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Emotional Infidelity: How to Avoid It and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Marriage Hardcover – October 23, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You don't have to have sex to cheat on your marriage, counsels M. Gary Neuman in his practical and provocative book, Emotional Infidelity. Neuman, a therapist, family mediator, and rabbi, suggests that when you invest your emotional energy in opposite-sex coworkers or friends--instead of focusing on your spouse--you are unfaithful to your marriage. With clear case examples, scenes from his own marriage, quizzes, and exercises, Neuman illustrates 11 "secrets" that couples can apply to insulate and protect their marriage. Each secret is defined in a separate chapter, along with a blueprint for bringing it home. For example, the secret of setting marital goals includes a step-by-step guide to creating a "marriage proposal," and the chapter about the impact of childhood in marriage offers readers probing questions about the legacy of their parents' marriage. However, Neuman's most controversial secret is his ability to skewer the myth of marriage as mutual independence. Instead, he urges couples to establish a "healthy co-dependence" in their marriage and to "protect their marriage against emotional infidelity by avoiding friendships with members of the opposite sex." Neuman's passion for increasing focus and commitment in marriage can be both persuasive and challenging, with his clear values and strategies requiring that readers reexamine their ideas about marriage. --Barbara Mackoff

From Publishers Weekly

"If we operated our business the way we run our marriage, most people would be bankrupt," asserts Neuman in this manual for creating and maintaining nothing less than great marriages. Admitting that this objective "takes a 110 percent effort," the coauthor of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way brings 14 years of experience as a marital counselor and an equally long marriage of his own to this comprehensive guide. The title refers to Neuman's belief in "the single most important thing you can do for your marriage," namely limiting your relationships with everyone other than your partner, particularly members of the opposite sex. Neuman also offers 10 other "secrets" for couples to work through in 10 weeks, including sharing specific goals and plans, clearly defining roles for each partner, appreciating each other, fostering interdependence and understanding the effects of your childhood on your marriage. Reminding readers that a great marriage takes years to cultivate, Neuman provides a four-point plan: touch each other five times daily, go on a weekly date, have a long talk four times a week, and have an all-out romantic lovemaking night monthly. Neuman makes the questionable claim that it only takes one partner to transform a marriage and make it great, and confuses interdependency with "codependency" (which may offend readers struggling with issues of relationships with actively addicted persons). Still, this is an important addition to the marriage manual genre, complete with an unusually helpful section on in-law relationships. (Oct. 23)Forecast: Marriage manuals are always in demand in bookstores and hot topics for talk shows. This one offers a unique (and possibly controversial) viewpoint as well as an experienced and engaging author. Planned national publicity could spark high interest and sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (October 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609608231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608234
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,314,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. Gary Neuman is a licensed family counselor and rabbi.  He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Truth about Cheating, for which he appeared on Oprah twice as well as the Today show and The Early Show.   He is also the author of Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and the very successful Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way. He has been on Oprah and the Today  show many times as well as the View, Dateline NBC, NBC Nightly News, CBS Weekend News, and Good Morning America.  Print coverage of Neuman and his work includes Time, People, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Parents, Parenting, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Miami Herald.

Customer Reviews

If you are married and unhappy, you should read this book.
Creating a solution that is the rule-set (proposed by Neuman) to contain and limit this "competing"dialgue will not prevent the risk of emotional infidelity.
Paul Dombrowski
This is the foundation of a healthy and happy relationship.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 86 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a marital therapsit I've found this book to be of exceptional help with my marital patients. It's unusual in how it offers clear direction for a marriage at any stage. I've found it useful to help couples create clear daily goals for their marriage, learn how their parents' marriage has affected them, and how to create a great deal of passion. The book offers such creative activities which I have my patients work on together. There's a great chapter on sex also. It really helps couples focus in on the deeper meaning of sex and has some straightforward advice that every couple must know.
I've found the book great for my patients also because of the stories which really bring the ideas to life and make it a quick read. There are so many books that seem to preach but this one seems to offer a conversation with you. The author seems to have purposely created a book that helps a couple think together and create something unique for themselves.
Most of all, the book is not afraid to tell it like it is. Neuman makes us think about the energy we have to give to our spouse and how much of it goes quickly to the wrong places. He has an especially great piece on accepting our spouse's flaws called "the Mona Lisa was no size two," where he really makes you think about how society has brainwashed us into certain beliefs about our spouses.
I don't usually take the time to write reviews but this is something exceptional that can really help a lot of people. I'll keep buying it for my patients.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By DTru_Rivvy on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Emotional Infidelity focuses on strengthening and healing marriages, but it helped me through the first two years of accepting and healing after my ex-husband's multiple emotional and physical workplace affairs. I purchased this book the day after I found out about my ex's last affair. Hindsight is 20/20, and the scenarios in this book were a blueprint of the last 2 years of my marriage: phone calls at home from "co-workers", working late at the office, and driving to the office in the middle of the night to take care of "security alarm" calls. I read several books to help get through the painful breakup, and Emotional Infidelity was the most insighful and practical book on emotional (and physical) affairs I found. My marriage was over, but reading the book encouraged me to focus on my own strength without my ex.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By PCJ on February 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you, Gary Neuman, for graciously expressing the heart of the marriage promise...and how certain assumptions weasel their way between spouses and reduce what should be the most profound and requiting relationship of one's life to merely a working arrangement between acquaintances - or worse, divorce. I wish more counselors would read this book...and quit trying to fix troubled marriages by advising us how to "fight fair", "communicate effectively" and "discover your own sense of identity." Mr. Neuman is on target: spouses must NOT waste their energy on others instead of protecting and investing themselves in one another. This is the foundation of a healthy and happy relationship. Also of note: Great practical guidelines for men and women to follow if they want to have a marriage - and reputation - of integrity!

Post Script, 2011: Four years ago, I read this remarkable book and asked my husband to also consider Mr. Neuman's thesis, a very pertinent point for our struggling marriage. He agreed, read the first chapter, but somehow, in all the hustle and labor of his corporate travels, conventions and business-meetings-over-three-meals-a-day, "lost" the book in the bottom of a piece of luggage or moving box. After one particularly extended business excursion, he returned with a third wedding ring, which I found "hidden" in the box which originally held our wedding rings from 26 years ago. Starting at least 10 years earlier, he had become innured to social networking, corporate entertainment budgets which encouraged surreptitious double dating, and enless "get togethers/tweet-ups" with female business acquaintances who were "passing through town" and (when I finally gained access to some of their emails) frankly admitted that they had no actual business to discuss.
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The LIterary Critic on October 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has been mistitled. It's not just about emotional infidelity. It's about a whole lot more. The first chapter is the only part of the book that deals with what Neuman calls emotional infidelity - that is giving your time and attention to someone of the opposite gender who is not your spouse. I whole heartedly agree with his position. You can't split your attention. You have to be very careful how you treat people of the opposite sex because no one intends to do anything, and it always "just happens." Neuman's plan is that you focus your attention on your spouse so that you are so busy with your spouse you don't have the inclination to give anyone of the opposite sex the time to worm their way into your life - in the place where your spouse should be.

The rest of the book is a marriage manual for how to create a great marriage. And Neuman is honest: it takes a lot of work. You have to put a lot of energy into creating the marriage that you want. And both of you have to participate. Neuman includes good exercises that helps people who may not know exactly what to give their spouses or who do not know exactly what their spouse wants from them. He also writes about dealing with children in a marriage and how the marriage must come first.

This book is for good marriages and for any marriage that is in trouble. If you grew up in the US, you have emotional baggage that you need to recognize and deal with, so you can use the information in this book to make your marriage better no matter how good it is right now.

One thing I did appreciate was that Neuman took the cheating partner to task and remonstrated him or her for their bad behavior and told them that it was their responsiblity for what they had done. He should have done that in The Truth About Cheating. I enjoyed this book much better than his new one. I felt that he expected the guilty spouse to take more responsibility in this volume.
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