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According to therapist Kirshenbaum (clinical director, Chestnut Hill Inst.; Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay), most people who have affairs are not self-centered, cold-hearted cheaters but guilt-ridden, stressed-out everyday Jane and John Does who realize they've made a serious mistake. Overwhelmed, these people are stuck, unable to make decisions, yet want the best for those they love. In what may be one of the first self-help guides directed exclusively to adulterers, Kirshenbaum outlines a six-level process to help this audience sort out their lives and make decisions leading to happiness and true love. After identifying underlying motives and circumstances in 17 types of affairs and what they mean, the author encourages readers to take an in-depth look at their relationship, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and determine personal preferences, needs, and future directions. A chapter discusses issues involving children and urges parents to act in their best interests. (Wisely, readers are urged to seek psychological and legal advice before making decisions to proceed with divorce and child-custody arrangements.) Kirshenbaum also shows how to put an affair in the past, rebuild trust, and heal the relationship. Not everyone will agree with her advice (e.g., she holds that confessing to an affair, unless discovery is likely or there's the possibility of unsafe sex, is usually more destructive than redemptive), but Kirshenbaum develops her arguments logically in a clear style. Recommended for self-help collections in public libraries.
—Lucille M. Boone