Why having an affair could save your marriage

Having an affair can help to save a struggling marriage, according to a new, controversial self-help book.

The author of ‘When Good People Have Affairs’ argues that because society has so far failed to have a sympathetic discussion of infidelity, the positive sides of cheating have been ignored.

However, she insists that most cheating spouses should never own up, because revealing the infidelity is more damaging than keeping quiet.
"Sometimes an affair can be the best way for the person who has been unfaithful to get the information and impetus to change," she told The Observer.
"I'm not encouraging affairs, but underlying the complicated mess is a kind of deep and delicate wisdom. It's an insight that something isn't working and needs to change."
Most philanderers are good, kind people, she argues, who are seeking real happiness and love.
The Author says her book is not aimed at 'creeps' who think they can cheat with impunity, but at decent people who know they have made a mistake.
"These people are suffering terribly and need to be relieved of their sense of guilt and shame because those emotions are paralysing," she said.
"If handled right, an affair can be therapeutic, give clarity and jolt people from their inertia," she said.
"You could think of it as a radical but necessary medical procedure. If your marriage is in cardiac arrest, an affair can be a defibrillator."
But she is convinced that an adulterer must never confess, not even if their partner asks directly.
"This is the one area in which the truth usually creates far more damage in the long run," she said.
"If you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can."
Her sympathetic approach to cheats has been criticised by some of her peers.
"We mustn't underestimate the immediate grief caused by an affair.
"The last thing people want to hear if their partner has had an affair is any sympathy offered to the person who they feel has betrayed them, and acted like a snake in the grass.
"However, when they look back in five or ten years, they might take a different view.
"Maybe this book goes too far, but we do need to take a sociological view of affairs. To think, 'what are we going to do about them?' rather than to say 'it can't happen', when it clearly does."

Comments on the book:

I strongly believe that a non-sexual emotional affair can save a marriage. It is an eye opener, after the affair you will be able to decide if you should stay or you should leave the person that you are married with.

Cheating can indeed be therapeutic to a marriage- free of the notion that the marriage actually means anything beyond an economic and biological partnership, we are no longer at the mercy of the ridiculous dream that is love: I mean, who wants to grow old with someone they respect, love, and trust? That's a fairytale, an adolescent fantasy

Affairs are great ways to deflate that delusion that our spouse's are our "soul-mates"- I mean, what an awesome burden that is, in a world where most of the human population has suffered diligently through arranged marriages- who are we to enjoy a life together with someone who is both our best friend and preferred sex partner? Far better we engage in acts which make of them fools, and hide these acts from them the rest of their lives, so that they may die and be buried next to someone they never really knew. This is a wonderful idea.

I’ve been having an affair for nearly four months with a coworker. At first it was fun but harmless and in a lot of ways stimulated the sex between my wife and me. Now however I find it overwhelming. What was once casual now seems premeditated necessary. A very slippery slope that is destabilizing emotionally. I would say that an affair is healthy to a point, but you have to know when to rein in your emotional intensity and to reserve it for your spouse because it can backfire quickly and suddenly.

 Am happily married but seeing someone on the side and I really enjoy sex with him. Nothing else and I don't want to end it with him. He is also married and we get together just for the sex and we are not going to leave our partners but we cannot stop seeing each other.

An affair has really sorted my life out. My wife disclosed to me the number of sexual partners she had accumulated before we married. The number surprised and shocked me. It made me believe that she was cheap. I went through counseling in an attempt to deal with it. It didn’t work. I have had 2 affairs in an attempt to make me feel cheap. This just sounds crazy, I know, but it’s worked and I’m more accepting of her now. If it saves our marriage then it has worked.

I think if someone enjoys variety but still wants to be married which is simply having one's cake and eating it too, it is most wise never to be caught.

I was married at 23 to a man from another country, where we lived. He traveled constantly - 5 days a week. I started seeing another man - once or twice a month, with daily telephone calls. I can honestly say that he saved our marriage. It lasted for years - neither of us wanted to be married to each other or even to spend more time together but I worked out so many problems with him. But I had no desire to "be caught" - I think many people do out of a sense of revenge or desperation or whatever. My husband never knew and we've been married for over 30 years now.

Oh yeah! That really works! I was having problems in my marriage due to being inexperienced, so I cheated on my wife for 2 months with a college friend. That enhanced my sexual performance a lot and enhanced my relationship with my wife.

I never thought I would agree but I can see how at least a one night stand can be a therapeutic massage to some, its 
one night, no thorough background check that would allow feelings to immerse, just 
passion, intensity. It doesn't have to mean the spouse is lacking in sensitivity or the bedroom, it's just different,

It is different for everyone. I did go outside the marriage because I had no previous experience and during my marriage I had no orgasms. I thought I was doing something wrong...Neither of us had experience. I was friends with this individual and it was just sex and friendship. I learned and I am trying to bring this education to my marriage (husband had no previous sex experience either). I told my husband I wanted to do it. Never said I did it. He had been selfish in bed for years now...maybe I can show him how not to be. Seriously, do not judge anyone. I was one who said I would never do that...HA! the minute you say never life will find a way to show you that you are no better than the average person. As long as your heart is in the right place and it is done for the right reasons SEX is just SEX.

There is a difference between recommending and relating a clinical observance of human behaviour, and I would have to agree with her. My wife had an online affair and it brought our sex life back. She took me for granted, got thinking about things with another person that she couldn't let herself think about with me, then transferred it back to me. We talked about it, worked through it, and it refreshed our marriage. I think it is a pretty high risk thing to try on purpose, but if an affair does happen, it can improve things as easily as hurt them depending on the circumstances. And as far as keeping it a secret, I agree that "what you don't know can't hurt you". You are the one who should carry the guilt. Why hurt the spouse? And from the way most of you are reacting, I think it proves her point to never, ever tell.


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