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.
Not as helpful as I thought. I have been trying to recover from the trauma I felt after my husband had an affair. Perhaps this book will help some people but it did not make such an impact in my life like other books I've read such as the five love languages. I wish I could give it a better review because this book was recommended by a friend, but it did not give me the tools or information that was necessary to turn our marriage around. ...more info
Just What I Needed My husband left me for another woman 6 weeks ago. This book has been there for me through every step starting with the initial shock and feelings of devastation. Now I am trying to work it out with him and it is giving me great guidance for this phase. Hopefully we'll reconcile and the book will continue to help both me and my husband deal with the situation....more info
Excellent! As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I use this book in my practice often. I find it to be excellent for helping couples understand healing is possible along with forgiveness. What's great is that the book addresses both the pain of the offender and the pain of the offended. It examines closely what factors may contribute to the marriage being vulnerable to an affair and both partners taking responsibility for healing and addressing the vulnerabilities in the marriage. For the offended this part of the journey is hard as they must get past their anger and blaming however I recieve great feedback from my clients that the book provides comfort, hope, step by step solutions for talking about the affair, rebuilding trust, rebuilding intimacy including sexual and how to learn from the affair. ...more info
Blames the unoffending partner While this book does a good job of letting you know that ALL of the feelings that you are having about your cheating partner are valid and other people have them too, this book goes on to ask you "what did YOU do to contribute to your partner's infidelity?"
I found this to be rediculous because all I ever did was trust him, obviously to my own dismay. This book doesn't really give you the tools to try to forgive and learn to trust again. It basically says to decide if you want the relationship and then suck it up and let the past be the past.
In my own assessment, if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. The past cannot just be left to be the past. It needs to be forgiven, but NOT forgotten. If you really want this book, let me know...you can have my worthless copy....more info
Disagree with main premise I read this as the betrayed spouse at the request of my husband (his counselor recommended it). I completely disagree with the author's statement that both partners must take the appropriate responsibility for the affair. I had absolutely nothing to do with the affair my husband choose to have. I do take 50% responsibility for the state of the marriage prior to the affair, but in no way am I responsible for my husband choosing to drop his pants with anonther (married) woman. I have been in the same marriage as my husband and I choose not to break my vows, why would I shoulder any responsibilty for the poor choice he made? Because of the author's opinion on "sharing the blame" I found it difficult to finish the book. ...more info
This book will help us save our marriage About 2 1/2 months ago I found out the news that everyone dreads. My husband (who is in the Navy) had a one night stand on his last overseas trip. To make matters worst, he had to inform me of this while he was already on his next trip. Being on a ship, the only way to communicate was through e-mail so that is how I found out. And he had to tell me because I needed to get checked by a Doctor. In addition, I was breast feeding our infant son and had to immediately stop because if I was HIV positive, it is possible to pass this on to the baby. I was a wreck. I had no idea how I was ever going to be able to forgive him and get past this. We made plans for me to meet his ship in one of the ports to discuss this in person and see if we could work this out.
A few weeks after the news, I found this book. It gave me so much focus and helped prepare me for meeting him. It helped me understand how I was feeling and how he was probably feeling. More importantly, it helped me understand how I need to communicate my anger, distrust, and sadness in a productive way. If it wasn't for this book, I would have met him and just yelled and cried for the 4 days we were together. Nothing would have gotten done and that might have been it for us. Instead I was able to really explain and show him how much he had hurt me and what he needed to do for our marriage to work.
We both came away from those 4 days really believing that we can work this out. When he returns next month we will start counseling and that's when the real work will begin. However, he has also promised to read this book when he returns. I believe that this book will help us get a "jump start" on our counseling sessions.
One side note about the audio tapes. I bought those too but would not recommend them to others. The author narrates and her voice has no emotion in it....more info
Excellent source My wife keeps asking why we can't get past her affair. It's over, she says. She fine, almost happy, and I'm flip-flopping. Sometimes fine, other times angry, sad, even vengeful. I started thinking I must just be an emotionally weak person. Why can't I move on? How can she understand, when I can't. Then I picked up this book and there it was. I am human afterall. My reaction is totally normal, but what bewildered me is so is hers. Just look at who wrote 95 percent of the reviews. The hurt partner.
When will I get over this anger, I don't know but at least now I know why it's there and now so does my wife. I will tell you right now that if it weren't for the children, she'd be out the door, by her choice or mine. Just like it says in this book. I know my wife has no regrets for her actions, but plenty of regrets to the reactions of being found out. Just like it says in the book. I now understand that she thought he was her soulmate, but now understands she was just his playmate. Just like it says in the book.
I agree with the one written review when he says the author places too much blame on the hurt partner, but if you want to work it out I guess you have to give the unfaithful partner some solace, too. I hate that this has happened to my 17 year marriage, but I'm grateful I came across this book. I am not weak! I am human.
I totally believe this book will help put you on the road to making you and your marriage whole again....more info
A Book of Hope for Those Who Have None Four weeks ago, I was told that my husband had an affair. We have been married 25 years, have two children and have survived financial crisis, emotional upheaval, death of parents, and all the other usual crises that come with a long-term relationship. For all of this adversity, I never believed my husband was capable of having an affair with another woman. The affair lasted six years and was an on and off again relationship. Perhaps had it been more intense, it would have ended sooner. He says he spent the last two years of the relationship trying to separate himself from her. But he didn't want to hurt her, and didn't think I would ever find out. He never told me. The husband of his lover did. It was a chance encounter that brought it up. He thought I knew. Now it has been six years since they have been together, but for me it has just begun. I never saw the signs, at least if I did, I denied they were there. I just thought they were friends. After I found out and confronted him, he confirmed what I heard. He's sorry and has been working for the past six years to repair the damage he caused. I knew things were better in our relationship, but didn't know why. For the past four weeks I have felt like a zombie. I'm not eating or sleeping, am easily distracted and felt like my world is falling apart. Our children don't know, but it's hard, because I don't want to tell anyone. I feel like I am drowning in grief, engulfed in a sadness and emptiness I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The self-hatred and loathing I felt for myself and still feel at times is without limit. This book has given me knowledge that I am not alone, that others have experienced this and worse, and that I will survive. I keep it with me and when the feelings of pain and self-hatred emerge, begin to read. I've seen what hell looks like, and can't go there anymore. This book is truly helping me regain my sense of self and giving me a path which is guiding me out of this. My husband has not seen his lover in six years intimately. She has emailed him and called him at the office begging him to leave me and begin a new life with her. Prior to my finding out, he made the decision to leave the relationship and work to repair the damage he caused to ours. He went to a counselor who told him not to tell me. The book is helping him understand why he did what he did and is giving him the means to work on communicating this to me. He also understands how devestating it was for me to hear about it from his lover's husband. I read the first chapter and wrote notes in it to him about how I felt. He read the second chapter and wrote notes letting me know what was true for him and what was not an issue. We are both using the rest of it to discuss what happened, what we need and to learn how to have a better relationship in the future. Words can't express how helpful this book has been for both of us. We are both shocked about what happened, but with time, patience, and love I believe we will emerge from this stronger than ever. Yes, I'm, angry, hurt and feel violated. But if you both truly want to save your marriage and are willing to commit to learning what happened and how to address the issues that contributed to this tragic situation, I highly recommend this book......more info
How one book changed my life This book ia the best way to get you on track with your life and start healing from the inside. She cheated on me and it hurt and I was ready to go but before you go just read the book you may be leaving to soon on a impulse. I know it sounds crazy, but you owe it yourself to read the book before you book. You have nothing to loose at this point and all to gain. Trust me you won't be sorry....more info
My life and sanity saver after H's Affair I can not tell you how very much this ONE book did for me. After reading it over and over again I found that I was not crazy or losing it. That is was all NORMAL reactions to having your life riped apart by an affair. I found that this helped me understand both MY feeling and reactions and MY H's actions towards me and the Other woman. IT upset my H so much that HE THREW MY BOOK AWAY. WELL i just bought another one and I will continue to read until my healingis complete. I am re-building my marriage but when the pain and anger return I pick this book up and read read read. Thank YOU so much for my life back.......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
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
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
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
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
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
Not informative The subject and material in this text were not helpful or informative....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
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
If you are the betrayed... this book will help you to come to terms with your feelings. There's a chapter devoted to redeveloping trust in your spouse. The book provides descriptions from both sides of the story, including a chapter about deciding to stay or go....more info
Coming to terms with grief This book, along with Dr. Frank Pitman's, have helped me come to terms with a lot of the grief and sense of betrayal. As a husband of 32 years, I never thought that this could happen and now am concerned with a future that will now always contain some measure of distrust. The best idea that I received from this book was how to restore my sense of self-worth and loosen the grip of depression, two subjects that would never entered my mind two years ago....more info
Very good This book is very informative and gives insight on both sides of the affair. If you are trying to recover from an affair, this is the book to read. It helps you understand what you may be going through and how the other person may feel. It works at all stages. If you are trying to rebuild your marriage or just trying to rebuild yourself, read this book. If you have not had this issue occur already, read it before it does happen. I recommend this book highly. You won't regret your purchase....more info
This book is AWESOME My wife was sleeping in the guest room up to two months after my affair was exposed. She would lock the door and not utter one word to me. i was concerned for her health because she was acting so distant and she was staring out into space and i wasnt sure if she was capable of handling the stress for too much longer. i was so afraid i wrote a two page letter to her father explaining my concern.
After she read this book, she came downstairs and said she wanted me to read it. she began to keep her bedroom door open and she began to speak to me in a limited way.
she told me the book let her know that she had not gone crazy and things could be worked out after all.
i thought my affair was the worst ever and no matter how much i tried there was no way to fix things with my wife. the author includes many real-life examples of people of all ages and professions that have experienced infedelity. it made me see that others have been here too and it showed me that we can fix things and it outlined "the healthiest" ways to do it.
i am so happy my wife found this book....more info
excellent I learned quite alot from this book my marriage is better than ever now....more info
Affair Help As a marital therapist, I highly recommend this book for those who have gone through an affair! ...more info
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
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
After tthe affair After the Affair is the most balanced and helpful book I've read on the subject of affairs....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.
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
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
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
Sensible Encouragement For Those Hurting From Infidelity If you've been the victim of your spouse's affair and are seriously considering sticking by him/her, you'll find this book helpful in deciding whether staying together is the right decision for you. I feel Dr. Spring focuses on helping hurt spouses decide whether to stay or go, and then further focuses on helping those who choose to stay with issues of restoring trust and rebuilding love and intimacy.
My husband cheated on me, and when I caught him, he admitted his affair. I read this book under the following presumptions: that my husband's affair is over, that my husband wishes to stay with me, and that the only hindrance to our staying together is my doubt and apprehension. If you are experiencing infidelity under similar circumstances, I feel this book will help you come to the "right" conclusion in your situation. I can only offer that suggestion as the hurt spouse, though. I don't know how helpful this book will be to unfaithful spouses. My husband will be reading it next week, so I should have him review this book when he's through.
Dr. Spring encourages unfaithful spouses to look deep within themselves for an explanation as to why they chose to cheat, and the explanations she demands must be introspective and self-centered. She frowns on the unfaithful spouse blaming others for the infidelity. She also encourages the hurt spouse to look deep within and examine whether certain kinds of conduct or interaction with the unfaithful spouse encouraged infidelity within the relationship. She doesn't ask the hurt spouse to accept blame for the affair occurring, but she does ask that the hurt spouse accept responsibility for creating an atmosphere within the marriage that may have contributed to the unfaithful spouse's desire to seek out a lover.
Some of Dr. Spring's suggestions and assumptions didn't apply to me, so I simply skipped those parts of the book. However, I voraciously read through the first half of the book and hung on every word. She focuses the first part of the book on putting into words the feelings and emotions both partners may be feeling after the affair. It was helpful to read in print the feelings I was experiencing so that I knew I wasn't the only woman in the world feeling this way. It also helped me to know how my husband might be feeling since I was too angry to ask him myself, but wanted to know how he felt about things.
The second part of the book asks you to think about your assumptions about love and marriage, and examine your own marriage in light of your assumptions (does it measure up or fail to meet your expectations?). She then guides you through some difficult questions you must ask yourself if you're struggling with the decision to stay or go. After reading this part of the book, I still felt torn in both directions, so I continued reading in the hopes that I would be able to glean more about my own decision-making process.
I'm glad I continued reading into the chapter that describes how you can begin to learn from the affair and restore trust. I found the chapter on restoring trust to be especially helpful, and it was from that chapter that I gained the greatest confidence in my decision (I've decided to stay and work on improving our marriage).
I skimmed the rest of the book on how to forgive, how to restore intimacy, and whether you ought to reveal your affair (a last-minute addition to the book for those who haven't told their spouses yet). As I said, these chapters didn't seem necessary for me to read under my specific circumstances. The sexual intimacy chapter would be helpful for those couples who haven't been intimate since the affair, as she guides you through some exercises that may help you shed inhibitions and fears. I didn't read the chapter on forgiveness in detail, figuring forgiveness will come with time, so I don't need to focus on it right now (again, restoring trust was vital to me and will be my focus for some time). I will reexamine this chapter at a later date.
If you're seeking help right now and don't know where to turn, this book is an excellent starting point. I have sought counsel with friends and family, but not professional counsel just yet. I feel more comfortable about starting professional counseling soon now that I have a grasp of the ideas and concerns we need to focus on. I didn't want to make my decision based on what my friends told me because they're biased in my favor. I also didn't want to make my decision based on my husband's hopes since he's biased in his own favor. Dr. Spring's suggestions and thought exercises helped me to decide in as unbiased a manner as possible whether staying was the right decision for me. I feel she can help you make the right decision for you if you are experiencing infidelity in a similar way to me.
Further, I checked out "Not Just Friends," but since I read this book first and with great care, I was too emotionally drained to read "Not Just Friends." Perhaps it would be helpful, but I didn't have the energy to read it through and compare the two.
My faults with the book are that you may experience a wider range of negative emotions while reading it because you read about concerns you didn't have but now think about. Actually, that'd be my only criticism.
Best of luck making your own decision....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
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
In love again This book and a good therapist can save your marriage. It helps both partners understand their feelings and how to deal with them. I think it helped me from going crazy(literally!) when I found out my husband had been having an affair for a year. We are now on the road to forgiveness and recovery. I recommend this to anybody who has had an affair or is the hurt partner from an affair....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
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
Rebuilding 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.
After the Affair This was a very well written book and very helpful for all kinds of marital problems. ...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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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
Got to get it Very good, easy to read. Really a great help to get back on your feet....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
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
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