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Surviving an Affair by Dr. Harley and his other books

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SouthernHeart posted 10/30/2011 20:33 PM

Has anyone read this one, Surviving an Affair, or any of his other books (specifically His Needs, Her Needs and Love Busters)? What did you think? Are they good?

authenticnow posted 10/30/2011 20:43 PM

We listened to them on the cds. Some of it is really good, he makes a lot of good, helpful points and suggestions.

We both agreed that some of it is also kind of extreme and kind of old fashioned and out there.

Basically, we took what we needed and left the rest. It did open up a lot of interesting discussion and that's always a good thing

D!senchanted posted 11/23/2011 20:36 PM

I have "His Needs, Her Needs: how to build an Affair Proof Marriage".

He really sells the whole need heirarchy and love bank concept--which is good.

He really puts the responsiblity of an Affair on the BS was not meeting the needs of the WS--which is bad.

A good relationship building book--with a horrifying look at a case study affair popping up when a need goes unfulfilled.

silverhopes posted 11/24/2012 22:24 PM

I've read "His Needs, Her Needs" too. I found the Love Bank concept really interesting, but his framing of the concept feeds into the BS' worst fears that if you don't meet your spouse's needs, s/he will have an affair. In one chapter, he blatantly says that having a good-looking wife is an emotional need of many men. Some folks might be able to take that with a grain of salt, or see their own truth in it... I personally found it very offensive, especially considering today's unattainable, self-esteem-lowering standards. Also his short example in the back on how to survive an A seemed very simplistic - that could be because as SI and some good books have shown, an A is a lot more complicated and far-reaching than that. He says that the BS should work hard to meet the WS's needs so the WS will learn that the M will meet the needs and that they don't need the A to meet them. Also says that the BS should not expect for the WS to immediately appreciate the efforts, as the WS will probably be missing the A/AP quite a lot. Cringeworthy writing to a lot of folks here.

Feeds right into the mentality many of us have that we have to meet our spouse's every need so they won't have an A. For that reason, wouldn't recommend the book.

gotmylifeback posted 11/25/2012 23:56 PM

I am going to separate my reviews/experiences with each book.

His Needs Her Needs offers some good information. The idea of a Love Bank is an easy enough concept to understand (but a little tougher to put into practice). I agree that both spouses have needs. Can't say that I agree with all of the listed needs.

I strongly disagree that meeting your spouse's needs will prevent an affair. In a perfect world maybe. People don't always have affairs because one of those listed needs is not being met. You can bust your butt meeting all of those needs and still get cheated on. Also, it doesn't mean that your needs will get met. But, I think there is some good information in the book.

Surviving an Affair was one of the many books I read after Dday. However, I was disappointed. The premise really seemed to indicate that if your spouse is having an affair, then you are not meeting their needs. This is simply not true. An affair is not the BS's fault.

Also, the book implies that if your spouse is continuing in their affair that you can try to meet the needs that are being met by the AP. Sorry, but simply rubbish. Don't get me wrong, I believe in fighting for a marriage. I did all I could to save mine and WSkank still threw it in the trash. Her AP was not providing anything that I couldn't except a larger paycheck. But, like a fool, I tried my best to "meet her needs" and it was just a waste of my time. How humiliating to bust my butt only to still get burned. The SI advice to 180 and NC is much better and more empowering for the BS.

The book talks a lot about meeting needs but it assumes that the WS is a healthy (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc) with no FOO issues. I know several real life situations where the WS left their spouse and children to be with the AP. An "unmet need" is not why someone has an affair and abandon their children? I could continue rambling while on my soapbox but I hope I shared some good information. If you decide to read either or both books, take what you need and leave the rest.

StillGoing posted 11/26/2012 14:38 PM

I bought His Needs/Her Needs and the only reason I didn't throw it in the fireplace is because it's in digital format.

First I disagree entirely with the idea that people have needs that others fill. If we have social needs, we fill them ourselves. Our choices in how we fill those needs are not in any way dependent on those we choose to fill them with.

As for the idea of a love bank, I hate that too. A relationship isn't a diet where a calorie counting system works, and even in diet systems where you can achieve directly measurable results those regimen require tailoring to the individual to be effective. It really just flat doesn't work because the idea that we "need" other people to fill these love banks places the onus on them to do so, otherwise our investment with these individuals drop. The example he used frankly amazed me because I can't see how anyone could take it seriously - the WH and his BW originally discussed her staying at home to raise kids, then going to school for a 6 year degree, and his love bank emptied because she... wasn't available enough to have sex with him 8 times a week, play tennis, etc. While she was studying and he was encouraging this. Meanwhile his coworker filled this love bank need and then suddenly it tips over and she has more invested in him! Oh noes! The dilemma!

The fucked up busted ass stupid shit principle of this avoids the fact that WH there *allowed this other person access to his wants.* He never brought it to his wife, he never properly communicated, and none of that is addressed whatsoever in this book. It's reduced to an inane formulaic example.

I could probably rant for awhile but I'll just stop there and say absolutely loathe this book and just about everything else I have ever read by that author. While there certainly may be some useful tools in there somewhere they're probably sharper and better maintained in other works.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 2:42 PM, November 26th (Monday)]

RippedToPieces posted 11/27/2012 20:22 PM

Dear SouthernHeart,

I have read both Surviving an Affair, His Needs/Her Needs and began reading Fall In Love, Stay In Love, but did not finish this last book becasue it echoed the premises of the other two books.

All three books I mentioned center on the concept of knowing your partner's needs and how best to fulfill those needs to your partner's satisfaction. This was a helpful tool for opening up lines of communication with your partner and getting to know them and their needs better. My H and I found them helpful because they help you to focus not just on knowing what those needs are, but understanding how your partner wants those needs fulfilled, so the need is satisfied from your partner's point of view.

But, there are some things you have to take with a grain of salt. I do have a problem with how the book does tend to place a disproportionate amount of responsibility for the affair on the BS. As others have pointed out, simply meeting all of you partner's needs will not affair-proof your relationship.

But I do think there is value in learning what your paterner's most important needs are, and how you can best go about fulfilling those needs.

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