The best books about infidelity

1 authors have picked their favorite books about infidelity and why they recommend each book.

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Not Just Friends

By Shirley Glass,

Book cover of Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

As an infidelity specialist, I had read nearly every book on the subject of recovering from affairs. Impressed with her perspective, I attended a 3-day workshop intensive with Dr. Shirley Glass. I loved her approach to helping couples in the aftermath of affairs and it influenced my clinical practice. She believes in the notion of “no secrets allowed” in order to rebuild trust. Dr. Glass debunks the rationalizations about various kinds of infidelity and includes emotional infidelity as a violation of the marital bond. In my opinion, she does the best job of anyone of reducing the shame and blame of betrayed spouses and offers practical insights to the ones who stepped out of their marriages.


Who am I?

I grew up in an alcoholic home. To me, my father’s addiction felt like an attachment to an outside lover that threatened the stability of our family. I think this is what motivated me, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, to have a special heart to help couples salvage their marriages from the destructive, outside influence of infidelity, when they so desired. I read every book I could get my hands on about affair recovery, for my clinical knowledge as well as for clients to read. Each of the books I included in this list are among my favorites from my 33 years of experience helping couples.


I wrote...

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

By Linda J. MacDonald,

Book cover of How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

What is my book about?

In my work as an infidelity specialist, I watched many confused, well-intended people make fatal mistakes in their efforts to reconcile their marriages post-affair. Disheartened, I decided to put together a practical step-by-step guide for straying spouses on how to avoid undermining their chances of salvaging their relationships. I framed those who wanted to save their marriages in the aftermath of an affair as “Rebuilders,” as a positive encouragement that they can do this. My suggestions were based upon my 20 years of experience (at the time) helping couples & individuals heal from affairs. The book has sold over 110,000 copies. I receive appreciative letters from all over the country as to how this book was a corner-turner for them, individually and as a couple.

The Spider

By Maria Savva,

Book cover of The Spider

I like all of Maria Savva’s books because she has great insight into how people think and why they act as they do. She creates worlds that are ‘normal’ and yet pitches her characters into unusual situations, which make the worlds strange and eerie; especially in The Spider stories.


Who am I?

Because sometimes I think they go further than the formulas set by traditional publishing.  I love fantasy and similar genres because there are no limits for the imagination. The books I’ve chosen fulfill what I think is important – world-building, imagination, thought-provoking, intelligent, and wonderful characters on a mission of some kind.


I wrote...

Gone

By Julie Elizabeth Powell,

Book cover of Gone

What is my book about?

Gone will always be my most important book because of why it was written. When my daughter, Samantha, was two, her heart stopped and she died. Doctors revived her, but too late because she was left severely brain-damaged, who she’d been was wiped clean. For the next seventeen years, I watched her withering, twisting body survive without her knowing what was happening except for pain and suffering until she died a second and final time.


During those seventeen years, I had a question: Where had my daughter gone? Because her essence had vanished leaving only an empty shell: hence I created a world and went in search of her. Gone is one answer to that question.  It’s a unique fantasy and might even help others to come to terms with loss.

Private Lies

By Frank Pittman,

Book cover of Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy

Frank Pittman is a Systems-trained psychiatrist. He is very funny and down to earth. I enjoyed attending a workshop by him. This book is very pointed and challenges many of the rationalizations that unfaithful partners use to justify their affairs. One betrayer called it “the book from hell” (which was a good thing).  An entertaining read. Helps the betrayed person feel validated and provides common-sense realities to help formerly straying spouses in their journey to increased integrity in their personal lives. 


Who am I?

I grew up in an alcoholic home. To me, my father’s addiction felt like an attachment to an outside lover that threatened the stability of our family. I think this is what motivated me, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, to have a special heart to help couples salvage their marriages from the destructive, outside influence of infidelity, when they so desired. I read every book I could get my hands on about affair recovery, for my clinical knowledge as well as for clients to read. Each of the books I included in this list are among my favorites from my 33 years of experience helping couples.


I wrote...

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

By Linda J. MacDonald,

Book cover of How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

What is my book about?

In my work as an infidelity specialist, I watched many confused, well-intended people make fatal mistakes in their efforts to reconcile their marriages post-affair. Disheartened, I decided to put together a practical step-by-step guide for straying spouses on how to avoid undermining their chances of salvaging their relationships. I framed those who wanted to save their marriages in the aftermath of an affair as “Rebuilders,” as a positive encouragement that they can do this. My suggestions were based upon my 20 years of experience (at the time) helping couples & individuals heal from affairs. The book has sold over 110,000 copies. I receive appreciative letters from all over the country as to how this book was a corner-turner for them, individually and as a couple.

The State of Affairs

By Esther Perel,

Book cover of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

This book was published years after mine, but I wish it had been around when I was going through my life upheaval. The author writes about relationships and has an intelligent and thoughtful take on marriage. You might not agree with her philosophy, but her book is eye-opening, will challenge your assumptions, and shares information that might help people as they rebuild their lives after widowhood, infidelity, and divorce.


Who am I?

Though I’ve been a great reader since childhood, I sometimes describe myself as an accidental writer—I came to this work later in my life, following the events that I write about in my first memoir Perfection. Before I became a writer, I did spend many years in the publishing business designing book covers, so I appreciate all sides of the work of bringing books to readers. My favorite books help me enter new worlds for a time and re-reading favorites is like visiting a faithful friend. My recommendations here are a mix of both memoir and fiction and include some of my “desert island” favorites. I hope you enjoy them!


I wrote...

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal

By Julie Metz,

Book cover of Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal

What is my book about?

Julie Metz’s life changes forever on one ordinary January afternoon when her husband, Henry, collapses on the kitchen floor and dies in her arms. Suddenly, this mother of a six-year-old is the young widow in a bucolic small town. Seven months after Henry’s death, just when Julie thinks she is emerging from the worst of it, comes the rest of it: She discovers that what had appeared to be the reality of her marriage was but a half-truth. Henry had hidden another life from her. It's true that he loved Julie and their six-year-old daughter ebulliently and devotedly, but as she starts to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life without Henry in it, she learns that Henry had been unfaithful throughout their twelve years of marriage. 

Miss Ophelia

By Mary Burnett Smith,

Book cover of Miss Ophelia

Part coming-of-age story, part slice of adult drama and misbehavior, this book impressed itself on my memory with its deceptive sweetness and heart-wrenching likability. It touches on teenaged pregnancy while examining infidelity stemming from a faulty marriage between a likable man and a bitter woman. I loved its honest examination of problematic, complex relationships—husband to wife, and child to adult. It is beautifully drawn, complex, and definitely on my "Books I can Re-Read Endlessly” list.


Who am I?

I have a youthful spirit, but an old soul. Perhaps, that’s why I love African American history and gravitated to Black Studies as my undergraduate degree. My reverence for my ancestors sends me time and again to African-American historical fiction in an effort to connect with our past. Growing up, I was that kid who liked being around my elders and eavesdropping on grown-ups' conversations. Now, I listen to my ancestors as they guide my creativity. I’m an award-winning hybrid author writing contemporary and historical novels, and I value each. Still, it’s those historical characters and tales that snatch me by the hand and passionately urge me to do their bidding. 


I wrote...

My Name Is Ona Judge

By Suzette Harrison,

Book cover of My Name Is Ona Judge

What is my book about?

New Hampshire, 1796. “My name is Ona Judge, and I escaped from the household of the President of the United States. I was the favored maid of George and Martha Washington, but they deemed me a slave and thought me property. Now I must write the truth that I have lived, and tell my story…”

Meet Ona Judge, the young, brave lady’s maid who dared to risk her entire world by escaping enslavement. Take a walk through her early years and the circumstances that led to her harrowing escape. A dynamic dual timeline narrative based on a true story, this riveting novel will whisk you to another world and arrest your imagination.

Secrets

By Aleatha Romig,

Book cover of Secrets

Secrets is filled with everything a reader could want—lies, secrets, deception, all unexpected yet enthralling, complex characters, and captivating dark, delicious romance. Sterling and Araneae are multi-faced, intriguing characters that will demand your attention within an intricate storyline. This story was fabulous! It’s captivating, suspenseful, sexy, and full of explosive chemistry.


Who am I?

I am a voracious reader who loves to escape my hectic busy life with a good book when I don’t have the opportunity to do so in person. I’m a sucker for a good love story with a little angst and mystery. I read all genres but sexy romantic thrillers are my absolute favorite. I love them so much I started writing my own sexy stories in this genre. It has become my passion. I currently have three published books, Mr. Black, Mr. Stone, and Mr. Bennett, books one, two, and three of A Black Stone Series. My fourth book, Luke, the first book in my new Cross Security series is scheduled for release later this year.


I wrote...

Mr. Black: A Black Stone Series - Book 1

By Nancy Brown,

Book cover of Mr. Black: A Black Stone Series - Book 1

What is my book about?

Was it a teenage crush, love at first sight, or just pure and simple lust?  It was only one weekend and he walked away claiming that if the stars aligned, fate would bring us back together someday.

Fast forward fifteen years, he’s back and his sights are set on me. Unfortunately for us, there is a terrorist out there. He also wants her and will stop at nothing in order to make her his.

The Billboard Bride

By Monica Mynk,

Book cover of The Billboard Bride

This is a sweet romance about a young woman who finds out minutes before her wedding that her fiancé has been unfaithful. She climbs up to the top of a billboard and refuses to come down until her sleazeball future ex-husband climbs up and apologizes. Trouble is, he doesn’t, and the task is left to the young man who lives next door to literally talk her down. This is a fun, quick-read romance that everyone should enjoy. Monica has a quick wit that I thoroughly enjoyed and a sweet biblical message about love and forgiveness. 


Who am I?

My book, No Safe Haven was written about the American Civil War, most specifically about the Battle of Gettysburg. It was a story I came across while on vacation in Gettysburg. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History and the historical novel genre is one I love. It gives me an opportunity to explore past worlds and try to learn the lessons of the past to apply to the present and hopefully to the future. When I learned about Tillie Pierce’s experience surviving the Battle of Gettysburg, I knew I had to tell her story.


I wrote...

No Safe Haven

By Angela Moody,

Book cover of No Safe Haven

What is my book about?

Spunky, fifteen-year-old Tillie Pierce loves her life just as it is and considers her family safe from the Civil War—until Confederate soldiers overrun her hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Sent to “safety” on a farm, she seeks shelter right in the battle zone. The next few days test not only her beliefs and friendships, but also her instincts and attitude. Does she have the gumption to trust a God who could give her hope? How can she when He allows such tragedy?

Unfaithful

By Gary Shriver, Mona Shriver,

Book cover of Unfaithful: Hope and Healing After Infidelity

I found Gary and Mona Shriver’s true story a captivating read. They share their personal journeys of weathering and surviving Gary’s extramarital affair. Couples suffering from the impact of infidelity often feel isolated and alone. It helps to read a realistic yet successful story about a marriage similarly impacted by the trauma of infidelity. They are Christians and so this book is especially helpful for believers. I often recommend this book to both partners. I have found that faithful spouses really appreciate the book and hope their partners will grow to better understand their pain as a result of reading it.


Who am I?

I grew up in an alcoholic home. To me, my father’s addiction felt like an attachment to an outside lover that threatened the stability of our family. I think this is what motivated me, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, to have a special heart to help couples salvage their marriages from the destructive, outside influence of infidelity, when they so desired. I read every book I could get my hands on about affair recovery, for my clinical knowledge as well as for clients to read. Each of the books I included in this list are among my favorites from my 33 years of experience helping couples.


I wrote...

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

By Linda J. MacDonald,

Book cover of How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

What is my book about?

In my work as an infidelity specialist, I watched many confused, well-intended people make fatal mistakes in their efforts to reconcile their marriages post-affair. Disheartened, I decided to put together a practical step-by-step guide for straying spouses on how to avoid undermining their chances of salvaging their relationships. I framed those who wanted to save their marriages in the aftermath of an affair as “Rebuilders,” as a positive encouragement that they can do this. My suggestions were based upon my 20 years of experience (at the time) helping couples & individuals heal from affairs. The book has sold over 110,000 copies. I receive appreciative letters from all over the country as to how this book was a corner-turner for them, individually and as a couple.

Surprised By Love

By Dr. Jay Kent-Ferraro, Dr. Julie Kent-Ferraro,

Book cover of Surprised By Love: One Couple's Journey from Infidelity to True Love

A terrific, candid book for both partners in a marriage rocked by an affair. They walk the reader through each phase of his infidelity and its impact on their marriage: the rationalizations, trauma, the fall-out, divorce, and eventual restoration of their marriage. Terrific insights, especially for the unfaithful. While Dr. Jay ascribes the key to their recovery as his wife’s constant love, I believe he overlooked another important factor: his wife stopping her tendency to over-accommodate, learning to set boundaries, and treating herself with more self-respect. It’s in the book but not credited as a significant factor in him wanting her again and motivating him to take a hard look at himself. Especially helpful for unfaithful men who are executives and travel a lot for work.


Who am I?

I grew up in an alcoholic home. To me, my father’s addiction felt like an attachment to an outside lover that threatened the stability of our family. I think this is what motivated me, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, to have a special heart to help couples salvage their marriages from the destructive, outside influence of infidelity, when they so desired. I read every book I could get my hands on about affair recovery, for my clinical knowledge as well as for clients to read. Each of the books I included in this list are among my favorites from my 33 years of experience helping couples.


I wrote...

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

By Linda J. MacDonald,

Book cover of How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful

What is my book about?

In my work as an infidelity specialist, I watched many confused, well-intended people make fatal mistakes in their efforts to reconcile their marriages post-affair. Disheartened, I decided to put together a practical step-by-step guide for straying spouses on how to avoid undermining their chances of salvaging their relationships. I framed those who wanted to save their marriages in the aftermath of an affair as “Rebuilders,” as a positive encouragement that they can do this. My suggestions were based upon my 20 years of experience (at the time) helping couples & individuals heal from affairs. The book has sold over 110,000 copies. I receive appreciative letters from all over the country as to how this book was a corner-turner for them, individually and as a couple.

The Shadow Knows

By Diane Johnson,

Book cover of The Shadow Knows

A first-person novel published in 1974, this wry, low-key thriller, quietly shattering, slaloms through marriage and infidelity, prosperity and poverty, motherhood and neglect. I first came across The Shadow Knows shortly after it was published, turned the pages at speed, and in my head argued furiously with the protagonist all the way through. Re-reading it forty years later, I was still aghast, and just as mesmerized. I think it’s safe to say the narrator’s response to sexual violence—like much else in this book—would be impossible to publish in the present; it is as revelatory about our moment as about the one in which it was written and set. 


Who am I?

I write about contemporary art, and much of the work I’ve been drawn to was made by women and by artists in other sidelined communities. Early on, I also focused on marginalized disciplines: artists’ books, performance, and art that responded directly to the vacant sites that abounded in New York City when I started out in the late 1970s. It was an enormously exciting time, but also a tough one. Violence was very hard to avoid. I didn’t focus on that at the time, but ultimately, I realized I needed to look more directly at trouble, and how artists respond to it.  


I wrote...

Unspeakable Acts: Women, Art, and Sexual Violence in the 1970s

By Nancy Princenthal,

Book cover of Unspeakable Acts: Women, Art, and Sexual Violence in the 1970s

What is my book about?

During the famously violent 1970s, the incidence of sexual assault spun out of control, with surprisingly little attention. The women’s movement of the time was great at challenging injustice in the workplace and at home, but initially tiptoed around rape. It was artists who first spoke out, quietly at first, soon with bullhorns. Yoko Ono was the moment’s magnetic if ambivalent herald; Nancy Spero its lacerating poet; Suzanne Lacy its fearless activist. Today sexual assault is routinely in the headlines, but confusion still abounds over whom it most affects, how best to confront it—and even how to define it. Along with illuminating these issues, Unspeakable Acts heeds younger artists who have looked at how rape is inseparably entwined with issues of race and class.  

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