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reading "When Good People Have Affairs"

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Alyssamd24 posted 12/15/2013 07:56 AM

I just bought it yesterday and started it last night. I am only in the third chapter. I think it has potential to be a decent book but I have a couple issues with it so far:

1.The author does not believe confessing is necessary...

2. Though I am only in the third chapter, the author seems to use blameshifting often. ....good people begin affairs cuz they are lacking something in their relationship.

If you have read this book please share your thoughts on it! Thanks!

atsenaotie posted 12/15/2013 09:02 AM

FWW and I both read this book. This is the review I wrote on Amazon...

Some parts of this book are okay, the types of affairs, how people become involved, and what is involved in healing from an affair.

My problem is with the chapters on how a spouse involved in an affair should determine whether to stay with the marriage partner, or leave the marriage for the affair partner. These chapters presume that the affair partner is thinking clearly and rationally. It has been my experience and the experience of many others that this is simply not the case.

An affair is a fantasy relationship built on conditional love. Any conversation topic or activity that would undermine the fantasy is avoided. Add to this the lies the spouse involved in the affair has told him or herself, and others, to rationalize their involvement in the affair. All combined, there is no way in which the person having an affair can accurately asess which partner they are truly happier with, which partner is the "better" partner, or is meeting their needs.

Many participants find their involvement with an affair to be addictive. Until the participants break this addiction and the accompanying rationalizations, there is simply no way for them to make an informed decision about returning to the marriage or leaving it for the affair partner. To do otherwise is akin to having a drug or alcohol addict make decisions on further drug or alcohol use while under the influence.

Initially FWW liked the approach of this book. Later (months later) she saw the same flaw I did, because the OM she had thought of "fondly" soon after dday, she now abhors.


WalkinOnEggshelz posted 12/15/2013 09:04 AM

I started doing some research while I was deep in my A. This particular book was one that chanced upon. I read several excerpts from it. Those particular excerpts helped me justify my A. What I was really looking for when I was reading bits of it was something to tell me that I was still a good person and what I was doing wasn't so bad after all.

The bits and pieces I read were no help to this foggy WS at the time. I can't speak for the book in its entirety. I think the most helpful books I read were "Not Just Friends" and " How to Help Your Spouse Heal From an Affair".

But the biggest benefit of all has been SI!

rachelc posted 12/15/2013 09:49 AM

1.The author does not believe confessing is necessary...

thus the reason I can't stand the book.

I also had a phone therapy conversation with this author. She was not helpful and said, "what are you going to do? you can't hire a PI." Which is exactly what I did ONE WEEK later and caught him in the act.

Alyssamd24 posted 12/15/2013 11:35 AM

Thank you for the replies. ...I am glad to hear others had the same issues with the book....not just me. I am going to attempt to keep reading it but don't know that I will get through it all....I should have read reviews before buying it.

I have read After the Affair and most of Not Just Friends and have found those helpful.

Now that I think about it I guess the title itself is kinda justifying affairs.....I thought the part about the 17 types of affairs would be interesting. ..did any of you find any good info in that section?

Alyssamd24 posted 12/15/2013 11:36 AM

Double post. ..sorry

[This message edited by Alyssamd24 at 11:37 AM, December 15th (Sunday)]

HardenMyHeart posted 12/15/2013 12:59 PM

the author seems to use blameshifting often. ....good people begin affairs cuz they are lacking something in their relationship.

This is not necessarily blameshifting. A BS could be the best, most perfect spouse in the world, and a WS may still find the relationship lacking. It could be that the WS's expectations of the relationship are unrealistic. That's why it is important in a relationship to discover which emotional needs are going unmet (for both BS and WS), and determine a healthy way to satisfy those needs.

MC_Jack posted 12/15/2013 13:52 PM

I actually found this book to be the most intellectually dishonest book on the subject that I have read. I find this author to be reprehensible in how she portrays herself as an expert.

good people begin affairs cuz they are lacking something in their relationship.
^^^that is the crux of the lie within the book. The author purposely never considers that the cheater may be lacking something within themselves, not the relationship.

I also completely concur with ATS's analysis... many stories show his take to be true: when the A is ended, and the fantasy is over, the WS all of a sudden is happy to have the M back. Newsflash: neither the BS nor the M is different - just the WS' perspective.

That I was really looking for when I was reading bits of it was something to tell me that I was still a good person and what I was doing wasn't so bad after all.
^^^obviously that is the goal of the book, and thus $$$$. Capture the market share of the unremorseful and/or those unwilling to look in the mirror.

[This message edited by MC_Jack at 1:53 PM, December 15th (Sunday)]

rachelc posted 12/15/2013 13:55 PM

It's odd that she talks about needs not being met. She told me that every affair is a revenge affair.

sunnyrain posted 12/15/2013 14:35 PM

She says every affair is a revenge affair? ... really?

I haven't read the book, but I do know that she lists 17 reasons for having an A (and not all seem to be revenge related from what I have read online). Also of note, she's a former betrayed spouse.

The following is from the author of the referenced book, Mira Kirschenbaum, taken from an interview she did with Time magazine (source below):

TIME: What do you say to someone who comes to you and says, "I can't choose; I don't know who to stay with"?

If you want to work with me, O.K., first accept the fact that your view of your lover and your spouse are both skewed. Things always seem great with the lover, it's always so romantic and sexy, special, sporadic and, most of all, new and exciting. But guess what? New gets old. I wish I had a nickel for everyone who married their lover and found they replicated what they had with their spouse, with the added poverty of a post-divorce lifestyle. And in the same way, spouses are usually not as bad as they seem. After all, the person who is cheating is withdrawing energy from their marriage and has alleviated their guilt by bad-mouthing or bad-thinking their spouse. But when people work on their marriage and put the lover by the wayside, they're often very surprised at how much things can improve. Another piece of advice I'd say is, lovers are often little more than the crowbar you needed to get out of your marriage, but you don't need to marry the crowbar. That's a mistake a lot of people make. They feel so guilty, they then marry the person they had the affair with.

^That advice seems pretty fair to me.

Read more: Why We Have Affairs And Why Not to Tell - TIME,8599,1820942,00.html#ixzz2nZrXLwug

[This message edited by sunnyrain at 2:55 PM, December 15th (Sunday)]

pointofnoreturn posted 12/15/2013 15:41 PM

The problem here is...what is "good"? I can consider myself as good; I'm generous, friendly, patient, a good worker, etc. Now if I told you I have cheated, then it doesn't matter what I claim I am, the brain will cling onto the worst thing I've done.

I assume this book is aimed to those who want to justify their As or water down how bad they were. Sorry, not buying it.

I'm a good person. My As were 100% on me. Period. Nothing my BBF did or didn't do affected that outcome. The problem is within MYSELF.

I can agree that you can do something so horrible and still be a good person. The main difference is learning and growing from that experience, and preventing it from happening again. A book that tells them it's okay and the relationship was at fault won't provide that.

[This message edited by pointofnoreturn at 3:43 PM, December 15th (Sunday)]

Alyssamd24 posted 12/15/2013 15:53 PM

Well now I don't really want to finish the book.Lol.

I guess I will give it a chance and see what happens..

How did you talk to her? When? How was it?

inconnu posted 12/15/2013 15:59 PM

As a new BS, I hated this book. Enough so that I threw it in the trash. I knew if now-ex ever read it, he'd use it for even more justification on why his cheating was all my fault. If this book has any good information for a remorseful WS, I missed seeing it through the red haze of rage it provoked in me.

womaninflux posted 12/15/2013 16:18 PM

I read that book and did NOT pass it onto SAWH for the reasons you stated. I especially did not like the chapter where she asks the WS to compare/contrast the relationship with the AP and that of the BS. Come on - like that is a fair comparison? Especially if the WS is not out of the fog?

I think "After the Affair" and "Not Just Friends" are way better, more practical books with healthier messages for everyone involved in the A.

MC_Jack posted 12/15/2013 16:21 PM

Having read the book, I would like to note that the book did not make the point made in that TIME interview.

The author also never really points out how damaging and unfair 'crowbar' method is. She never says hey what about MC and honest convo.

rachelc posted 12/15/2013 17:14 PM

How did you talk to her? When? How was it?

you can have 1:1 sessions with her over the phone for about $250 an hour so that's what I did between his affairs - or, I guess he was already in the 2nd one by then.

she had good advice for a wayward READY to be in the marriage. He was not. He wasn't listening at all.

And yes, she told me that all affairs are revenge affairs. I took it to mean that justification must take place in order to engage in an affair.

RightTrack posted 12/15/2013 17:24 PM

I threw mine out too. I thought it was too terrible to inflict on any Salvation Army/Goodwill shopper.

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