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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book probably saved my marriage.
After my marriage suffered from a devastating infidelity this book was the first and only trully helpful source of facts that helped me understand adultery. It talks about the 4 types of adultery and the reasons they may occur. The book provides information on potential for repairing the marriage (ie, is your unfaithful spouse a hopeless philanderer or a lost soul...
Published on August 8, 1999

versus
25 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE! Author thinks mental infidelity is okay!
Some of the information is informative as to the "types" of infidelity, but if you're one who believes in MENTAL as well as physical fidelity, this book's not for you. States you should not be offended by partner's memories of past lovers while making love to you or masterbating, wandering eye, etc. NOT FOR EVERYONE! Buy "Surviving an Affair" by...
Published on June 28, 2000 by Reader who was a betrayer


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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book probably saved my marriage., August 8, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
After my marriage suffered from a devastating infidelity this book was the first and only trully helpful source of facts that helped me understand adultery. It talks about the 4 types of adultery and the reasons they may occur. The book provides information on potential for repairing the marriage (ie, is your unfaithful spouse a hopeless philanderer or a lost soul that might be saved with help.) Had I not found this book I certainly would not have the understanding of what happened in my marriage that I feel I now have. It helped me to find some peace and begin the healing process. Other books I read and the counselors I talked to were not able to help in this way. I feel Dr. Pittman is a leading expert who is much more knowledgeable regarding infidelity than the average marriage counselor out there. I strongly recommend it for anyone who has a marriage that has suffered from infidelity.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saving your sanity as you make sense of adultery, February 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
This is the only book about betrayal that I recommend to therapists whole heartedly. Pittmans common sense views of the etiology, progression and healing of betrayal are absolutely refreshing. A key point that seems unique is Pittmans emphasis that the betrayed partner did not bring this on themselves. Currently, many authors and therapists insist that the faithful partner contributed to the others unfaithfulness in some significant way or it would never have happened. Unfortunately the battered soul of the offended partner is not only contending with terrible rejection, they are given the crushing judgement that some defect of theirs contributed to the betrayal. We wouldn't ask the victim of a mugging how they could have been more sensitive to the assailents needs to have prevented the crime. Pittmans book is a humane, reasonable and a common sense approach which helps allieviate much pain and calls the straying partner to account for his actions. Another insightful observation Pittman reveals is the re-writing of history that often goes on in the rationalization process of the adulterer. The common phrases, "Our marriage was over a long time before, we always had problems, she/he never loved me" may or may not be true. But generally in the presence of an affair, those statements make cheating a whole lot easier to do. Pittman asks, How trustworthy is the memory of a cheating partner. A sanity saving thought for the faithful partner who begins to suspect he was either living in another house, or lost his mind.For those who have been wounded the book offers great comfort, for those who cheated it offers an opportunity for accountability. Most of all it offers hope for many that marriages can be saved even after adultery. Pittmans book is a great tool to do precisely that. At this point I have found no better resource for those grappling with the aftermath of adultery.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best available book on the subject, April 6, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
Of the dozen or so books I've read on infidelity, this is by far the soundest--intellectually, morally, and practically. As a psychotherapist, a writer on psychology well-thought-of in some good circles, and a cuckold (hence my not giving my name), I think I can say that with some authority.
I'm not quite sure why therapists get utterly goofy when they start writing about infidelity, manufacturing nonsense about its always being a function of the marriage, or both parties having contributed. We wouldn't say those things about, say, wife beating, would we? Why say it about other egregious disrespect, damage, and betrayal of the entire marriage contract?
Pittman, with refreshing good sense, shoots down six common "myths about infidelity" and provides very sound analysis and advice. Frankly, I would rank this as one of the better pop books by anyone, on any subject, in matters of mental health. His comments on guilt and jealousy are among the best I've ever heard from a mental health type.
I have only two complaints:
First, Pittman feels compelled to give his own "typology" of affairs, and while it's better than any other I've seen, it's still artificial and doesn't encompass all the sorts of affairs that occur. You might not do well to fit yourself into his pigeonholes.
Second, like other Americans, Pittman for some reason feels the irrational need to deny that sex is at the heart of the damage done by infidelity. True, the lies and so forth are horrible. But let's face facts: We don't get nearly so hurt or angry about lies that have nothing to do with sexual betrayal. I guess Americans don't like talking about the elemental emotions that go with sex, even when we're talking about sex.
Maybe I'll have to write a book saying that monogamy is about sex, and what that means, and what it means that sexual betrayal is sexual. Until then, read Pittman's book. It's very sound.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 26, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
This was by far the best book I read on recovering from the betrayal of an extramarital affair (and I read A LOT!). Reading this book led my husband to finally admit to me of his longstanding affair with a co-worker and indeed, it was the insights contained in this book that caused him to take responsibility for his behavior and formally end his affair. I enjoyed this book because it is the only one I've read that does not blame the spouse who was betrayed. As a betrayed spouse, my self esteem was at an all time low. This book made me feel good about myself. It will definitely make the unfaithful partner examine his reasons for straying. It explores the whys and wherefores about infidelity and presents advice for both the unfaithful and the wounded partner. It's a MUST READ!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 26, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
If you are the betrayed spouse struggling with a drop in self esteem, this book is for you. My husband denied his extramarital affair for months. I bought the book for myself as a sanity preserving measure. He read it, and the insights it contained to his behavior led him not only to admit his infidelity, but to formally end his affair and work on our marriage. Of all the books I've read, this is the only one that doesn't blame the wounded spouse. Conversely, it forces the cheater into accepting responsibility. A must read!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Provided me with a great sense of relief and consolation, July 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
Surviving my spouse's infidelity with a truly toxic, disturbed paramour who stalked me and our child certainly has to be one of the most challenging crises of my/our lifetimes. Twenty months later, I am not sure I have survived it on bad days, but Frank Pittman's down-to-earth style and sense of the humorous and the absurd have actually made me laugh about the subject of infidelity; somehow, he has managed to heal a part of me that therapy, couples work and effective legal confrontation have failed to touch. I am grateful, and I recommend this book highly to others in the devastation of their once-monogamous marital unions.
One suggestion: Dr. Pittman might have treated the issues of alcoholism and drug use more thoroughly, but his discussions of the manic infidel and manic/romantic affairee hit the mark.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally... truth about the awful truth, June 4, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
An excellent read. Pittman has been in the trenches for over thirty years and offers wonderful insight into the mind of the betrayer. So many therapists have the audacity to blame the betrayed as if betrayers have no choice -but not Pittman! Different types of affairs have different life cycles which was a very sobering discovery -if only betrayers could realize how predictable their actions and rationalizations are. This book was a relief for my sanity and really helped me to make sense out of nonsense. He notes that the lies and secrets do more damage to the relationship than the act itself.
It's easy to read, the typologies are sometimes a bit tedious though his humor makes up for it. I hope he updates this book and reveals more coping advice for the betrayed and dealing with the aftermath of affairee (planned and unplanned) pregnancies. Few books deal with this sensitive subject -more straight advice needed please!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Understanding, March 7, 2007
By 
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
I love this guy. Dr. Frank Pittman is a psychiatrist with a sense of humor, and brilliant insight into the Passion, Drama, Lust and Love of affairs.

If I had a dollar for every client who explained their involvement in an extramarital affair as being swept up into Passion, I'd be a very wealthy woman. But affairs are rarely about Passion. They're about Lust, or about Drama. They don't often start out as Love. And very few of them end up there, either. It's estimated that fifty percent of marriages are affected by infidelity. Seventy-five percent of affair partners get dumped. Of the 25% who marry, ninety percent will divorce. Sounds like a ton of Drama, dontcha think?

Dr. Pittman writes engagingly about all of this and the mindset of people in affairs (Philanderers, Romantics, Accidental Infidels, and others). Here are three interesting excerpts:

"The instinctual nature of the human animal may be such that we bond, as other monogamous species do, to our sexual partner, our mate. Humans have the capacity to survive our mate -- if he or she should die, we, unlike some monogamous birds, can recover and find another mate. However, if we mate with others while our partner is still around, we may break the bond that holds the pairing together. We may, by having affairs, loosen the attachment and 'fall out of love' with our partner. It is therefore not that we fall out of love and thus have affairs, but that we have affairs and thus fall out of love by breaking an instinctual bond.

"The impact of an accidental infidelity on a romantic is explosive. It unleashes all that frustrated romanticism. Romantics with their pants off go wild -- not necessarily sexually, but emotionally. These people imprint whomever they sexualize, and they clamp on like snapping turtles, and you can't make them let go. Romantics will throw themselves desperately and suicidally at strangers, offering plans for the two of them to disappear and die together. The stranger may have trouble remembering the romantic's name. This sort of thing could even make a philanderer go straight, and will cure the accident-prone forever. This is the plot of the film Fatal Attraction, in which it was demonstrated that the romantic passion of a passing stranger is the most horrifying of nightmares.

"People [in affairs] risk everything on the hope that they can achieve joy by changing everything in their lives except themselves. They would like to press a button and have the old life go away and the new life appear. The human animal has an unfortunate tendency to identify the source of any unhappiness as coming from outside itself. The fault, as Cassius informed Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Our unhappiness is not in our marriages, but within us. Changing everything about our lives leaves everything important still the same, because we are the important factor in our lives, and we are the one thing left unchanged."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Save your money and buy THIS book!, February 26, 2008
By 
D. Martino (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
This book is one of only 2 books on infidelity that I can wholeheartly recommend and I've read several (the other was by the late Dr. Shirley Glass).

What sets this book apart from most others on infidelity is that I found it to be the missing link between popular non-sense on infidelity (including how to define it) from therapists and my own observations and findings. Dr. Pittman doesn'y play the "share blame" theory of infidelity which differs greatly from popular thinking even among so called psycologists or marital councellors.

I would say this book is primarily written for those who haave been betrayed but this would be a good read for either party. I would highly recommend reading this book for anyone at any stage in a marriage and would highly advise those planning to wed to read it. In fact I would say this would make a wonderful gift to those engaged or otherwise committed to a long term relationship.

The book is easy to read with several excellent examples from actual cases. Much more important to me however was the way Dr. Pittman is able to put into words what I was feeling and found fustrating to express. This I found to be very helpful for me.

My wife and I went through 5 different therapists in an attempt to deal with her infidelity and all 5 held the belief that I had somehow contributed to the infidelity, which I maintained was utter non-sense. As a result, we made no progress at all and this prolonged the pain and made recovery/reconcilliation nearly impossible. Dr. Pittman helped me understand why this commonly held belief among therapists and the public is simply stupid.

It seems that enough people are suggestible and can recover from infidelity much easier than others. I happen to fall into the latter category. I would have given this book a high rating even if I didn't benefit from the advice and information it contains because most of the advice really is common sense.

As I mentioned already, this is only one of only 2 books on the subject that I would give such a strong rating. This is recommended reading on the subject and should be read by all including marriage councellors or psycologists.

I hope this review helps, especially in time of crisis!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligently written book makes it easy to see the light, August 21, 2002
By 
Female , age 45 (Miami, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (Paperback)
I read this book after being involved in a "successful" affair for 14 years...spanning through 2 marriages even...I totally agree with the author's viewpoint that the saddest effect of infidelity is the "betrayal of intimacy"... each party remains wounded for life... unless they face up to the truth, reveal it.. seek forgiveness and go on....
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Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy
Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy by Frank Pittman (Paperback - November 17, 1990)
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