Words cannot describe the emotional impact of an extra-marital affair on a relationship. Repairing a marriage after such a catastrophic blow to trust is a monumental task that often requires more emotional resources than the couple can muster. Usually, the only solution is to seek professional help, and sadly, even that is not always guaranteed to save the marriage.
After the Affair book by Janis Abrahms Spring and Michael Spring is timely support when a couple has reached this barrier in their relationship. This marriage guidance book is special because there are very few books in the genre that offer help with this common and devastating dilemma.
With a balanced and sensible approach, the advice in this book ensures that each partner’s feelings get considered and there is no gender bias. There is no placing of blame on either one partner or the other, but respectful consideration for the emotions and complex reasons for why the infidelity took place.
What Makes This Book So Special?
This book is recommended by many readers because it identifies the distinct phases that couples go through after the revelation of the affair.
The first phase is the inevitably heart-breaking stage when the affair is discovered or admitted to. After that couples have to decide whether the relationship is worth saving or whether it is too late to repair the broken trust.
For many couples, the only way to come to terms with the affair is to understand what the triggers were in their particular relationship. They need to know why it happened. Only then are they able to decide whether they are going to stay together or not.
If they choose to remain married, they need support on how they are going to start the massive job of rebuilding the damage to their marriage.
While the authors have a Christian background, the book is not a blatantly Biblical book and the authors propose some solutions that the Church probably would not support or encourage. This is a brave standpoint, and it is based on their expert knowledge and experience in dealing with the aftermath of affairs.
A Word Of Caution
Questions have been asked about the issue of forgiveness discussed in this book. The authors suggest that forgiveness has to be earned by the errant partner to regain the other’s trust. From a Biblical point of view, this is incorrect, but in the context of mending a relationship, one might argue that this is a relevant expectation of the mending process.
An interesting point that has been raised by some readers is the assumption that people have affairs because something is amiss in the marriage. Recent studies show that the problem is not as simple as that.
It is now thought that infidelity could be a gender issue based on our genetic structure. Or, it could be generated by social change or economics. In other words, affairs are most likely driven by more than dissatisfaction in the marriage or problems in the relationship and there is no simple answer to the question of why affairs occur.
After the Affair has become a handbook for marriage guidance counselors, therapists, and Church leaders. It has stood the test of time and the advice is as current today as it was when it was first written. You can this book in our selection of the best marriage counseling books, too.
The structure of the book follows three sections that can be read, digested, and discussed using the exercises that are provided. Couples speak of how much of a revelation it is to them when they find out how many of their beliefs and past experiences come to bear on how they relate as a couple.
Reviews of After the Affair book are complimentary from both men and women and it fills a much- needed gap on the best marriage guidance bookshelf.