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After the Affair

Blackheart11419 posted 1/20/2020 19:18 PM

I have been reading After the Affair and some of the points that they have made out makes really good sense to me.

I was wondering if anyone else has read this book and has it helped them towards R??

gmc94 posted 1/20/2020 23:38 PM

hated it. Found it to have a lot of BS blaming - some outright and some by insinuation (which IMO is worse, cuz it all sounds good until I reflect and realize that I was being blamed). One thing I remember that really pissed me off was reading the chapter for WS and the one for BS. The WS chapter says stuff like there will be a time for you to address the non-A issues in the M. Yet, the BS chapter never even raises the idea that there may have been things in the M that the BS was less than satisfied about.... so when does a BS get to address the pre-dday problems in the M? Never?

I also do not subscribe to the concept that problems in the M or with the BS would make a WS "vulnerable" to an A. Another example of BS-blaming w/o outright saying so. Most (albeit not "all" ) WS have all sorts of feelings about their M before they turn to an A, but NEVER talk to their BS about their dissatisfaction (with the M, with life, with whatever), so talking about problems in the M leading to cheater vulnerability implies the BS should be a freaking mind reader.

However, I really really really like her How Can I Forgive You. I go back to that book often, and not just with A-related stuff.

IMO, After the Affair was not as bad as Esther Perel, but not as good as Glass' Not Just Friends.

I read a TON of infidelity books after dday (have about a 2-foot high stack of the ones I had to get in paper, but also got a bunch from the library, online, etc). Personally, after How To Help Your Spouse Heal (MacDonald) and Not Just Friends, I got far more mileage out of Brene Brown and Rick Hanson (lots of folks love Pema Chodron, but I can't seem to get into it - keep falling asleep when I read/listen to her books [ I have a lot of trouble focusing on reading paper books after dday, so I tend to do more audiobooks).

My WH recently began to see a CSAT, who recommended "out of the doghouse" and "help her heal" (which is a workbook). Doghouse has plenty of gender stereotypes and misogyny, but it's written in a clear & straightforward manner, which I did appreciate. My CSAT said she felt it was an oft-used "first step" for WH to get out of the damn fog. Help her Heal is a workbook for the WS and looks somewhat promising. It has lots of exercises that begin with an example, but then ask the WH to think of their own ways to heal (which I appreciated as a change from How to Help Your Spouse in that the WH can't just check the boxes - they have to think about things they can do to support the BS healing).

Anyhow, I know others liked it, but I am not one of them.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:39 PM, January 20th, 2020 (Monday)]

northeasternarea posted 1/21/2020 19:55 PM

I found it helpful.

[This message edited by northeasternarea at 7:59 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

3rdstrike posted 1/24/2020 09:01 AM

I read it and thought it was really good and helpful. I had my WW read it and she thought it was crap. I then realized that there isn't a damn thing my WW could read that would help her "get it". Not a damn thing. A WS has to want to get it. Then I started reading a Gottman book on how to make a marriage work. About 1/4 of the way through it I realized that I'm the only one trying to save this marriage...so I quit. I quit reading booms to help me understand why, I quit reading books to help me heal and I quit trying to save my marriage. The focus came back on myself. One way or another I wanted to be free of this limbo hell. I have no less to lose than any other BS. I don't hurt any less, I didn't love my WW any less and I wanted my marriage to heal more than anything. I let go of all of that by realizing I have to take care of me and do my best to take care of my kids. I read everything I could read, individual counseling, researched, watched videos and did a seminar. All of it is good during the initial stages of grief and desperation but my real healing came when I gave up, detached and focused on me. The WW has come around and is chasing me around like when we were dating, yet she isn't doing to work to make herself safe or trustworthy. She doesn't want to "get it".
Keep reading the books if they make you feel better but don't set any expectations on your WS. They will most likely let you down...again.

Blackheart11419 posted 1/25/2020 22:52 PM

I am on the 3rd chapter and so far I can see that how I feel is normal but when I read Ch. 2 I was pissed because it doesnt make since how someone can have an A? Anyone else feel this way towards Chapter 2?

gmc94 posted 1/27/2020 00:02 AM

I think chapter 2 is where the example of what I cited above is (where she talks about there is an opportunity for the WS to bring up their issues from the M after the initial crisis is over - yet there was nothing about that for the BS in chapter 1). Just one of the many examples of why I think the book is malarkey.

I understand that the books can't necessarily go after the WS with a 2x4 - most WS can't handle that (at least not early on). But I found AtA to to be full of subtle BS blaming.

Not Just Friends was much better IMHO.

Blackheart11419 posted 1/27/2020 07:54 AM

So far it has been helpful with some points. There isn't a book that isn't gonna tell us exactly what to feel and do that is something we have to look in ourselves for.

[This message edited by Blackheart11419 at 8:05 AM, January 27th (Monday)]

bluephoenix posted 1/29/2020 19:54 PM

I listened to the audiobook and loved it. My husband is listening to it right now. I don't think it blames the BS at all. I think its giving insight on the trauma that a BS goes through. Both sides have a tendency to misinterpret a situation by a lack of communication. Its basically pointing out to discuss your feelings with a WS before assuming they are off cheating on you again just because they are too tired to have sex for one night. In fact, this book allows us to see what could go on in their heads as they are commiting the act and how senseless they are acting. She points out that beating WS's over the head repeatedly doesn't fix the marriage. Respect, communication and paying attention to each other does. She uses scenarios through both perspectives and it is needed. There is no denying that a BS doesn't want to know what is going on in a Waywards mind. Then it it discusses how to work through the pain on both sides.

It really helped me a lot at moments when I would overthink during recovery.

Blackheart11419 posted 1/31/2020 13:46 PM

bluephoenix I totally agree with you. The book does help you understand both sides and actually makes you think are you doing this or not. I can also understand why the WS might of had the affair.

sisoon posted 2/6/2020 15:17 PM

I think she nails a lot of the thoughts BSes experience.

Her blame the M/blame the BS stuff doesn't fly with me, though.

JSS1227 posted 2/10/2020 09:14 AM

hated it. Found it to have a lot of BS blaming - some outright and some by insinuation (which IMO is worse, cuz it all sounds good until I reflect and realize that I was being blamed).

I understand that the books can't necessarily go after the WS with a 2x4 - most WS can't handle that (at least not early on). But I found AtA to to be full of subtle BS blaming.

Her blame the M/blame the BS stuff doesn't fly with me, though.

I agree completely with the quotes above from gmc and sissoon.

I started IC a few weeks after DDay, as soon as they could get me in. My first IC had me read this early on as homework; I read the whole thing, took notes, and took the book back to the IC the next week, book full of my sticky notes. Some of the sticky notes were positive, but most of them were not. Soooo much BS blaming! Or blaming the M for the A. And not nearly as much ďcheater coddlingĒ as Ester Perel, but there was definitely a lot of that present in AtA as well. I actually found reading this book so early on after DDay to be pretty damaging and re-traumatizing. I felt like I was being blamed, or that his actions were being justified. I stayed with that IC for months, but found him to be unhelpful. I see a trauma IC now, have had some EMDR, and have found the trauma approach to be much more effective in my healing.

gmc94 posted 2/10/2020 21:42 PM

[t/j]: JSS - I switched from my "infidelity experienced" IC to a trauma IC too and man, what a difference an IC makes! [/end t/j]

I actually found reading this book so early on after DDay to be pretty damaging and re-traumatizing. I felt like I was being blamed, or that his actions were being justified.
Yup, me too.

JSS1227 posted 2/11/2020 14:46 PM

(Continued t/j, apologies to OP 😬

Gmc94 , the podcasts you posted, as well as the support you offered me in PMís definitely helped me choose the direction of changing ICís to a trauma therapist. Making the switch, and then using EMDR to reprocess WHís suicide attempt aided my healing tremendously. Iíve also undergone EMDR for the infidelity, and it helped some, but it wasnít nearly as effective as it was for the SA.

(End t/j)

Gemini83 posted 3/9/2020 19:21 PM

Gmc94, thank you. I havenít read this book yet; I just started reading How can I forgive you. Iím not sure if I will finish it. There are some things in it I like and have left me with some things to consider. But, there is some BS blaming in it which is rather distasteful. I actually came here to see if anyone was familiar with the author to see if it got any better.

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