The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity

Overview

Along with changes in the workplace and the explosive growth of electronic communications, there has been a skyrocketing rate of infidelity. Today, up to forty percent of American marriages endure the pain of a cheating partner. The media is filled with stories of married politicians finding their "soul mates" and titillating instances of unfaithful celebrities. But in the homes of ordinary people everywhere, infidelity triggers complex emotions and events that affect everyone involved. Many marriage and personal...

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The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity

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Overview

Along with changes in the workplace and the explosive growth of electronic communications, there has been a skyrocketing rate of infidelity. Today, up to forty percent of American marriages endure the pain of a cheating partner. The media is filled with stories of married politicians finding their "soul mates" and titillating instances of unfaithful celebrities. But in the homes of ordinary people everywhere, infidelity triggers complex emotions and events that affect everyone involved. Many marriage and personal therapists have adopted a "me first" mentality, prompting hurt spouses to end their relationships. Psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, retired Brown University professor, recommends exactly the opposite. The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity teaches both the victim and the perpetrator of infidelity how to acknowledge their feelings, reduce their sense of despair, and begin the difficult task of rebuilding a strong relationship.

People who cheat act much like those who have other addictions, and brain scans of love-struck individuals show a dramatic increase in the release of dopamine, the same brain neurochemical associated with cocaine abuse. Haltzman does not excuse infidelity by labeling it a sex addiction; it’s not orgasm that drives a partner to cheat. Instead, Haltzman coins the term "flame addiction" to describe how, like a moth drawn to the light, people feel compelled to have extramarital intimacy despite all the negative consequences.

People who have been cheated on feel shame, rage, and injured self-esteem. Many of them fear abandonment and find it hard to cope. When both partners have made a commitment to move forward together, however, Dr. Haltzman validates each person's feelings and puts them into perspective, offering sound advice on how to recover their equilibrium and reestablish a committed, trust-filled relationship.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While keyed specifically to meet the needs of couples coping with the shock and pain of an affair, this vital guide from marriage and infidelity expert Haltzman (The Secrets of Happy Families) contains cogent advice for anyone in a troubled relationship. Drawing from know-how accrued not from having an affair, but from online surveys and years of working as a psychiatrist, Haltzman guides readers toward an understanding of why people resort to infidelity, explaining to transgressors how to end an affair in four steps, understand why they cheated, control impulses, make an appropriate apology, and rebuild trust. On the other hand, he helps the innocent parties take stock of their emotions, let go of anger, and decide if and when they’re ready to repair the relationship. Chapters on managing expectations, effective communication techniques, and conflict resolution are particularly resonant and useful. Ultimately, his approach can be summed up in the wise axiom, “You can either fight to be right or fight to be married.” (June)
Washington Post

Scott Haltzman has been studying marriages good and bad for a long time... View marriage as your most important task, Haltzman urges men, and pursue success as you would anything else that matters.

Foreword Reviews - Maria Siano

Because Haltzman draws on his own experience providing couples counseling, as well as academic research studies, the guidance he offers is credible and convincing.

PsycCRITIQUES - Chammie Austin

The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity is well written and easy to read. Furthermore, given its subject matter, it will appeal to a broad audience. Although the discussion of neurotransmitter and neurobiology may seem foreign to some, the vast majority of the book will connect with people, especially those who have been touched by infidelity.

Washington Post

Scott Haltzman has been studying marriages good and bad for a long time... View marriage as your most important task, Haltzman urges men, and pursue success as you would anything else that matters.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421409429
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/6/2013
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 466,406
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Haltzman, M.D., is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and former clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University. He is author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men, The Secrets of Happily Married Women, and The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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