Thursday, September 7, 2017

Anatomy of an Affair - Review

Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them

By: Dave Carder

Publication: September 5th 2017 by Moody Publishers

224 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian, Self-Help

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--When it comes to adultery, never say, “It won’t happen to me.”

Just when you think your marriage is safe from adultery is when you may be the most vulnerable.

With eye-opening stories, clinical insights, and up-to-date data, Dave Carder reveals what adulterers learned the hard way—and what they want the rest of us to know to save us the pain.

Dave Carder, counselor and author of the bestselling Torn Asunder (100,000 in print), is a sought-after expert on issues of adultery. Here he helps you make your marriage adultery-proof by showing you:

How attractions can lead to affairs Ways you may be vulnerable to affairs The common ingredients of adultery How to restore intimacy to your marriage How to make wise, protective decisions Marriage is too sacred to be taken casually. Affairs are a very real threat, and they can destroy lives and families. For this reason, Anatomy of an Affair should be on every church leader’s and marriage counselor’s required reading list, and in the home of every married couple.

Includes charts and assessments to understand and guard against affairs.

To get a bit more personal than I'd like, my family has suffered from infidelity in the past. So when I saw Anatomy of an Affair I was interested to see what safeguards it could offer as advice to establish in my own marriage to prevent infidelity. Because of the past, going through this with my spouse is one of my biggest fears, and that isn't because I don't trust him. It's because I've seen first hand how little things add up over time and how people you would never expect can succumb. So if there's something I can do in my own marriage to safeguard against this I'm in.

One thing I noticed immediately is that this book isn't brand new. This is a revised and updated version of a book called Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage. While I couldn't tell you the updates or differences between these two books, one thing was obvious. "Close call" wasn't just a title. It was a theme throughout the book that the author/publisher chose to leave throughout the revised/renamed edition. Had I not known about the title change I likely wouldn't have thought much about it, but since I did I found this slightly annoying.

Perhaps the biggest thing I took away from this book combined with my own personal experience is that so many affairs begin with friendships ( or coworkers). Friendships that the unfaithful spouse thought they would be able to keep under control. While the author of the book won't go so far as to say that friendships with the opposite sex while married aren't a good idea (he indicates proper boundaries should suffice), I personally don't think that they are. Acquaintances and surface level friendships I have no problem with, but beyond that falls into inappropriate for me. I'm sure plenty of people disagree, but just reading the stories of the couples in this book as well as I've said, my own personal experience, reaffirms my thoughts on this subject.

Anatomy of an Affair was an easy read for me in that I made significant progress at one time. It wasn't an easy read in that it brought up old feelings and memories--painful ones. Not to mention that I found myself getting angry at the unfaithful spouses in the book for not being able to see the danger and damage that they were doing to the people they should love the most. Of course, the author points out that he never counseled a couple where the adulterer was not immensely sorrowful and regretful over their actions. However, if you're reading this book in the midst of these types of situation in your own marriage, I think there are some helpful topics of discussion and worksheets for you. But this is going to be contingent on both spouses participating in the "assignments". I'm not sure that this book would substitute for the needed marriage counselling.

Speaking of worksheets, the worksheets and charts used in this book weren't formatted well to show up on my kindle. Perhaps this is due to my uncorrected proof copy. Or perhaps these types of things just don't translate to a kindle edition. I'd suggest getting the hardcopy version of this book if you hope to make the most out of these tools.

I highlighted a ton--most of which reaffirmed my own thoughts and feelings about ways to prevent infidelity within your marriage. But one thing I realized while reading this book...It is my responsibility and the least I can do to make sure that I am giving my all to my husband. It is my responsibility to ensure that when I feel times of lows in myself and in our marriage (because they have and will come and go), that I work my tail off to get us out of them. It is my responsibility to ensure that I protect myself against falling into friendships that go beyond the appropriate so as to prevent an affair. It is my responsibility to do my best to ensure my husband's needs are met. It is NOT my responsibility to prevent my spouse from having an affair. Our relationship will only work in so much as we are both working to make it the best that it can be. And it does take work. And communication. Which is the second thing I noticed was missing from almost every couple in this book. Not being able to speak your needs to your spouse and/or your spouse not being able to hear your needs. (Or vice versa.)

There is much to take away from Anatomy of an Affair. The importance of maintaining proper boundaries in relationships outside of the marriage. The need for communication in both the speaking and listening categories for both spouses. And so much more. However, I'm not sure that Anatomy of an Affair substitutes for marriage counselling if you're in the midst of an affair or recently discovered affair of your spouse. Anatomy of an Affair gets 4 Stars. Have you read Anatomy of an Affair? What did you think? Let me know!

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