Dr. Shirley Glass

NOT "Just Friends"
Table of Contents
NOT 'Just Friends': Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal

Acknowledgments   xvii
Introduction   1

PART I: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE 15

Quiz: Has Your Friendship Become an Emotional Affair?   16

Chapter 1: I’m Telling You, We’re Just Friends   17

Being Attracted Means You’re Still Breathing   18
Being Jealous Could Mean That You’re Tuned In   19
Approaching the Slippery Slope   21
      To Have and to Hold...   21
      Step 1: Platonic Friendship/Secure Marriage   22
      Step 2: Intimate Friendship/Insecure Marriage   23
Walls and Windows   25
Opportunity Is Everywhere   26
      Danger Zone: Men and Women at Work!   27
      In Your Own Backyard   31
      Old Flames Burn Hottest   34
      The Intimacy of the Internet   35
Quiz: Is Your On-line Friendship Too Friendly?   38
The Prevention Myth   40
Avoiding Fatal Attractions   40

Chapter 2: Crossing into a Double Life   42

Step 3: Emotionally Involved Affair/Emotionally Detached Marriage   43
Beginning a Double Life   46
      Three Red Flags at the Threshold   47
      Commitment versus Permission   48
Step 4: The Sexually Intimate Affair/The Threatened Marriage   50
      What’s Happening in the Affair?   50
      What’s Happening in the Marriage?   54
When Sex Enters an Emotional Affair   57
Complications of the Double Life   58
      Lying   60
      Compartmentalizing   62
      Other Ways of Dealing with Internal Conflict   63

PART II: THE TRAUMA 65

Chapter 3: Reaching the Moment of Revelation   67

Loss of Innocence   67
Before Revelation: Secrets, Lies, and Suspiciousness   70
      Avoiding Confrontation   70
      Unsuspecting Partners   71
      Tracking the Clues   72
      Warning Signs of Infidelity   73
      Being a Detective   75
      Hiring a Detective   77
      Confronting Your Suspicions   77
      When Accusations Are Denied   79
The Many Pathways to Discovery   80
      Confessions   81
      The Informant   83
      Accidental Discoveries   85
The Immediate Aftermath   86

Chapter 4: In the Wake of Discovery   88

Traumatic Aftershock: The Emotional Roller Coaster   88
      Reactions of Betrayed Partners   89
      Reactions of Unfaithful Partners   91
      Reactions of Unmarried Affair Partners   93
Why Some People Are More Traumatized Than Others   94
      Shattered Assumptions   94
      Individual Vulnerabilities in the Betrayed Partner   97
      Pre-existing Stressful Life Events   99
      The Nature of the Betrayal   100
      The Threat Continues   103
Establishing Safety: Stop and Share   105
      Step 1: Stop All Contact with the Affair Partner   106
      Step 2: Share All Unavoidable Encounters   108
      Step 3: Be Accountable   109
Surviving Day by Day   110
      Develop Support Networks   110
      Practice Damage Control   111
      Lift the Lid a Little Bit   111
First Steps of Trauma Recovery   113
Is It Worth the Pain?   114

Chapter 5: Should You Pick Up the Pieces or Throw In the Towel?   115

Ambivalence Barometer: Walls and Windows   117
      Walls   117
      Windows   118
Two on a Seesaw   119
      Ambivalence in the Involved Partner   119
      Ambivalence in the Betrayed Partner   122
      Damage Control for Both Partners   123
Getting Off the Fence   124
      Think Things Through Before You Act   125
      Questions Betrayed Partners Can Ask Themselves   127
      Questions Involved Partners Can Ask Themselves   127
      Other Considerations   128
      Constructive Separation   130
      Ambivalence Therapy   131
      Do You Have the Right Spouse but the Wrong Therapist?   132
      Picking Up the Pieces   134

Chapter 6: How to Cope with Obsessing and Flashbacks   136

Intrusion   138
      Obsessing   138
      How to Deal with Obsessive Thoughts   140
      Flashbacks   143
Constriction   146
Hyperarousal   148
      Physiological Hyperarousal   148
      Emotional Hyperarousal   149
      Hypervigilance   150
New Crises   155
      Uncovering Previous Lies   155
      Surviving Special Occasions   156
      Handling the Affair Partner’s Intrusions   157
Relapses   158
      Triggers for Relapses   158
      Coping with Relapses   159
How to Take Care of Yourself   159
      Reactivate Fulfilling Activities   159
      Look Out for Your Physical Health   160
      Look Out for Your Mental Health   160

Chapter 7: Repairing the Couple and Building Goodwill   162

Repair 1: Getting Back to Normal   163
      Take Time Out for Fun and Companionship   163
      Make Love, Not War   164
      Recall Your Past Together   164
      Dream about Your Future Together   165
Repair 2: Fostering Positive Exchanges   166
      Ways of Caring   167
      Express Appreciation   169
Enhancing Mutual Appreciation and Bull’s-eye Caring   171
      Exercise: What Pleases Me about You?   171
      Exercise: The Newlywed Game   173
Resistance to Caring   175
      Signs of Resistance   176
      Overcoming Resistance   176
Repair 3: Learning Compassionate Communication   179
      Tool 1: Inhibit, Inhibit, Inhibit   179
      Tool 2: Play Ping-Pong   181
      Tool 3: Use "I" Messages as the Speaker   182
      Tool 4: Be a Good Listener   183
Creating an Empathic Process   185

PART III: THE SEARCH FOR MEANING 189

Chapter 8: The Story of the Affair   191

Why It’s Important to Tell   192
      Telling the Truth Rebuilds Trust   193
      Telling Releases the Secret Ties That Bind   196
      Telling Increases Marital Intimacy   197
How to Tell   198
      Pitfalls to Avoid   198
      The Three Stages of Disclosure   201
What to Tell   205
      Reconciling Different Perspectives and Mistaken Beliefs   206
      Questions to Answer   208
Search for Meaning   215

Chapter 9: The Story of Your Marriage   217

Quiz: Relationship Vulnerability Map   218
The State of the Union   220
      Sexual Compatibility   222
      Inequity   226
      Power Struggles   228
From Niagara to Viagra   230
      The Family Life Cycle   231
      The Marital Lifeline: A Unique History   235
Relationship Dances   241
      Parent and Child   242
      Saint and Sinner   243
      Bully and Sneak   243
      Demand-Withdrawal Patterns   243
      How to Begin a New Dance   246
The Myth of the Low-Maintenance Marriage   246

Chapter 10: Your Individual Stories   248

Quiz: Individual Vulnerability Map   249
Individual Attitudes about Infidelity   251
      Justifications and Excuses   251
      Premarital Sexual Permissiveness   253
      Entitlement   254
      Personal Deterrents   255
      Conflict between Values and Behavior   258
Running on Empty   259
      The Need to Escape   259
      The Starving Ego   260
      The Need for Excitement   260
Echoes from the Past   264
      Old Family Tapes   265
      Emotional Allergies   267
      Survivors of Childhood Abuse   268
      Attachment Styles   269
Passages and Growing Pains   272
      New Roles   273
      Reluctant Grown-ups   273
      Midlife Reckonings   274
      Never Too Old   275
The Exception or the Rule?   276
      Narcissism   277
      Antisocial Behavior   277
      Chronic Lying   278
      Hope for Change   278

Chapter 11: The Story of Outside Influences   279

Quiz: Social Vulnerability Map   280
Birds of a Feather Frolic Together   281
      Occupational Vulnerability   282
      Faithless Friends   284
      The Family Tree   286
The World We Live In   287
      The Double Standard Is Alive and Well   287
      Trends   290
      Sin Cities   291

Chapter 12: The Story of the Affair Partner   293

Quiz: Single Woman’s Vulnerability Map   294
The Story through the Lens of the Other Woman   296
      Sophie’s Lost Friendship   296
      Peggy’s Lost Years   299
Power Balance: Who’s on Top?   300
      Dependent Women   300
      Independent Women   302
The Guilt-Free Affair   303
Getting to the Root of It   305
      Family Triangles   305
      A Sexy Veneer   307
      A Heart of Gold   308
Lessons for the Affair Partner   309
Lessons for the Couple   310

PART IV: THE HEALING JOURNEY 312

Chapter 13: Healing Together   315

How Long Is It Supposed to Take?   316
      Four Steps Forward and One Step Back   316
      Patience Is Essential   317
Completing Unfinished Business   318
      Getting Rid of Reminders   318
      The Final Farewell   319
      The Unanswered Questions   319
Repairing the Damage   320
      Mending the Trauma Wounds   321
      Reversing Walls and Windows   322
      Restoring Broken Trust   324
      Reclaiming Lost Territories   326
Cleaning Up the Fallout   327
      Weaving Broken Threads with Family and Friends   327
      What to Tell the Children   329
      Life-altering Consequences   330
Reconstructing a Stronger Marriage   331
      Addressing Relationship Vulnerabilities   332
      Learning New Dances   333
Forming a United Front   336
      Shared Responsibility   336
      Shared Intimacy   337
      Shared Meaning   337
      Shared Vision of Monogamy   338

Chapter 14: Forgiving and Moving Forward   339

What Is Forgiveness?   340
      Clarifying What Forgiveness Is Not   341
      Defining What Forgiveness Is   341
      The Personal Benefits of Forgiveness   342
      Are Some Things Unforgivable?   343
Is There a Right Time to Forgive?   343
      Forgiving Too Soon   344
      Beware of Pseudo-forgiveness   344
Why Can’t You Forgive Me?   345
      Lingering Suspicion   345
      Reverberating Pain from the Past   346
      Accusatory Suffering   347
      Self-absorbed Unforgiving   348
Rituals of Forgiveness   349
      Seeking Forgiveness   350
      Granting Forgiveness   352
Rituals of Recommitment   353
      Courtship   354
      Renewing Vows   354
Forgive the Pain but Remember the Lesson   354
      How Do We Know You Won’t Betray Again?   355
      What Choices Does the Betrayed Partner Have?   356

Chapter 15: Healing Alone   357

I Never Intended to Be Just Another Statistic   359
The Hard Adjustment   361
      The Unfairness of It All   361
      The Financial Nightmare   362
      The Loneliness   363
      New Scenarios with Old Friends   364
Starting Over   364
      Wallowing Never Gets You Anywhere   364
      The New Learning Curve   365
      The Dating Game   366
The Matter of Children   368
      Breaking the Bad News   369
      Protecting Your Children from the Fallout   370
Survivors of Infidelity   371
      Nancy: Always on Guard   372
      Kimberly: Bridge to a New Life   373
      Evan: Better the Second Time Around   374
      Heather: Becoming Whole Again   375
      Living Well Is the Best Revenge   377

Afterword: Mini-Guide to Safe Friendships and a Secure Marriage   379

Seven Facts You Need to Know about Infidelity   380
What You Need to Know about Love   380
Seven Tips for Preventing Infidelity   381
Critical Elements for Healing the Trauma of Infidelity   382
Vulnerability Maps   382
Appendix: Resources 383
Chapter Notes 387
References 407
Index 413

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© Dr. Shirley Glass