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On the bookshelf: Healing from an Affair



For partners who are (or who have been) in a relationship with an unfaithful partner, there are a number of books that can offer clarity and guidance. While self-help books are far from a one-size-fits-all ideology, the right one could help support your process of grieving and healing.


After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring (also author of How Can I Forgive You?, The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To)

  • Teaches how to navigate the aftermath as well as hold the pain so the betrayed partner can heal

  • Straight forward

  • Real world examples


Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them by Dave Carder (who also wrote Torn Asunder)

  • Teaches to recognize problems and avoid pitfalls

  • Includes exercises

  • Meant for Christians and religious couples


Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

  • Improves understanding of barriers to apologizing

  • Presents true stories

  • Gives suggestions on how to apologize and how to receive an apology

  • Applicable, but not specifically about infidelity


Healing From Infidelity: The Divorce Busting Guide to Rebuilding Your Marriage After an Affair by Michele Weiner-Davis

  • Offers practical, step-by-step advice for couples

  • Not helpful for couples choosing to separate

  • Places blame on both parties

Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat by Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD

  • Tackles different kinds of cheating

  • Science-backed

  • Helps repair relationships

  • Not helpful for couples choosing to separate

The State of Affairs: The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel (author of Married in Captivity, host of Netflix show, Where do we Begin)

  • Helps understand the motivation for cheating with true stories

  • Not filled with advice

When You're The One Who Cheats: Ten Things You Need To Know by Dr. Tammy Nelson

  • Non-judgemental

  • Gives actionable advice

  • Not for couples

Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After by Katherine Woodward Thomas

  • Advice to help couples break up in a healthy way

  • Not for people looking to repair their relationship or those unsure about future

Infidelity: the Best Worst Thing that Could Happen to Your Marriage by Talal H. Alsaleem, LMFT

  • Guide to process damaged relationship

  • Places blame on both parties

The Road to Reconciliation: A Comprehensive Guide to Peace When Relationships Go Bad by Keith Wilson

  • Applicable, but not specifically about infidelity


Other notable books that I have not read.

First Aid For The Betrayed: Recovering from the Devastation of an Affair; a Personal Guide to Healing by Richard Alan

Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On—Together or Apart by Douglas K. Snyder, Donald H. Baucom, and Kristina Coop Gordon

“Affair-Proof” Your Marriage: Understanding, Preventing and Surviving and Affair by Lana Staheli

NOT “Just Friends” Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal by Shirley Glass

Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy by Frank Pittman

Surviving Infidelity: Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain by Rona Subotnik and Gloria Harris

Betrayed! How You Can Restore Sexual Trust and Rebuild Your Life by Riki Robbins

Beyond the Affair: The Healing of a Marriage by Loyd Kinnett

Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life: Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life: The Chump Lady's Survival Guide by Tracy Schorn (infidelity blogger: Chump Lady)

Out of the Doghouse: Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating by Robert Weiss, LCSW


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