary. It is perfect for the betrayer who doesn't want to feel too bad. So if you are the spouse who did not cheat, tread cautiously, you may actually find yourself feeling really betrayed by Spring as well....more info
- Rebuilding Trust
It works at all stages. If you are trying to rebuild your marriage or just trying to rebuild yourself, read this book. The author helps you understand what you may be going through and how the other person may feel. I also strongly recommend the author's other book I Love You. Now What?: Falling in Love is a Mystery, Keeping It Isn't...more info
- Child born from my husbands affair
Why can't I find any information on a child born from an affair. My husband confessed of a 7 year affair with a married woman. She got pregnant and confessed to her husband. My husband had a paternity test. Boy was that a wild ride for a few months. I was instantly "willing to forgive" both of them. I believe that my husband and I co-created this affair in an unconsciously....more info
- You must buy this book if one of you has been unfaithful
It is almost as if this book was written for my wife and I. She has been having an affair for the best part of a year and I have known about it for most of the time. I could not understand why she would not stop. Now I know why, and understand that it was not my fault. I have learned that I am not worhtless or useless or unattractive. I also recognised how my behaviour had changed while squirming with anguish and despair, and how to get my life back on track. You will relate so much to what this book has to say and it will help you come to terms with your situation, make some decisions about what you want from the future, and plan how to get your partner back - if that is what you want. I sent a copy to my wife and she has come back to me. The turning point was reading sections of the book to her over the phone. I cannot recommend it to you enough....more info
- Not my favorite
I was not impressed by the advice in this book.I think no two affairs are the same, neither are all waywards or all betrayed spouses.Her approach seemed to be very one size fits all.Maybe it will help some people but it doesn't help all.The old adage of bad marriage=affair needs to be looked at again.Sometimes there are seriously messed up people that have affairs and fixing the 'broken marriage' will NOT fix them....more info
- Thank God!!!
When I began reading this book I felt as though I had finally found a source of sanity. My life was in shambles and I didn't think I could ever have a shred of hope of normalcy again. This book helped me feel hopeful and reassured that I was not alone, I was not the only person this had ever happened to and that I was going to be okay. It gives very specific advice based on realistic expectations and has been like a self help book written just for me. I have read dozens of books on this topic and found this one to be the best BY FAR. Buy this book!!!...more info
- This book restored my sanity and saved our relationship!
If you've been cheated on and are desperate for answers and understanding like I was, you need this book. After I found out about the affair, it was a nightmare. The anger was overwhelming to the point it consumed my every thought. We didn't know where to begin to start dealing with our own thoughts or with each other. This helped me understand more and guided us on how to talk in a constructive way so we could begin to heal. It's been five months and we're probably getting along better than ever. We chose to stay together and I'm not sure we would have succeeded without the help of this book and it's great advice.
Good luck to you!...more info
- Classroom Tactics
The book is ok. It gives the psychological point of view that everything you do as an adult is a reflection of your childhood. The author offers suggestions on how to reflect back into your past to determine what made you/your mate have an affair. She also states that both partner's took a part in causing the affair to happen. That is a great philosophy, however, it is difficult to prove or disect. When I asked my partner why he had an affair, he simply stated "our relationship was perfect, he was just being greedy and stupid"!!! It doesn't take [$$$} to figure out why some people cheat. Some people or simply greedy, stupid or a combination of both. I personally did not find this book very useful and I am returning it today. I think the author is using classroom tactics that don't apply to everyday human life or is too complex for the average person to understand. If you believe everything people do is because of their upbringing then buy the book. If you believe life is a little more complicated than that and you want to save your relationship I recommend counseling and prayer. This book alone is not enough....more info
- Wonderful book!
I kissed another guy about several months ago and my boyfriend and I are still dealing with the ramifications. This book has been an amazing tool for the both of us to use in analyzing our relationship. Are we going to make it through? I sure hope so!
Either way I think this book is excellent for couple to use as a way to get each other to talk about wants, needs, and what cheating means to each other.
I am so grateful to have read this book....more info
- Not informative
The subject and material in this text were not helpful or informative....more info
- After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful
Excellent tool for figuring out if your relationship is worth salvaging and how to go about doing so. Has great self reflection chapters as well as exercises to help break down barriers and reach out to one another. No blaming - balanced advice from each partner's perspective. I recommend it 100%! ...more info
- Still works way after the affair
I purchased this book about six years ago and was so impressed and helped by it. Then a few days ago I ran across it and read some chapters and was amazed at how it still held true. It can help when you are still feeling some insecurity about your relationship due to a past indiscretion. For some reason I was feeling like we were not communicating and that book popped up at the right time. It helped then and still works. It's a good read, especially in the beginning of the aftermath....more info
- Saved my sanity and hopefully my marriage
I felt so lost and out of control, I didn't know where to turn - so immediately searched for a book on the subject of infidelity. I was at first hesitant after reading a review claiming the author places blame for the affair on the betrayed spouse -BUT - After reading this book as a betrayed spouse, I believe this is NOT the case.
What she DOES do is address both the wayward spouse and the betrayed spouse equally when taking an honest and often hard look at the relationship before the Affair took place - where there was breakdown in the marriage that may have lead up to the affair. She does clearly state that the wayward spouse IS responsible for their actions and the affair - after all, no one can FORCE someone to CHEAT.
But thankfully, this books delves far beyond finger pointing, and looks for a way to bring partners back toward one another, by dealing with issues in the marriage rather than sweeping them under the carpet. It does this in a supportive, non-judgmental way, that both sides can feel comfortable pursuing. And she gives us simple yet important exercises to do, and action plans to follow, to help us get there. It's a book to be devoured in one sitting, and then read and reread countless times as needed through the different stages of grieving and healing. This book is a true marriage saver - at least, it is for us, and I hope it can be for you, too.
Let me put it as simply as I can:
I (Betrayed Wife) couldn't put this book down, I was so thirsty for understanding - and cried tears of relief when I felt validated in both my feelings and reactions surrounding the discovery of the infidelity.
My husband (Wayward Husband) skimmed through the book with great interest, then went straight to the closest bookstore and bought his own copy. We both now are in our second readings, all the while making lots of notes in the margins, and doing the simple exercises that pop up from time to time. It has helped us to each understand what the other spouse is going through and may be thinking, and has helped us find a way to relate to one another productively.
We have come a long way in two short weeks, and although I know we still have a long way to go, I don't think we would have made it this far (and remained best friends, as we are) without the help in this book.
In fact, the end chapters on Forgiveness are so good, we've also purchased 'How Can I Forgive You' by the same author, to delve even deeper into the moving forward stage of healing and forgiving.
I would recommend these books immediately to any woman I love - and to any couple or man I care deeply about, too - if they found themselves facing infidelity.
For anyone out there hurting this much right now, I feel your pain, confusion and shock - and want you to know you aren't alone. Get this book and you'll see what I mean - you won't be sorry you did. ...more info
- Affair Help
As a marital therapist, I highly recommend this book for those who have gone through an affair! ...more info
- A Little Disappointing....
I actually read the author's second book, "How Can I Forgive You," before reading this one. I thought *that* book was spot-on, and her views on forgiveness rang very true with me. She basically says that genuine forgiveness must be earned by the other party and can be achieved when the victim no longer has to hold the wrongdoer accountable for his / her actions, but when the wrongdoer holds themselves accountable for them. While that book applies to many other situations besides infidelity, she really seemed to understand where the betrayed party was coming from.
Having read other books on infidelity, I read this book to see if it would be as helpful. This book was rather disappointing to me, and after reading several other reviews on this board, I'm glad to know that at least I'm not the only one to feel that way.
First of all, I take issue with what Dr. Spring says in her introduction, "I don't make blanket judgments about whether affairs are, in themselves, good or bad"......WHAT???? I'm really not sure why we can't all agree that affairs are bad. It often doesn't go over well when you tell someone who was sexually betrayed, disregarded, disrespected, and lied to that what was done to them "wasn't necessarily bad." Should we also try to say that stealing isn't necessarily good or bad too?
She then says, "What may be enhancing for one of you may devastate the other, and destroy the relationship." Uh, yes- but this is THE MAIN REASON WHY affairs are bad- it's one partner putting his/her own self-gratification first at the expense of the other partner, despite promises made NOT to do this. Cheating, no matter what form it takes- whether it's "cheating" as in infidelity or whether it's "cheating" at a game of Monopoly, you are denying someone else fair treatment. So, in what universe is this "not necessarily bad?"
The tone of her book didn't seem to place enough responsibility on the betraying partner. This book may serve to help the betraying partner feel better about what they did, but it sure won't help the betrayed partner feel as good about what was done to them.
If there are some cases where both partners do contribute to the affair happening, there isn't really much cold, hard evidence of that. I certainly don't believe that to be the case in ALL affairs, so I was really put off by her common "one-size-fits-all" approach to this. I feel that therapists all too often use this approach to make their jobs easier, but it often isn't helpful to both parties, which I thought was the goal.
She does say that the cheating spouse is ultimately responsible for their actions, but assumes that the faithful spouse helped to create the atmosphere in the marriage that contributed to the affair. Sometimes, this just isn't the case. How about when the faithful spouse sees their partner acting differently in the relationship, and makes many attempts to reach out to them, but the cheating spouse refuses their help?
There are many betrayed partners out there that never turned their partner down for sex, and did everything to make them feel special, needed, loved and secure, yet still had this happen. Affairs can happen in marriages that were otherwise happy.
Sure, both parties may have valid grievances in the relationship, but how is it that one partner is able to confront theirs honestly and fairly while the other dealt with their issues by sneaking around, lying and cheating? How about when one feels entitled to seek their fun elsewhere because they believe "men need it more" or holds other similar double-standards? The betrayed party didn't cause the other spouse's feelings of entitlement or lack of integrity. There may be blame on both sides for things gone wrong, but to assume both parties share blame *equally* is a mistake.
I also don't think it should be assumed that the betraying partner dealt with most of the pain in the relationship, "causing" them to do what they did, or that the source of pain necessarily was the spouse of the betraying partner. We all experience stress in our lives, and it comes from many sources, not just from our spouse. And often, it is the betraying partner that has issues that cause most of the pain / problems in the relationship.
I do think this book still has some good points. When she describes the "normal" range of feelings of someone who has been betrayed, it helped me understand that I was not alone. I took what she wrote to mean that these feelings are "normal" for someone to experience under the circumstances, as a result of the damage caused by betrayal. I also liked that she shared stories of many other couples who went through this.
All in all, I think you should take what you can from the book, but the all too common "two parties contributing" theory with a grain of salt.
A not perfect, but better read on the subject I can suggest is: "Private Lies" by Frank Pittman.
- After tthe affair
After the Affair is the most balanced and helpful book I've read on the subject of affairs....more info
- Not a good book
Not a good book for the person who was betrayed. The book encourages you to forgive and that you are also to blame. ...more info
- A must read...no matter what side your'e on
My husband just ended an affair of over 15 months that started just months after our second child was born. My therapist as well as our marital counselor both recommended this book to us. It unlike many other self-help books about affairs walks you through what each person is thinking, feeling, etc. Even when I was at my angriest this book helped me see that he too was hurting and it helped me have some compassion for his recovery as well. I would definitely recommend this book for both partners as it truly does open your eyes to what the other person is going through...things that neither party can probably put into words....more info
- Highly overrated - superficial
If you're a person who had an affair and want to be coddled, read this book. If you're anyone else, don't bother. The author doesn't seem to understand the "wrongness" of affairs. Nor does she understand the great health risks placed on the victimized partners in this age of AIDS and other awfully stds....more info
- Psychologically horrifying
What Dr. Spring describes as "normal" is traumatic stress. And as a matter of hard, cold fact, a substantial proportion of victims of infidelity continue to suffer PTSD symptoms--emotional numbness, autonomic hyperarousal, nightmares and other sleep disturbances, consequent disruption of social functioning, and more -- for years. This is "normal" only in the sense that it is normal to suffer damage from trauma.
Telling you that your post-traumatic symptoms are "normal" strikes me as the crassest sort of pandering.
- From the HURT party
This book was very painful to read as the "hurt" party. It makes you revisit very painful experiences and feelings, which I had dealt with already. The unfaithful party would rate it 5....more info
- After The Affair
My son-in-law absolutely loved the book. Hasn't stopped talking about how it helped him deal with various issues....more info
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