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To Love, Honor, and Betray: The Secret Life of Suburban Wives [Kindle Edition]

Stephanie Gertler
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $21.95
Kindle Price: $8.00
You Save: $13.95 (64%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

A provocative look at the lives of 26 married suburban women, offering a fascinating and nuanced portrait of marriage and infidelity.

Extramarital affairs are often whispered about behind closed doors. In this groundbreaking book, the doors open. Stephanie Gertler and Adrienne Lopez take an intimate and sensitive look at the lives of 26 married or previously married women who have either had an affair, are having an affair, or are wrestling with their conflicting emotions and loyalties as they consider the possibility of being unfaithful to their husbands.

The women are between the ages of 35 and 70. They hail from various cultures, races, professions, and economic levels. Most have children. Many crave passion, intimacy, conversation, romance. And when those things aren't forthcoming in their marriages, they seek them elsewhere. To Love, Honor, and Betray never judges: It provides candid conversations, rendering women's lives in ways that are surprising and moving, while offering remarkable insight into the complexity of long-term relationships. It's the book that women have been waiting for.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Calling all desperate housewives. While the subtitle might suggest a broad look at the state of marriage in the suburbs, this is more a beady-eyed stare into the lives of suburban married women who are having, have had or are contemplating having affairs. Gertler, a novelist (Jimmy's Girl, etc.), and Lopez, an attorney and independent producer, contribute seven pages of an introduction and brief introductory paragraphs; after that, it's the subjects and their first-person testimonials. The women, whom the authors reached through friend and family networks, tell of cheating in retaliation for a husband's affair; because their husbands wouldn't sleep with them; or out of loneliness, spite, and even surprise ("All of a sudden, I found myself having sex with this man"). Not all of them are sympathetic characters, that's for sure. But some stories are poignant. Thirty-one years after marrying a withholding man and four years into a loving, passionate affair, "Mrs. E." admits that she fantasizes about her husband asking her how to love and pleasure her: "That would be the fairy tale.... You see, if I had my choice, I wouldn't be in this position." The lack of communication in her marriage feels symptomatic of the book as a whole. A gathering of dissatisfactions not unified by any authorial voice, this demoralizes more than it enlightens.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stephanie Gertler is the author of four novels--Jimmy's Girl, The Puzzle Bark Tree, Drifting, and the forthcoming The Windmill. She writes a monthly lifestyle column for two Connecticut newspapers, the Stamford Advocate and the Greenwich Time. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her family.

Adrienne Lopez is an attorney and independent TV and film producer with a first-look development deal at Spike TV. A former nationally syndicated talk show producer and network excutive, she also writes for several popular magazines. She lives in Westchester County with her family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 312 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (February 1, 2005)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Demoralizing look at women, trust and monogamy May 12, 2005
This book is about as upsetting as anything a man, married or otherwise, is likely to read this year. Even men who, like myself, have careers that when practiced almost definitively reveal the hidden sides of married women who take part in often scandalous affairs will be kicked in the stomach repeatedly by what they discover here. Publisher's Weekly said this book "demoralizes more than it enlightens." That, is an understatement.

Without judging any of the women in particular, there are a few common themes that continuously resurface. One is the archetypal Biological Clock Woman who is so afraid of never becoming a mother that she never actually becomes an adult, and therefore never learns what love and intimacy as a wife is all about. Several of the women admit (as their anonymity is insured by the women writers who chose and compiled these stories) that they never actually were in love with their husbands at any time. They saw him as a "catch" of some sort that would make a good father--i.e., make them pregnant--before their ovaries stopped producing fertilizable eggs. As they were pretending to be in love with their fiancés right from the start, the deceit in their marriage started before it even began. (Staying with their husbands afterwards was done, several said, almost purely for money and childcare-related reasons. [And naturally they believed this little trivial point, given how all men are just sexual animals with no souls anyway, would not effect his sense of attraction or his love of being married to them on a daily basis.]) For these women in the book, the later affairs that are its subject are just a natural progression of an entire adult life of selfishness and deceit, fostered by a profound contempt for men in general.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Book for the Right Reader September 29, 2005
This is an interesting book, a compilation of first-person accounts of women's affairs. The women range in ages and reasons, but all cheated on their husbands and fill these pages with the sagas.

There is something exhausting and sad about reading page after page of the dissatisfaction these women had with their husbands. Many married simply because they were ready to have children. Almost all the men were emotionally distant, sexually cold or even cheating themselves, and a few were abusive.

Some of the women had several affairs. Some left their husbands. One woman had a one-time fling and regretted it. A few warn, even beg, women readers not to cheat.

It's hard to imagine so many women are so unhappy, that this is so common that the book somehow reflects reality. It makes one feel jaded and cynical, even kind of trashy, to steep in the sadness and the sordid stories.

That said, a person struggling with issues of fidelity or marriage may find something profound within the pages. The editors have certainly captured many different stories, and the stories are well-written and compelling, if very sad.

It might not be a book to give to a newly engaged friend, but a fine book to give to someone dealing with the issues of infidelity.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into an emerging culture March 11, 2005
The times, they are, a'changing.

I sometimes wonder if men and women were ever intended to get together. Perhaps in cave man days where you married at 12 or 13, had grand kids at 25 or 30 and were dead at 40. But that's not the way it is any more. We live a lot longer. And we know that divorce will end more than half of the marriages. Studies say that almost all of the rest are not happy marriages, it's just that they choose not to separate for any of a number of reasons.

As a male, this book is extremely interesting to read. It is almost like eavesdropping on a conversation between two women who wouldn't be saying these things if a male was around. It's certainly true that we don't think alike. And the studies say that the percentage of females having affairs is rapidly catching up with the male percentage. The reason seeems to be opportunity, nothing to do with desire which has always been there, just the opportunity as more women enter the workforce for them to meet men.

This book presents an insight into the Venusian that we Martians don't often see.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
26 women tell why they are having, have had, or fantasized about having affairs outside their marriage. The editors of this book are not social scientists, but they are intentionally non-judgmental. However, this work seems to verify what social scientist John Gottman has found in his extensive research on marriage and relationships-- that a happy marriage/relationship simply cannot grow out of too much emotional distance and lack of shared nurturing and vision in a marriage. (See THE RELATIONSHIP CURE and 7 PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING MARRIAGE WORK.) The book easily held my attention, and gave many insights into the dynamics of troubled marriages, but exclusively from the wife's point-of-view. I recommend it to those who wish to better understand the dynamics of troubled marriages, especially where at least one outside friend/lover may be a factor.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I walk this lonely street... March 24, 2005
By just me
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Love affair: a romantic attachment or episode between lovers 2 : a lively enthusiasm

How did I get from happy to lonely? Am I the only one feeling....lonely. When I came accross this book I felt like I just made 26 new friends. Their stories, feelings, heartaches, were all too familiar. No one was judging, no one was pointing fingers, no one was giving advice, just telling their story. Did it answer all of my questions, no, but it did make me feel a little less alone.

This book is for men as well as for women. Men aren't always at fault for letting the romance slip away, but this can give men a different spin on what women want and need in a relationship.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The honesty was refreshing...
As stated in one of the editorial reviews, there are no sympathetic characters in this book. Everyone looks bad, the wives, the husbands and the lovers. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Leah Mullen
4.0 out of 5 stars A very eye-opening book about marriage from the women's point of view
This book is a compelling look into the hidden emotional lives of women and why they stray outside their marriages. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Elda Minger
5.0 out of 5 stars great beach read!
book is so good, i've read it over and over again and each time , I learn something new.getit, read it, you will enjoy it
Published on May 23, 2012 by ALO
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Non-Dr. Phil Approach
The subtitle of this book drew me in. The authors interviewed women who had either gone through affairs or were thinking of it and picked 26 of the stories to label A-Z to... Read more
Published on May 17, 2010 by Yvonne
5.0 out of 5 stars Aiiiggh!!!

If you feel bored by your husband's lack of passion then driven away by his anger when he finds out you cheated on him, then this book is for you. Read more
Published on January 25, 2010 by concerned reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look inside...
I found this book fascinating. A look into why women cheat. I think every married woman could relate to one of the stories in this book.
Published on October 28, 2008 by J. Martin
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly witten, poorly presented in True Confessions style
If more sexual detail were present, this could easily make a series of stories for True Confessions magazine. Read more
Published on January 23, 2006 by Bette
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly good read...
I really enjoyed this book. Curl up with a hot cup of tea and this book and I swear in less than 2 hours you'll be thinking about marriages today and wondering what your friends... Read more
Published on September 23, 2005 by Antimony3
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