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This is an in-depth exploration of the affair and its painful consequences. Taylor crafts an understanding of why people become involved in extramarital affairs, and offers ways to lessen the marital damage an affair can cause. While exploring the love affair and its potentially harmful effects, Taylor stresses the importance of marriage, fidelity, and lasting love as the basis for true happiness. He also offers valuable advice for those who find divorce the only answer open to them.
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books; Revised edition (March 1997)
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
A disheartening but thought-provoking book.
This book was written from a philosophical, non-moral standpoint and presents honest responses from spouses that were, for various reasons, dissilusioned with their marriages. Although this book is earth-shattering (it somewhat made me feel the pain that spouses feel when their husbands/wives cheat) it is crucial that this point of view was presented. It is brutally honest, but still honest. Taylor does testify that the marriage relationship is the best source of happiness in this world but that, sadly, many individuals in a marriage relationship take their spouse for granted. At the time I was reading the book, I felt miffed because there wasn’t, in my mind, much pro-marriage advice being given. After pondering the contents of this book for many months, I am now convinced that nothing could be more pro-marriage than illustrating how fragile the marriage relationship can become once the spouses fail to meet each others most important emotional needs. Although I don’t advocate that anyone just throw up their hands and resort to having affairs, the only way to truly prevent extra-marital affairs is to understand why they happen. Both men and women can learn from this book that if you don’t concentrate on your spouse, someone else will and your spouse will, naturally, be flattered. I am getting married in three weeks and nothing has given me more of a sense of urgency then this book. It has alerted me to the realites of human nature and has, I hope, made me less blind. If you are disgusted during and after reading this book, then the author has successfully done his job. The book’s primary purpose, in my mind, is to wake us up to reality.
Maybe this book will illustrate how important it is to love, understand and appreciate your spouse. If you find it difficult to love, understand and appreciate your spouse, you’ll discover that you have the minority opinion as competition will naturally come knocking.
Great read on desire v. monogamy
I’ve been reading a lot on the subject of desire v. monogamy and this books seems to have a good grasp on the subject. There are some excellent, almost shockingly *practical* viewpoints that the author advances on what drives people into tri-angular relationships. I think it was very telling of men/women in general, utilizing “when things go wrong” as a point to begin the analysis. I could also recommend “Monogamy” by Adam Phillips for a more agressive, non-committed point of view. Both very thought provoking…
Definitely worth reading.
I found Richard Taylor’s book very informative and helpful in understanding why married people cheat and choose lovers despite the fact they have no intention on leaving their spouse. I especially found the chapter Extramarital Fidelity interesting because I was in an illicit affair for 12 years and I learned that my lover was unfaithful to me as well in the end. Love turns to hate very quickly when an affair goes bad and it guided me through all the emotions I felt as I was trying to comtemplate why this man did to me what he did after all I sacrificed for him for so long. I enjoyed the real-life scenarios and the comments that were shared from the people that gave Mr. Taylor details of their marital woes/affairs while he was compiling information for his book. I definitely think it is worth reading.
if you are thinking about doing this, don’t. the book points out all the reasons we have affairs and why they are harmful.
This book was the best I found on this subject.
In my late twenties, I found my marriage falling apart and shortly thereafter I found myself in an intimate relationship with my best friend. My best friend was married and he decided to stay with his wife. I was hurt and devastated and was deeply searching for some help understanding what I had felt and how to comprehend everything that was going on. This book helped greatly. I recently recommended the book to a mother of a friend who’s daughter is in a similiar position. I am now actively dating, with a better understanding of who I am and the confusing elements of relationships. Someday, when I do find Mr. Right, I’ll be much better prepared to establish a relationship, using many of the tools I was able to develop by reading this book.
Very well written, but snobbish, judgemental ideas prevail
regarding the “caliber” of the type of person who the married person has the affair with. Comments such as “a beautiful delightful women” with a “man with an 8th grade education” or an successful, high achieving man with a secretary. Or the “highly shocking sexual behavior” of a man and two women engaging in a sexual act together. This book is, at times, very well done and does come from a philosophical point of view, however, having been updated in 1990, then again in 1997, it would have been nice had someone suggested that the author not assume that the individuals who are engaging in the affairs necessarily contain at least one party who is “less than” in social quality than the spouse who was being betrayed.
The point that most of the relationships that are illicit are not as fulfilling as a marriage and that they are but a small part of the whole of a relationship were points well made. The reasons men stray were not really explored other than for egotistical needs and as stated before, more updated questions and less assumptions from the authors’ own social bias may have made this reader give this pleasant read a higher score.
A stupid work by an idealistic philospher!
In the beginning I had sympathized with Richard Taylor about the obstacles encountered by his first book, Having Love Affairs.
But now that I have finished his new book, Love Affairs, I now understand the feelings of people towards his first book…
First of all, it was a great book to start with. The first several chapters were good in the sense that they described the reality of a love affair – the pros and cons, and the reasons behind them. However, when he started to analyze, and inject his own “rules” into the situation, I then felt utter disgust for his work.
Richard Taylor advocates, in a way, love affairs because it is a by-product of normal human nature – because of an unfulfilled need in a marriage, because of a man’s ego, and a woman’s vanity. But then he condemns people when they react in a most natural way (human nature) as in, for example, entrapping a partner in the “act” as illustrated by Rule number 3 “Stay out of it.” Whose side is he really on? Human nature or not?
He despises people when they react in an “animalistic” manner towards love affairs, but advocates it when they act on the basis of human nature – which is most certainly animalistic.
All in all, I could say that this is a work of an idealistic philospher, not a scientist, most specially a psychologist; who resorts to “out-of-this-world” contemplation regarding situations such as love affairs. But the problem is, this planet we live in, and the people in it are not “out-of-this-world.” If he doesn’t see fit things like this, then he should leave for another planet.
My suggestion to Mr. Taylor – keep your outworldy ideas to yourself. If you don’t like people acting irrationaly, then don’t be irrational yourself.