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Feedback on book "Intimacy after infidelity"

chloe19 posted 10/19/2016 07:17 AM

Has anyone here read the book, "Intimacy after infidelity: How to rebuild and affair-proof your marriage" by Solomon and Teagno?

I have been reading here for awhile (first post!), and I often see "How to help your spouse heal from an affair" recommended as reading material. I have read that book, and I do feel that it accurately captured my feelings as a BS. But I just finished "Intimacy after infidelity" and really connected with the book. I think my husband's infidelity matches up really well the "Infidelity of Loneliness" described in the book.

I am thinking of asking him to read it so that we can talk about it. I just wondered if anyone else here had read it and found it helpful, and whether anyone had any success implementing the strategies described in the book.

Thanks!

[This message edited by chloe19 at 10:16 PM, October 27th (Thursday)]

chloe19 posted 10/25/2016 10:59 AM

Anyone read this book? Any feedback at all would be welcome! Thanks!

sewardak posted 10/25/2016 12:20 PM

apparently i purchased this book a couple years ago from Amazon but don't remember it. i read the look inside part and i see it says something to the effect of the BS's contribution to the marriage that helped lay the fertile ground for infidelity.
i probably threw the book away after reading that and that's why i can't remember.
does the book blame the BS for the state of the marriage in any way? if so, then i just can't get on board.
I'm sorry not to be more helpful.

sillyoldsod posted 10/26/2016 15:28 PM

Thanks for the pointer to this book which I've just ordered. Although divorced I'm willing to add it to the burgeoning library of self help books in my house!

I'm open minded enough to acknowledge that my own psyche and relational style likely played a part in the flawed decision making process my XW made to cheat on me. However this does NOT mean I apportion any of the blame to anyone other than my XW for her choosing to have an affair and I'd be very surprised if this book attempted to suggest otherwise of BS's generally.

I look forward to posting some thoughts on the book in due course.

[This message edited by sillyoldsod at 3:29 PM, October 26th (Wednesday)]

chloe19 posted 10/26/2016 21:24 PM

sewardak, the authors of the book in no way blame the BS for the cheating. That is all on the WS. The authors actually emphasize this repeatedly. But they do talk about how both spouses can contribute to a lack of intimacy in a relationship that may lead a WS who is "broken" to choose to cheat instead of deal with it in a healthier way.

What I liked about the book is that the authors discuss the levels of intimacy that are necessary for a long-term relationship to be successful, and one of those they call "self-intimacy," which is basically a person's ability to know/understand their own feelings and why they are feeling these things. One of the premises is that WS lack this self-intimacy, and that contributes to their decision to cheat rather than handle things more appropriately.

I definitely didn't feel blamed for the infidelity while reading this book, but I acknowledge that I am far from a perfect person and I definitely contributed (unintentionally) to the lack of intimacy in my marriage. Or more the combination of my own faulty communication skills and my husband's did. And I think I can own that without owning the cheating itself.

sewardak posted 10/27/2016 08:58 AM

I completely agree that we all have to have self intimacy. i also think that people in perfectly happy marriages can cheat, even if the Bs is a healthy individual and contributes in a mature way to the relationship. i think the WS can be the sole contributor to the lack of intimacy, in some cases. the state of the marriage is shared between spouses. but one can only do their 50% of it.

i really disagree with this:
"my own psyche and relational style likely played a part in the flawed decision making"
we cannot play a part in someone else's decisions. that is all on them.just my opinion.

chloe19 posted 10/27/2016 10:30 AM

I absolutely agree that a WS can cheat in a relationship where the BS is completely emotionally healthy and well-adjusted and doing everything right. And that flaws in the WS are what result in the cheating.

i really disagree with this:
"my own psyche and relational style likely played a part in the flawed decision making"
we cannot play a part in someone else's decisions. that is all on them.just my opinion.

I also agree with what you wrote above. I did not play a part in my husband's bad decisions. I am not claiming the blame for that.

In my case, my marriage was lacking intimacy, we both contributed to that lack of intimacy (him more than me, I feel confident in saying), and neither of us were really happy about it but neither of us communicated to the other person about it either. In his case, I don't think he really even knew why he was unhappy at the time; hence the need for self-intimacy.

We were both in this marriage with a lack of intimacy, but only one of us chose to cheat. And nothing I did contributed to that decision by him. That's all on him.

Ultimately, though, I know the kind of marriage I would want going forward would be one with the levels of intimacy described in the book. If I can't have that in this relationship, I would want that in the next one (if there ever was one.) So I don't see any downside to working on myself in that regard.

For what it's worth, the authors are definitely not advocates of rug-sweeping in any way. The recommendation is that the affair has to be talked about and worked through for as long as it takes. But they do offer exercises to improve both self-intimacy (aware of one's own emotions) and communication that I think would help the process be more productive.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

sewardak posted 10/27/2016 14:37 PM

thanks chloe, I'm going to look at this book again!

chloe19 posted 10/27/2016 16:10 PM

If you do look at it again, I hope you'll come back and tell me what you think. Maybe I am way off base!

sillyoldsod posted 10/27/2016 18:02 PM

Thanks for the challenging replies chloe19 and sewardak. I guess it's turned into a bit of a t/j but as there's only 3 of us on here...

we cannot play a part in someone else's decisions. that is all on them.just my opinion.
Well yes I think we're in agreement sewardak that their decision is their decision. In no way am I suggesting I was the cause of my XW making a conscious decision to cheat, neither am I suggesting that any BS causes their partners to cheat. That would be nonsense! However our partners did not make their shitty decisions in a relational vacuum. Any interaction we have with another person will be influenced by our own behaviours towards them and likewise vice versa, whether we're introverted or extroverted, passive or aggressive, friendly or hostile, communicative or non-communicative. Surely it's the same between spouses?

And I think I can own that without owning the cheating itself.
Yes I totally agree chloe19 and believe I stated the same sentiment in my original post. Nearly all of us have 'baggage' but that in no way justifies or excuses cheating.


marji posted 10/27/2016 21:15 PM

My H and I read the book together out loud. I think it was helpful and we still do some of the exercises though I'm not sure we've been successful in implementing anything. More like just surviving from day today. . Actually we read the book twice. It was last winter when about 5 or 6 months out and some of what is there directly connected with what was a main focus of discussion in therapy. My H has had serious intimacy issues all his life and is just now starting to realize that and working to change. The self intimacy problem was clearly the most significant and the exercises were helpful. We still do the I to I exercise.

[This message edited by marji at 9:22 PM, October 27th (Thursday)]

chloe19 posted 10/27/2016 22:15 PM

Thanks for the feedback, marji!

My H has had serious intimacy issues all his life and is just now starting to realize that and working to change. The self intimacy problem was clearly the most significant and the exercises were helpful.

I think this about my husband, too. He is learning a lot about himself in IC, but I am hoping that reading the book will be useful, too. He has said he would be willing to read it and discuss it with me.

marji posted 10/28/2016 16:19 PM

Great that he's going to read and discuss it with you. You might also try reading together. We read several books that way. There were a few shall I say difficult moments where, e.g. He became defensive but I think the experience was helpful. Some books I read out loud to him and we stopped to talk during the readings. Great that you're working on things.

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