Books for the Betrayed

Did a book heal your heart? Soothe your soul? Give you the words to define your experience...and determine the rest of your life? Then please share it here. In order to make it easy for others to browse, please include:
Brief description of the book
How it helped


  1. When Things Fall Apart

    Pema Chödrön

    A gentle voice guiding you through the storm. Not specific to betrayal, but it helps.

    I listened on audio because Pema is so comforting. She felt like a wise friend holding my hand. There was a way to deal with the pain. I wasn't into mindfulness before, but it didn't matter. Actually I don't know how I would have survived without her.

    1. Hey Iris! Nice to see you here.
      I love Pema Chodron. Wise friend indeed. When Things Fall Apart is great. So is her book The Places That Scare You.

    2. Unfaithful really helped us through so far.
      Also, After the affair. Both books for couples trying to get through

  2. Our Cheating Hearts by Kate Figes I found her chapter on the impact of secrecy and Lies upon our children to be one of the most powerful I've read so far.

    Probably very well know already but I just read it recently!
    Your Sexually Addicted Spouse How partners can cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. This helped me deal with my rage and pain regarding PTSD symptoms.

    1. Wow. Hadn't hurt of any of these. Thank-you!

    2. "Your sexually addicted spouse"
      EXACTLY. I am
      Not co to his anything. How do you co something you did know was there?? Highly recommended for all the reasons you ladies stated.

  3. Private Lies
    Frank Pittman
    Pittman gives down to earth advice on how to heal from infidelity and helps explain the different types of affairs, how children are affected, and more than anything makes it very clear that the betrayed spouse did not cause the affair. He is witty at times which really helped me laugh in a time of darkness. Hands down it was the best book I read.

    1. Too Good For Her Own Good by Claudia Bepko is one more I would add to my list. For anyone one learning to set limits and feeling trapped in an abusive situation. It's an oldie but a goodie.

  4. Not Just Friends - Shirley Glass

    How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair - Linda J. McDonald

    How Can I Forgive You? & After the Affair - Janis A. Spring

    The Dance of Anger, The Dance of Connection, The Dance of Deception & The Dance of Intimacy - Harriet Lerner

    Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder - Dennis C. Ortman

    Boundaries in Marriage & Beyond Boundaries:Learning to Trust Again in Relationships - John Townsend and Henry Cloud

    Getting Past the Affair - Douglas Snyder et al

  5. "Too good to leave to bad to stay a step by step guide to stay or get out of a relationship" by Mira Kirshenbaum I like this book because it asks you questions and helps you to see the bigger picture other than the pain you feel everyday. It does give you a different perspective based on how you answer the questions.

  6. Getting past the affair A program to help you cope, heal and move on by Douglas Synder.

    Our therapist recommended this book. My husband and I read a chapter separately and did the exercises together. Sometimes it brings out the raw realization of what has happened. It did keep me grounded those first few months. I found out my husband did not tell me the truth in the exercises so don't believe everything he says the questions and exercises are very focused.

  7. After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring

    Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass

    The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity by Scott Haltzman

    I love you but I don't trust you by Mira Kirshenbaum

    The Monogamy Myth by Peggy Vaughn

    Infidelity a Survival Guide by Don-David Lusterman

    Private Lies by Frank Pittman

    How Can I Ever Trust You Again by Andrew G Marshall


  8. "When Things Fall Part"
    Pema Chodron
    -Her journey to become one of America's greatest spiritual teachers began when she was a betrayed and abandoned wife. But really, it speaks to all kinds of struggle and provides a way to transform suffering of all kinds.

    "After the affair" and "How can I forgive you."
    Janis Spring
    I especially love the latter because it gives you, in my opinion, more honest and human option, to healing by getting to the heart of real forgiveness.

    Affair Recovery blog
    Rick Reynolds
    -it is a goldmine of essays with perspective from the betrayer

    Surviving An Affair
    Willard and Jennifer Harley


  9. Karyl McBride "Will I Ever Be Good Enough".and "Will I Ever Be Free of You" .

    If you grew up in a narcissistic family or married a narcissist- where you were never good enough, you carry additional emotional baggage that effects your healing. These books helped ME they are not about affairs but are related to how narsistic people in your life effected your relationships.

  10. Anonymous, I'm reading " Hw can I forgive?" It is very good, objective and looks at both sides of any relationsip. Thanks for posting.

  11. I second "How Can I Ever Trust You Again" by Andrew G Marshall

  12. Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction by Claudia Black

    Amazon has best price and also USED copies which are lower price. It is a workbook so find out if it has been written in -- before committing to buy USED copy.

  13. "Surviving Survival" by Laurence Gonzales

    This isn't a book about infidelity, but it helped me immensely. It's about how people have recovered from traumatizing events, ranging from a shark attack to the death of a child. What I liked about it is that it provides some extremely practical, specific things to DO, based on current knowledge of how the brain processes trauma and how muscle activity is linked to the network of neurons that affect our emotions. For example, doing something physical that is also patterned, repetitive, organized, and directed toward a goal -- such as knitting -- can actually reset the contents of memory. It was fascinating to me to remember that our brain is a physical thing, and emotions are *physical* responses aimed at survival. Therefore, there are physical things we can do to help change those responses; when I feel like everything sucks, it's easier to hold a pencil between my teeth (because the muscle movements involved are the same as in smiling and are connected to the neurons that promote feelings of happiness) than to try to talk myself out of the bad mood when I've been triggered.

    1. So interesting. I'm going to look for it!

  14. When Your Lover is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal (Susan Forward). I couldn't find Private Lies, and skimmed this one instead. It provides insight into types of lies and liars, why someone lies, and provides help for overcoming betrayals. She also covers the lies we tell ourselves when we are faced with lies from those we love. She is spot on and it's tough to read that section. I've gained some insight into my H and his behavior, and am about halfway through. I still have trouble using the word liar when I think of my H, but yeah, that's what was going on. So far so good- it's appealing to the side of me that needs explanations (even though I know there probably isn't one that will satisfy me).

  15. It is not the sex

    It’s the lies
    Years of secrecy and deceit.

    As psychiatrist Frank Pittman in his discussion of infidelity addresses the common claim that the affair:

    “Didn’t really mean anything,” by asking, “Didn’t mean anything to whom?”

    After several years of questioning and researching, gaining, ‘The informal PhD on infidelity,’ I continued to feel misunderstood (as a betrayed spouse) by people around me. It was as if I needed a “Witch Doctor,” to witness this distress, anguish, and trauma, to Nash Teeth, Weep and Rend Clothing. I intuitively understood that I was experiencing deep trauma beyond cultural recognition. And I did not feel that my personal experience was VALIDATED until I found the following sources

    Anna Fels New York Times Article “Great Betrayals.”

    Robert Weiss CD video “Internet Sex, infidelity and working with Betrayed Spouses

    Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means “Your Sexual Addicted Spouse.” From their book:

    “Trauma victims of all kinds respond in predictable emotional, behavioral and physiological ways as their minds and bodies attempt to survive and adapt to a shattering and/or dangerous situation. . Trauma as we noted can produce some of the following symptoms among others

    Reliving the event
    Intrusive Images
    Panic Attacks
    Health Problems
    Inability to eat
    Chronic Fatigue
    Immune/endocrine System Problems
    Mood swings

    Attempts to avoid painful stimuli and scan the environment for dangers are common reactions among trauma survivors and they often become hypersensitive to any indication that the threat may have returned.

    Dr. Omar Minwalla (The Institute for Sexual health (ISH) Thirteen Dimensions of Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma (SAIT) Among Partners and Spouses Impacted by Sex Addiction

    1.Discovery Trauma
    2. Disclosure Trauma
    3.Reality-Ego Fragmentation
    4. Impact to Body an Medical Intersection
    5.External Crisis and Destabilization
    6.SAIT Hyper-vigilance and Re-experiencing
    7. Dynamics of Perpetration, Violation and Abuse (SAIP)
    8. Sexual Trauma
    9.Gender Wounds and Gender-Based Trauma (GBT)
    10.Relational Trauma and Attachment Injuries
    11. Family, Communal and Social Injuries
    12. Treatment-Induced Trauma
    13. Existential and Spiritual Trauma

    1. That was the book I read over and over again. I think her book is the best book out there.

    2. What I meant to say is that the book, "your sexually addicted spouse" was the best one I've read.

    3. Dittos. Marsh Means book was the best book I read.

      I don't like Carnes idea that we are codependent.

      When we find out, we go through PTSD and trauma. I was shut off emotionally for about four years.

      Anne of VA

  16. The following resources helped a general understanding of adultery/infidelity/cheating

    Frank Pittman “Private Lies.”
    Peggy Vaughan ( honesty over monogamy) Shirley Glass,
    Richard Schwartz “You are the one you have been waiting for.” Along with basic introduction of his work Internal Family Systems.
    Brene Brown’s work is most healing regarding cultural and institutionalized shame.

    “There is no truth that is as destructive as any lie.” (Pittman)

    For the impact upon family and especially the children:

    Kate Figes “Our Cheating Hearts.” Chapter 8 “The Impact on the children.”

    Susan Berger’s Blogroll (heat breaking) anonymous accounts from children to young adults on personal experiences with their parents infidelity. (proof that “Children know,” but don’t have the data or facts). And family secrets continue into the next generations if not confronted with compassionately.

  17. For understanding personality archetype’s of BETRAYERS: (if viewed on a spectrum with most severe, those individuals, “criminally self-absorbed”, narcissistic or sociopathic behavior of infidels/paramours)

    As one woman put beautifully:

    “It’s as if I myself was missing in action, inside a war, that I didn’t even know I was involved.”

    Scholarly articles written by David Buss on “Human Mate Poaching.” Or writings on the “Dark Triad: Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathology.

    Dr. Martha Stout “The sociopath Next Door.”

    Google “Sociopahs/Techniques

    Workplace Dangers- Manipulative People -
    “In Sheep’s Clothing,” George K. Simon

    “People without conscience.”

    Living with secrecy, deceit and lies over time becomes like any cancer, producing a garden that only bears sorrows fruit.

    It is my personal observation that few professionals really comprehend “betrayal.” And the impact of dealing with psychologically damaged paramours. Remorseful and repentant spouses become the “prodigal,” returning-home, however, often the - “Unremorseful” paramour lashes out with increased violence towards the healing couple and/or family.

    There is no closure for the betrayed spouse.

    The formula: (Triangle of infidelity Diad upon ‘discovery’ changes)
    Repenting Cheater + betrayed spouse – the paramour = now ‘betrayed paramour’ acts out. A betrayed spouse may become increasingly aware they are dealing with Sociopathy. A further haunting discovery even after the betrayal of a partner.

    1. Valkyrie,
      Thanks so much for that incredible list of resources. There aren many on there that I'm going to seek out. Very much appreciate your help.

    2. "The formula: (Triangle of infidelity Diad upon ‘discovery’ changes)
      Repenting Cheater + betrayed spouse – the paramour = now ‘betrayed paramour’ acts out. A betrayed spouse may become increasingly aware they are dealing with Sociopathy. A further haunting discovery even after the betrayal of a partner.

      OMG! That describes my last 2 years in a nutshell. Seriously deranged paramour moved half a continent TO OUR TOWN, divorced her husband, set up shop, and cyber stalked. I still think WS doesn't quite comprehend the sense of threat. Can anybody say "Bunny Boiler"?

  18. Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I too am a big advocate for "After the Affair" and "How can I Forgive You".

    When I started "How Can I Forgive You" I was at a stage where my husband was still very much reluctant to talk about the affair, to hear my pain, to be sensitive to when I was struggling, to look at himself and what he was telling himself during the affair etc. I liked the way this book talks about working on yourself to achieve "Acceptance" as a way of moving forward with someone who has harmed you but is not doing everything they need to do to earn true forgiveness. It was a difficult time though, in that I found it hard to let go of the idea that I could make him want to do what I need him to do to help me. But this book helped me to focus on me, to feel strong and to not pretend i was happy with "cheap forgiveness".

    Also if anyone is looking for a lighter read, I really enjoyed the novel "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty. It's about a 30 year old woman, happily married, pregnant with her first child who due to amnesia finds herself suddenly 10 years older with no memory of those 10 years, her 3 children or how she is now separated from her husband and on the brink of divorce. Yes the story is probably medically a stretch, but it is real page turner, easy to read but plenty to think about and reflect on. Especially for people like us whose marriages have also changed dramatically over the years!!


  19. I found these books helped paint a broader portrait of women who act out sexually within Mate-ships/ marriages

    Books on Women's Affairs/Female Sex addict

    Wendy Plumb "The Vow."
    Marnie C. Ferree Editor "Making Advances." A comprehensive Guide for Treating Female Sex and Love Addicts
    Jill Alexander Essbaum's Novel "Hausfrau."

    1. I read The Vow and it's a bit of a tough read for anyone early on post D-Day. But she made it abundantly clear to me just how desperate she was for male attention. She hungered for it, which made any other emotions (guilt, remorse, etc.) vanish.

  20. I found this a Beautiful, insightful balm for our healing together after Infidelity. The husband (Narcissist) and OW (frightening archetype) follow a predictable course. You can skip and go to chapter 13 "Wisdom Earned."

    Surprised By Love

    Dr. Jay and Julie Kent - Ferraro

  21. Fool Me Once: Should I Take Back My Cheating Husband? by Caroline Madden, MFT
    The book is about whether or not your husband is sincere in his efforts to rebuild the marriage. Honestly, the reason I like this book is that she didn't make me feel weak for staying. She said that strong women decide for themselves what they want to do and don't immediately react. I liked that I was a strong woman again.

    1. I hate that our culture views women who stay and rebuild their marriage as "weak". The women I know are the exact opposite of that. So glad the book helped you see that.

  22. I attempted to post this article by Dr. Omar Minwalla March 31, 2015

    It pertains to the secrecy and lying and impact upon betrayed partners
    one can google

    "Sexual Sobriety" Leaves Victims Untreated Dr. Omar Minwalla Psy.D

  23. If your partner is a porn addict: "Love You, Hate the Porn" by Mark Chamberlain.

  24. Just found this site while looking for books online and love all the comments and some of the stories. I just found out 2 month ago and I am not sure what to do, and when I say this I know I am lying to myself I do still love my husband but I was one of the woman that always said if he ever cheated on me he will be gone, I feel weak allowing him to stay with me. And I feel ashamed for him for what he did. I also feel that I want him more then I have in a long time and that is strange all by its self. Why would I want to sleep with the man that just hurt me like nobody has before. I also feel like I am the one that is going above and beyond to show my love to him why and I doing this? Don't get me wrong he has made many changes and has told me that he will make it up to me and show me everyday why I need to stay. I just don't want to be a foul and stay to find out there may be another and another.... But I am also scared that my insecurity and constant digging and asking question, and crying, and screaming, and attacking him, will push him away I don't think he really knows what he is in for and if he truly wants to stay for the ride. I also can not believe that he did this to me I really can't. I need somebody to tell me it is ok to stay and that we can get through this and still have a good marriage after this. I would love to hear from some of you that there can be a happy marriage after an affair..... DK

    1. Perhaps we should add the Infidelity Counselling Network here:


    2. DK,
      The short version is that, yes, you can create a happy marriage after an affair. The longer version is that it takes a deep commitment from both partners to do the incredibly hard work of rebuilding a marriage from the foundation up.
      You need to feel free to express your pain to him. You need to feel free to ask him questions. You need to feel safe in his support of you as you heal from the devastation of betrayal.
      A lot of what you're experiencing - the hyper attraction, the need to show him how much you need him -- is "normal" under the circumstances. You can Google "betrayed wives club, hysterical bonding" to learn more.
      But you need the time and space to grieve the marriage you thought you had. And you both need counselling support as you move forward.
      Don't beat yourself up for how you're feeling. It's all part of how we process this pain. Be gentle with yourself.

    3. You can do this. I see myself in your post- I, and many others on this site, have been there. But he's hanging in there with you, and that's what my husband did. I threw some horrible things at him, and he stayed and took it. If your H is anything like mine, he feels remorse and guilt and shame and is doing whatever he can to show you that you really are THE one. Be prepared for lots of ups and downs. Be prepared for getting the truth a little at a time. That happens and happened with me- up until a few weeks ago over a year after discovery. The thing is- if the two of you love each other, you will create a new marriage. We're doing that right now- the first marriage is gone, but the second has great promise. It happens- it really does. But it takes time and you go through a lot. The hypersexuality is normal, too, even though it feels really strange.
      Read the books suggested here. Lurk on the site and see what's normal-none of us ever thought we'd face what we are facing and we need a compass to point the way. Ask for help when you need it. Write about your story here or in a journal. Get it all out. And the biggest thing I learned- trust yourself. You know what you need to heal. Everyone has their own healing schedule- don't feel rushed or don't feel as though it's going too slowly. And important. Hang in there. If the two of you work together, you will get what you want and need in the second marriage.

  25. Not a book..but the TED talk really resonated with me. I found it though this article:
    And here's the link to the TED talk by Esther Perel:

    I think that Esther provides some honest reflection about affairs, what they are really about, and how affairs today are different from affairs in the past. She provides a message of hope for all of us. Will I send this to my H to listen to? Perhaps. I think he has to be at a certain spot in HIS healing before he's strong enough to hear the whole message. I'll have to think about it for him, but for AND listen; understand more and begin healing.

  26. Not a book - but a collection of resources that have helped me. Chief among them, this blog.

  27. I have not only been betrayed by partner but he did it with a very close friend of mine! To make matters worse she is a 'Christian' who believes she has every right to be with my now ex.
    Like many women here I have felt the pain of their betrayal and it has been almost catastrophic for me. To help me deal with the grief, I too have started a blog called: I have also written a few books on the incident. One of them is called A Pious Whore.
    The reason why I have mentioned this is because the pain and rage that I felt was almost crippling me and the only way to deal with it in a health and legal fashion! was to write it down. It has been over two years now since I discovered their affair. The rage has subsided but the pain has not. I still get upset as if it had happened yesterday. So when I get like that, I write and I keep on writing until I have to stop. It is so cathartic.
    For any woman who has experienced this my heart so goes out to you because it is a trauma, and that's what it is, that cuts right through your heart and your soul.

    1. Mumstar,
      I'm so sorry you're still in such pain. Have you considered that what you're experiencing is post-traumatic stress? It's not at all uncommon for betrayed wives to experience post-trauma and it, in effect, keeps the pain alive. What you want to do is move past it. I'm not sure if you've had counselling but you might want to talk to a counsellor about being treated for post-trauma. Thanks for sharing these resources, too.

  28. Title His Mistress My Nighmare On kindle
    Author Rosalynne Rickord
    Brief description of the book Journal pages of the following 6 months after her first discovery day and the discovery days that followed.
    How it helped comfort in knowing I was not the only one, made me feel I was not crazy, she also recommends books she read

  29. Complex PTSD by Pete Walker. Complex PTSD forms from extended trauma, however, a lot of the symptoms and treatments are the same for PTSD. Since it's very common to develop PTSD from being betrayed, I highly recommend this book. I bought it to learn to deal with my childhood trauma, but the techniques have been extremely helpful in dealing with post D-day.

    Love You, Hate the Porn by Mark Chamberlain, if your partner is a porn/sex addict. He also has an excellent blog by the same name.


  30. I'm new here and my d day just came a day ago. I caught my H looking at this prostitute site that's always on msnbc. You know the sex trafficking sites. He just keeps lying. We have sex...not everyday but the normal for a married couple with kids. I think he is a sex addict. He is in denial, but I truly believe he is. I asked why? He only says " I don't know!" He was even looking at the site with a friend of his while I was inside our house entertain his friend child That is so low! He keeps thinking I'm suppose to get over it because he said he is sorry. I'm still hurt, angry, confused, at a loss for words. I asked him whether or not he called any of these skanks and he says no. The thing is that I don't know if I truly believe him. He has betrayed my trust by lying on his friend and blaming him. I'm not a fool. He keeps trying to manipulate my feelings. I tried to leave the house once I seen he was looking up those sites on his work phone too. I snapped! I tried to leave the house and he wouldn't let me. He was controlling me. Then when he got hungry it was okay for me to go get food. Yeah, I didn't go no where. I don't know how to truly deal with this. I pray to God that he help me get over this, but its my fault. I married a non believer, well non Christian. I feel its my fault because I picked the wrong person to be with. My h never behaved this way when we were dating. I am deeply saddened that I bought two beautiful boys into this relationship. I just can't get over something in a day or two. It does not help when he calls me from work and keep asking me am I okay. NO, I'm not! What do you expect? Do you expect it all to go away. I'm embarrassed because he has his friend thinking he don't have sex with his wife.

    1. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in and the confusion.
      I confess I'm unclear what it is he's done. He's clicked on a site to find a prostitute? Did he follow through with anything? Has he done this more than once?
      What behaviour of his do you think indicates he's a sex addict? I think it's not uncommon for people to get curious about certain sites. It can be "normal" curiosity or it can indicate a compulsion. But it's important to know what else he's doing in order to determine which, in his case, it is.
      It sounds, at the least however, that you two aren't very good at communicating and discussing problems. It might be worth finding a good couples counsellor in order to figure out how to talk about difficult topics in a healthy way.

  31. Elle,

    We recently were recommended a book that I'd like to add to my hero's list!

    The Body Keeps the Score (Brain, Mind, and Body in the healing of trauma) 2014

    By Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

  32. Soo many of the suggestions above have been helpful. Thank you everyone =)

    I just came across this site and thought it might resonate with some of us here. It's more about love in general but it spoke to the part of me that was beating myself up for ever believing in love in the first place and for sticking around through the times that suck.

    Scared Separate by David Truman

  33. A big thanks to Iris for turning me onto this fellow ans specifically his book:

    "Lying," by Sam Harris

    (I take issue with his professor - Howard's view on infidelity however have asked all of my children to read the book)

  34. A remarkable relative of mine insisted I listen to the following CD and use mindfulness to help manage my outrage and anger concerning my betrayal. To help address the pain and vulnerability that lay beneath the rage. Over time and listening the real benefit of the practice emerged. I do not use the guided meditation daily but the affirmations at the end. I highly recommend this CD to anyone dealing with pain and anger regarding our betrayals:

    Anger and Forgiveness
    (a meditation to help with)

    By Belleruth Naparstek

    Healthjourneys a guided imagery CD

  35. Someone I greatly respect recommended:

    "Why does he Do That?" Inside the minds of angry and controlling men

    "Should I stay or Should I go?" A guide to knowing your relationship can - and should - be saved

    By Lundy Bancroft

  36. Not directly related to betrayal, but I found this book helpful:

    Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller.

    It can help you figure out your attachment style, and why some of us have such a hard time letting go of an unhealthy relationship. It's also got tips you to figure out how to make a healthier relationship, or when it's time to move on. It gave me a ton of insight into myself.

  37. SECOND FIRSTS by Christina Rasmussen. She also hosts a web site ( and has a Facebook page. Although her work started as a way to help spouses work through the death of their partners, there is so much here that speaks to anyone suffering from a major loss. This is a hopeful book. She provides concepts that help you understand what phase of "re-entering life" you are in. She offers suggestions for working your way out of what she calls the waiting room- haven't we all been there!- and rediscovering yourself. I've found it tremendously helpful lately and feel as though some of her concepts and techniques have helped me reach a point where I think I may finally be able to move forward and not cycle through periods of depression and low self-esteem.

  38. What to Do When He Won't Change: Saving Your Marriage When He is Angry, Selfish, Unhappy, or Avoids You
    Paperback – Dec 21 2011
    by Jack Ito Ph.D.

    Easy to read, gives you SPECIFIC words to use in specific types of situation, explains soo much. This book is amazing. If I would have gotten this when I got the man, it would literally have changed my life.

    It teaches that they only keep doing what keeps working - even if it only works sometimes. And that if you can hear through their crap to learn what they really need/want, you can show them better ways to get there. These men don't want a miserable partnership, they just don't know how else to try to get their needs met.

    I initially had to set it aside for a while until I was ready to look at my actions so be warned. This is about what YOU can do so out of necessity it points out things that you may do which don't work. But stick it out if you can, it's well worth it.

  39. A short essay written to spouses of sex addicts, pastors wives believe it or not. If your husband/wife has had more than an affair, maybe they are a sex addict? Here is why you don't take it personally. I've been searching for something like this for days. I'm not one to take blame for something I didn't do, but its still hell to try to not take it personally. Maybe this will help, and if you don't like the "God" reference, just think 'higher power'.

  40. Why disclosure? Another short read (with a link to a longer academic read) Here are the facts. They are SO enlightening!

  41. I would have to say mega dittos with the book, "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse."

    We are not called codependent like many other books. The authors explain what PTSD, hyper-vigilance, nightmares and wanting a safe environment free from pain does to us.

    Anne of VA

    1. MEga is right Anne, I have tried to post it about 5 times here and no luck. It's an amazing read.

  42. For those of you with teens in the house...
    I just read this in advance of sharing with sons.

    "The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make"
    by Sean Covey

    Solid advice that I wish my H and I had when we were teens -- we might have been better prepared for relationships.

    Practical guidance regarding boundaries, self-respect, etc. Normalizing kids who have respectful relationships with parents, healthy view of popularity, sexuality, etc.

    Especially appreciate the section about pornography -- it is put in the Addictions section, where I think it belongs. (Not in the Dating & Sex section.)

    I definitely recommend reading before you give to teen to make sure a good fit with your values (I have a few notes...) but I think fairly non-controversial. Emphasis on helping teens figuring out who they want to become and practical advice to get there.

  43. After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, 2nd - Janis A. Spring.

    This book was well-balanced and equal to both parties in the marriage. It does not vilify the unfaithful spouse, nor does it victimize the hurt spouse. It laid out what each person is going through and how to work through it. A MUST read!

  44. The book "Married and Alone" is referenced in My Sexual Addicted spouse, which is the second great read, I would recommend. The flip-coin of many sexual addicts is extreme fear of intimacy. This is a very validating and eye-opening book. I tried so hard for many years to make my husband help me work on our problems, and he just turned away.

  45. Forgive and Forget, Healing the Hurts You Didn't Deserve by Lewis Smedes

    This is an excellent book for learning the stages of forgiveness. I found it very relatable.

  46. My Holiday reading now includes this one.
    "Sex addiction :the partners perspective" . A book written in the U.K. It's not, so far, as emotional as"your sexually addicted spouse" which is the best book I have read on being involved with a sex addict but this is a great follow up, for me 6months out of D Day 2. Dday 1 was "after the affair" that, along with this site, saved my life Incredibly helpful, but of course I didn't know he was an addict then. Now I know too damn much!

  47. Hi all. Can any of you recommend books on building up you self esteem/self worth? I'm really struggling in this area and I know I need help here.

    1. Hi Olive, I loved Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within. I also love Brené Brown. Her book, The The Gift of Imperfection might be a good one to start with. And I want you to do something else, Olive. It will feel ridiculous but is scientifically proven to work. I want you to look at yourself in the mirror every single day and I want you to tell yourself that you are beautiful and that you lovable and that you are enough. Every single day. Focus on what you like about yourself. Tell that other voice, the critic, to shut up. You know, the voice that says you need to lose or gain weight, the voice that says you have wrinkles. That you aren't tall enough or pretty enough. That voice is no longer welcome in your head because it speaks lies. Cultivate that other voice, the voice of self-love. She speaks the truth.

    2. Elle. I've been reading Post infidelity Stress Disorder and it's been a game changer for me. It's so clear now where we went wrong and it's been great to forgive and love myself. I KNOW I am worthy, enough, beautiful and I even remember feeling this way about me up until a 5 years ago. Sounds crazy to say this 8 weeks since D day 2, but I am grateful for all the good that has come out of his fuck up. It's great to feel strong again and I know so well that I will survive no matter what. Thank you so much for your suggestions on books and this group of WARRIOR WOMEN. Much love to you all

  48. Not a book, but a program for broken marriages to share with all of you. It is a faith based peer ministry. Totally anonymous, no one will ask your story, nothing but your first names. No one will try to convert you. They have a very high long-term success rate. Note: this does not replace IC or MC but it complements it very well.

  49. Not a book either, but a website with really interesting insights into love, relationships and general conundrums about human life (lots of videos and reflections):
    The School of Life

  50. Just read Brene Brown's new book "Rising Strong". Not about infidelity but good for your self-healing.

    Also reading "How Can I Forgive You?" by Janis Spring. Very insightful.

  51. This is free on audible until the middle of July--I have not listened to all of them and although I am not thrilled with Esther sort of insinuating that both people are to blame, it was fascinating. number 3--the addict is remarkable. Completely worth a listen. Check it out.

  52. My counsellor suggested the podcasts from itunes Betrayal Trauma Recovery. They have been spot on for me.

    Also, I would love to hear some suggestions for movies that are safe to watch, and movies about affairs with relevance... Recently I have watched Obsessed and Fatal Attraction, and also Gone baby, gone... great for those moments when I feel homicidal. I was actually also surprised about the movie Girl on a Train. It did trigger because the main character was going crazy after her husband left her and had this seemingly perfect family with the other woman, but the end was mostly satisfactory. For us trying to rebuild our marriages, I think that the story in Jane Austen Book Club is nice... a little unrealistic, but what the heck.. And for a completely affair and sexfree film watch Woman in Gold. For a little sadistic gloating over the misfortunes of a mistress, the Devils Mistress is good I think. Please give me some more suggestions:-) Daisy

  53. Daisy, try "the big sick" there is an old betrayal in it (not by either of the main characters) i thought it was SUCH a lovely movie. funny and sweet but not sappy. I also really l love "thank you for sharing" which may have a triggering scene when Gwyneth Paltrow dresses up like a stripper for her new boyfriend, who is a recovering sex addict played by the FANTASTIC Mark Ruffalo. I thought the older couple, Tim Robbins and-oh gosh, I cannot remember her name-his wife in the movie, I think play a great couple--he has been in recovery for years, and has the 12 step lingo down pat and yet is human and thinks he knows everything--lol. Pink also has a part and that woman can do anything. It's a really hopeful movie.

  54. An article about gaslighting

  55. Has anyone read "Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give" by Ada Calhoun? Thoughts?

    I read it and I'm not sure what I think. I'm interested in opinions from other betrayed wives.

    Note -- the book I'm talking about is her full memoir published in 2017. She also wrote a short NYT "Modern Love" article in 2015-ish with the same title.

    1. I haven't read the book but I just read the Modern Love...and I loved it. She speaks to so much of what we speak of on this site: waiting out the pain, wrestling with the pain, to discover that, one day, "we love him again, we love him still."

    2. That's the thing -- I too loved the Modern Love essay. Loved it. I want that wisdom for my marriage/life. I was totally on board. Inspired. Hopeful.

      So I was super eager to read the memoir. And then I get to the part where she talks about cheating on her husband. And I'm like OK, I hate you now. And I wonder if every beautiful thing she writes about having a flawed-but-deeply-loving-at-its-core marriage is just a story that she tells herself to feel better about her own adultery. And whether I've once again been duped by a cheater.

      I know my reaction was unfair -- Sorry Ada Calhoun wherever you are! I don't really hate you! But I do hate betrayal. At 2.5 years my reaction is still shockingly visceral. I wish it weren't. I wish I were at a place where I could say I grew from the experience -- I feel like that is where my H is and to be honest as much as he is becoming the H I always wanted, it kind of pisses me off some days. On the receiving end of betrayal I don't feel like I grew, I feel like I just curled up and got smaller.

      I'm clearly still a work in progress. Struggling with resentment. Struggling with whether "we love him again, we love him still" will be true for me. I want it to be... which I suppose is why I continue to read this blog and why I have been so affected by this memoir.

      Will keep thinking on this. Thanks for your input -- it is truly helpful to read other opinions and gain perspective.

    3. Sal,
      Wow, I hadn't expected that little bombshell. Shit, huh? I'm ten years out and I would say, largely because by being so ripped open, I had to deal with a whole lot of old pain. It was horrible. So much of the betrayal just confirmed all the awful things I believed about myself. So by dealing with that and challenging that, I was able to rid myself of so much latent pain and shame. Still doesn't make me remotely happy my husband cheated. I have no gratitude for having been cheated on. It sucks. And, like you, I respond viscerally too. I think it's a really shitty thing to do to someone. I'm able to see shades of grey where perhaps I couldn't before. I'm able to see that, sometimes, good people, loving people, make horrible choices. I think often of my mother, a raging alcoholic/pill-popper who I know loved me madly. But still chose to drink herself into a stupor most days when I was a teen. Helps me understand that sometimes the demons within drive behaviour that contradicts a person's feelings. People confuse me.
      And so I do my best to remain simple. I challenge my own contradictions to do my best to have my values line up with my behaviour. I don't always succeed. But it matters that I try.
      And Sal, I suspect that you have grown in ways that you don't yet see. 2.5 years isn't so long. I was just beginning to unfold at 2.5 years. I was scared of everything. I couldn't imagine ever feeling genuine joy again. I thought I would have to settle for "okay" forever.
      As for whether "I love him still" will be true for you, I'm beginning to believe that the more we invest in a marriage, assuming our partner is invested too, the more we get from it. I listened to a guy on the radio this morning who wrote The All or Nothing Marriage and he talked about how much we expect from our marriages and how it's almost impossible for most marriages to live up to that. But then he said that he thinks it's not a bad thing to have such high expectations because for those who demand a lot AND ARE WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK TO CREATE THAT, the result is a truly rewarding marriage. Not one that meets ALL our expectations but meets a whole lot of them.
      I'm proud of my marriage, even if it's scarred by infidelity. I take pride in how hard we've worked to get where we are. It matters to me that we fought so hard for it.
      Whether that becomes true for you remains to be seen. But Sal, you will be fine. Your heart is flexing and changing and expanding and making room for contradictions you never imagined. But you and I both will never likely take infidelity in stride.

    4. Thank you Elle. Lots to ponder...
      In the spirit of Heartfelt's fantastic list of Oct 18, you've given me two more quotables. I should have them made into tshirts.
      For me: "People Confuse Me"
      For my H: "It Matters That I Try"

  56. These are some quotes that seem to help me during my 2 year journey. I’ve collected over time. Some funny, some truthful and some give perspective.
    Your check asshole light is on.

    Honesty is the highest form of intimacy.

    We repeat what we do not repair.

    You dropped a diamond while picking up pennies.

    A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.

    Here’s a tissue, you have a little bullshit on your lip.

    I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel.

    Just chuck it in the fuck it bucket and move on.

    Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.

    That’s the problem with putting others’ve taught them that you come second.

    Nobody appreciates a good girl until she doesn’t give a fuck anymore.

    Keep your head high and your middle finger higher.

    There’s something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty.

    Sometimes a heartbreak shakes you awake and helps you see that you are worth more than you are settling for.

    One day or day one. You decide.

    The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.

    Fear can keep us up all night, but faith can make one fine pillow.

    Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it.

    The most desired gift of love is focused attention.

    What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.

    For every girl with a broken heart, there’s a boy with a glue gun.

    You’re the reason this country has to put directions on shampoo.

    Sometimes you just need to talk to a 4 year old and an 84 year old to understand life again.

    There are moments which mark your life. Moments that you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts - before this, and after this.

    If you hesitate between me and another person, don’t choose me.

    Far too may people are looking for the right person, instead if trying to be the right person.

    Spray the bitch away.

    I’ve met some pricks in my time, but you sir are a fucking cactus.

    1. Thanks for sharing Heartfelt. Needed to smile today.

  57. Heartfelt
    Love these. Have heard most before, but never get tired of reading them again.
    Gabby xo

  58. "why can't you apologize?" helps in seeing the underlying issues on why some won't, or can't (that can run pretty deep) why it's uncomfortable, and why forgiveness is not the be all end all. Really good book. and I second Ann's recommendation of "The subtle art of not giving a fuck". Although the author is only in his 30's, its a cool kind of reminder that we have limited fucks to give, and we should put them in the right place.

  59. "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk. Having been raised in a family affected by alcoholism, I already had a "blueprint" for trauma. In an effort to save a 30 year marriage I became hyper-vigilant and was diagnosed with PTSD. The doctor who counseled us specialized in trauma and recommended this book. This book gives ideas on building neuroplasticity in the brain through dance, meditation and other activities.

  60. This is not a book, but a website that seems interesting: Dr Debi Silber ( she talks about post-betrayal transformation and has been through it herself. I heard of her via an interview podcast on Insight Timer.

  61. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners can Cope and Heal-Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means
    This book was a life-saver! After my discovery, I encountered professional counselors trying to tell me that I was a co-dependent and a co-addict. This was like shoving daggers into my already shattered heart. Fortunately, my inner sense told me that I wasn't these things and that I needed to look further to find my road to recovery. After reading the first paragraph of this book, I knew that I had found the beginning to my road for recovery. I literally sat there for 2 hours crying after reading the first page of this book because I realized that someone else knew what I was going through as a partner. They were here to help me, not judge me. Helping me understand that I was not crazy and what I was going through was PTSD forged my way forward to finding a counselor that was trained in PTSD, Partners of Sex Addicts and Intimacy Disorders. I am so grateful to these two authors for having the courage to debunk current counseling theories and pioneer what's really going on with Partners.

    Facing Heartbreak-Stefanie Carnes, Mari A. Lee and Anthony D. Rodriguez
    This is a steps to recovery workbook. It goes through the different areas of recovery. I like the way they make you think and help you to focus on yourself and your recovery-not focusing on the addict or betrayer. Even though this is a remarkable recovery tool, I still highly recommend that you seek professional counseling-not just any counselor-one trained in PTSD, Sex Addiction and Intimacy Disorders. Going it alone is agonizing.

    Boundaries: Henry Cloud and John Townsend
    My counselor suggested I read this book which actually was about gaining back my power from betrayal. I was able to make a very strong set of boundaries with consequences that were enforced. It not only helped me gain my shattered self-esteem and self-worth back by making me realize that I was very valuable and worthy to be loved and adored, it also made my partner understand that a whole new ball game had started and either he could get busy loving and respecting me or get busy moving out in order for someone else to take his place. Boundaries with consequences that are consistently enforced work!

    1. Thank-you for these!! So glad they helped you.

  62. "When It All Breaks Bad: Ten Things To Do (And Not Do) After Betrayal" - Michelle D. Mays

    Link to the ebook:

    I just discovered this incredible book! Michelle D. Mays is a therapist who specializes in betrayal trauma and who is herself the former spouse of a sex addict, so she REALLY gets it. This book is an AMAZING guide for women in the "devastation" phase (that's her word for it) who have just found out and are reeling. Mays uses clear, sage language that helps you understanding what you're feeling and make the healthiest choices possible. I just can't recommend it highly enough. This is now the first book I'm going to recommend to every woman who has just discovered betrayal.

    There's a blog too, and a lot of what's in the book is repeated on the blog:

  63. The best books for the betrayer:
    Out of the Dog House by Robert Weiss
    After a Good Man Cheats by Caroline Madden

    Both books hit home for me, helped my husband understand the effects of his choices and helped us move forward.

  64. My therapist recommended:

    Intimacy After Infidelity: How to Rebuild and Affair-Proof Your Marriage

    Book by Lorie J. Teagno and Steven Solomon

    Not any crazy ground-breaking techniques or information. Just good solid coping resources and explanations as to what MAY be root cause of the problems dozens of couples deal with.

    It was an easy read and the first book I finished in a LONG time. As someone who dispises reading I would definitely recommend along with counseling. I am still in my process but the book helped us understand a lot of things together.

  65. Still recovering and fighting, I wanted to share my list of books that are guiding me through the hardest time of my life. Some of them were mentioned before but I just wanted to point them out again.

    Books that helped me to understand the nature of an emotional affair, the why and how.

    1. NOT "Just Friends" Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity
    by Shirley Glass

    2. Surprised by Love: One Couple's Journey from Infidelity to True Love
    by Jay, Kent-Ferraro, Julie, Gigante

    (as said before, you can jumped right to chapter 13 “Wisdom earned”)

    Not a book, but quite mind-opening, a blog entry by a guy that cheated himself. Was also quite eye-opening to my husband.
    3. “Affair Love” vs. “Authentic Love” – Affair Resources and Advice

    Being a partner of a sex addict

    1. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse How partners can cope and Heal, Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means

    But even better I find Paula Hall, one of the UK´s leading sex addiction specialist, also recommended by Barbara Steffens.

    2. Sex Addiction: The Partner's Perspective by Paula Hall

    "The book is divided into three parts. Part I explores the myths surrounding sex addiction and provides up to date information about what sex addiction is and what causes it before moving on to explain why the discovery hurts partners so much. Part II is about partners needs and includes self-help exercises and strategies to help partners regain stability, rebuild self-esteem and consider their future. The controversial topic of co-dependency is also explored with guidance on how to identify it, avoid it and overcome it. Part III focuses on the couple relationship starting with the difficult decision of whether to stay or leave. Whatever the decision, partners will then find help and support for rebuilding trust and reclaiming their sexuality."

    3. Facing Heartbreak
    by Stefanie Carnes, Mari A. Lee and Anthony D. Rodriguez

    A workbook that helps you to focus on your own recovery.

    And something for your partner when he is still in denial about being a sex addict or when he is not yet ready to seek professional help.

    1. Overcoming Sex Addiction: A Self-Help Guide by Dr. Birchard

    Hope those books can help you, too.

    Love to you all!

  66. These are new books - different from other books I've seen pertaining to infidelity. Both parents have their own journal. Within the journal, they are doing both independent and collaborative activities. The goal of these journals is to process through the infidelity and begin the path towards healing.

    The journals are names:
    Infidelity Journal: For the Betrayed Partner
    Infidelity Journal: For the Partner who has Betrayed

    Here is the link:



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