jokes like that don't really work in print. so much for cleverness.
i'd read the first chapter or so of Torn Asunder: Recovering from Extramarital Affairs by Dave Carder on thursday night when i got it. last night i read the rest of the book. stayed up until about 4:30am reading through it.
what to say...the guy sounds like he has a lot of knowledge of how affairs work, how each person involved reacts and deals with stuff, and the phases that each person tends to go through.
unfortunately, i feel like the methodology tends to be along the lines of: the "infidel" (that's what the carder book calls the person who committed infidelity) knows what they did was wrong, so you shouldn't condemn them or attack them mercilessly on it. but you should be angry because they need to know how much pain they caused you. then you need to get over that and figure out that the responsibility for the affair lays in your lap as well. there was some emotional needs that weren't being met in the marriage, things you knew about or should have known about, and eventually the infidel found someone else to meet those needs. so you need to accept that and figure out what the problem was and try to deal with it.
the previous book i read (Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed by Gary Chapman -- the author of the better-known The Five Love Languages) seemed to take a similar angle. in fact, it said the cheater would feel confusion about what to do because they've created this fantasy world where the person they cheated with is seen almost completely positively and there's this desire to feel good and be in that mindset -- so it said when the person reveals this to you you shouldn't get super upset and condemn them or anything, but that you should instead be affirming and say something along the lines of "i know you're confused right now, and i understand because i feel confused about things right now too."
in both cases, i'm thinking "fsck that sh!t!" the person who got cheated on wasn't having all of their emotional needs met either (i'd assume in most cases, i know it's true in mine). but i didn't go out and find someone to have an affair with. i didn't have an emotional affair, i didn't seek out anyone, i didn't flirt with anyone, i didn't do anything. so why should i give any kind of justification or legitimate reason for the action that was chosen? and saying that i understand how they're confused because they want to run back to the person they broke our vows with, because i'm confused dealing with the fact that i just got completely fscked over by the person i thought was my friend and companion? yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
both of these books had me thinking that basically i get to feel like crap for what was done to me, then i get to feel like crap because i enabled it and/or caused it to happen and was thus not behaving properly as a good xian. but if i choose to not reconcile then i'm not being a good xian and doing what G-d would want.
i'm still confused by how exactly it is that i'm not the one that had an affair...but i get to be blamed for it and told if i can't handle it and divorce that i am going against G-d's desires. doesn't the fact that i was trying to figure out what was going on and was committed to the marriage have any value? why is it that i have to both accept what she did to me *and* shoulder blame? it seems like based on these books, no matter what course i take i'm getting the short end of the stick. that's just great.
i guess in both cases the books are hoping to be dealing with people who got cheated on that are now committed to reconciling. i guess once one has committed to reconciling it doesn't matter that they got fscked over as much, as they've had to just accept what happened and try to move on and learn from it. i guess i'm not at that point, huh? complete betrayal, lying to me and hiding all of the stuff leading up to this, and being able to fsck someone else just doesn't seem like something one should accept.