What’s the added value to read a book about affairs? Research shows that 60 per cent of men and over 40 per cent and rising of women cheat. So, adultery not only involves celebrities but may include a colleague, friend, family…or yourself. What is the author aiming for? More affairs, tricking me into one, or attempting me to avoid involvement in an affair? And if the first edition of To Love, Honour and Betray: Why Affairs Happen and How to Survive Them was published in 1997, why a 2017 update? In the book, you’ll find answers to all these questions and more. Counselor Zelda West-Meads restrains herself from a black and white position. She’s “not recommending an affair as a way of bringing about change in a marriage. There are far better and less painful ways of doing that.” An affair is where two people are involved in a sexual relationship and one of them is married or committed to someone else. For some, they are a wonderfully exciting and fulfilling experience, for others they can cause such hurt and devastation. Zelda addresses the vulnerability of marriages when one affair or a series of affairs are conducted in secrecy. Yes, unhealthy relationships, a suffering or absent sex life may trigger sleeping around or start a sexually satisfying affair with someone else.
She also is very clear about the next steps. Would fall in love lead to divorce from the ‘old love’ and marriage to the new one? What if children are involved on either side? What if friends, family, colleagues, or the betrayed partner find out what’s happening? Marriage’s continuity is deliberately put at risk? What if unprotected sex leads to pregnancy? Is there such thing as creative adultery? Unfaithfulness does appear to run into families. The book’s full of case studies to illustrate all kinds of situations with positive and negative outcomes. The majority of men and women who have affairs do not want to end their marriage. Counselors like Zelda have a full-time job helping parties to deal with grief, rejection, breach of trust and to rebuild relationships.
This 2017 edition from Thistle Publishing contains thoughts on cyber sex, sexting, and recent case studies as well. I valued the absence of judgment. You can make up your own mind, possibly understand adulterers better and choose yourself whether or not to start an affair.
About the author
Relationship counsellor, writer and agony aunt for over twenty years for YOU magazine in the Mail on Sunday, Zelda West-
I received a free review copy from the Thistle Publishing in exchange for my personal, unbiased review upon reading.