The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity

The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity

by Scott Haltzman

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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.

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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.

Product Details

Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Peggy Vaughan

This book provides a wonderfully comprehensive look at all aspects of affairs, including both sophisticated concepts and down-to-earth practical action steps. It is ‘must reading’ for anyone who wants to survive affairs—or just to improve their marriage.

K. Jason and Kelli Krafsky

In this digital age, more and more couples are finding out where their boundaries are—once they have been crossed. Whether it’s friending an old flame on Facebook, sexting someone on Twitter, or flirting online through Skype, many spouses and partners are blindsided and forced to deal with an emotional, online, or real-time affair. Thankfully, The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity is here. It’s a step-by-step survival guide to help your relationship deal with, survive, and overcome the pain of infidelity. If there is ‘one last thing’ you’re willing to do to try to save your relationship from an affair, it should be to read this book!

Karen H. Sherman

As a pro-marriage therapist who works with couples dealing with affairs on a regular basis, I am so pleased to have Scott Haltzman’s book available. Couples going through this situation are overwhelmed, confused, and often feel like they are drowning. He has done a wonderful job of explaining in an easy-to-comprehend way all the different types of affairs as well as tools to deal with them. This volume is a wonderful roadmap to assist couples navigating their way back to trust and connection. It’s also a great addition to complement therapists doing this type of work.

John Van Epp

Scott Haltzman’s excellent book blends clinical and true-to-life descriptions of the who, what and why of infidelity with profound and personal counsel indispensable for healing the wounds of betrayal. The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity is more than a superb book—it will become your own personal, dynamic counselor navigating you through the pain and confusion of infidelity.

John Gray

Rebuilding trust after an affair is not easy and requires a special kind of support and clear guidance. Scott Haltzman can show you the way. Taking the time to read this book will change your life.

Barry McCarthy

The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity is a very important contribution to this topic. Scott Haltzman is a respected psychiatrist and marriage therapist who has a practical approach to healing from affairs. His book takes a clear stance about avoiding affairs.

William J. Doherty

Scott Haltzman has done it again—given us a wise, compassionate, and practical guide to the perils and joys of married life. Here he takes on the most shameful and agonizing experience people go through in relationships in a book that helps both the person cheated on and the person who had the affair. Anyone who has gone through this turbulent experience should read it.

Harville Hendrix

Anyone who has, or is in the profession of helping those who have, or who just wants to know everything about, affairs will benefit from reading this book, and should read it. It is the most comprehensive book on the topic I have seen. I highly recommend it.

Terri Orbuch Ph.D.

For anyone who has felt the pain of infidelity, this compassionate and encouraging book is definitely for you. Based on years of clinical experience and research, Scott Haltzman’s step-by- step plan will help you recognize, understand, and then take control of your relationship and your life. One thing is clear—whether you’ve had an affair or are contemplating one, or you’ve had a partner who strayed—the knowledge you’ll gain from reading this book is invaluable.

Patricia Love

With the infidelity epidemic, every couple needs a survival guide and Scott Haltzman is just the professional to provide it! This common crisis can literally make or break a marriage. Most of those who go on to better relationships do so with expert help. This book is a ‘must’ for the modern marriage.

Diane Sollee

Scott Haltzman gets down to what’s needed: the nitty-gritty details of how to define infidelity, how to end it, and how to recover. The book is so good that it’s also a great how-to-avoid-it manual that all married folks should read long before infidelity is even on the horizon.

Scott Stanley

This isn’t just a supremely helpful book on understanding—and recovering from—infidelity. It’s a great book on marriage. The honest, warmhearted, and wise insight Scott Haltzman provides here can bring you hope and much more—a path forward. This is the book you are looking for right now.

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