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Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating Paperback – January 3, 2017
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From the Publisher
Attention cheating men! Get out of the dog house.
How do you repair the damage from infidelity? Obviously, the first step is accepting what you've done qualifies as cheating. Sounds easy, but the once-clear line between sexual fidelity and infidelity got very, very blurry with the advent of the internet. The gray areas are almost limitless, with the primary question centering on whether digital sex counts the same as in-the-flesh sex.
To address this, intimacy and relationships expert, Robert Weiss, defines digital-age infidelity (cheating) as "The breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your primary romantic partner". If you’re engaging in any romantic or sexual activity that you’re covering up with lies and secrets, you’re cheating.
An internationally acknowledged clinician, in Out of the Dog House, Weiss offer cheaters a step-by-step guide for repairing the damage and restoring trust in your relationship.
About the Author
- Publisher : Health Communications Inc; 1st edition (January 3, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0757319211
- ISBN-13 : 978-0757319211
- Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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However, I am concerned some of the information may harm reconciliation or lead the man down the wrong path.
Page 115: A list of things the man must do during early stages. One big one is to refuse to have sex with the wife. wtf?! A betrayed wife would already be feeling extremely unattractive and undesirable, so the best course of action is to reject her sexually? Think about that for a second.
The rationale: "wife doesn't trust you. There is no reason anyone should have sex with someone they don't trust". Wut? First half of the book says it's normal & healthy for men to stick their wang in any pretty thing, no need to get to know her (much less trust her). Now you're telling men that there's "no reason" anyone should have sex with someone they don't trust.
Let the wife decide; do not take that choice away from her. You didn't give her the choice before you banged hookers or hit up random Facebook women for meetups. Then you kept it from her, taking her choice (informed consent) away to remain with you day after day, lie after lie.
Also consider that for some women (myself included), Physical Touch is their primary Love Language. Deny her sex and to that woman you're basically saying you deny her love.
Also, men who were busy with affairs and too much porn often neglected their wives sexually. Maybe she hasn't been sexually happy in awhile. Better advice: let her decide on sexual frequency... and make it a giving act. Shift from sex as self gratification to sex as a way to give pleasure to the woman you love.
P. 167: "the demanding spouse": says that some wives will think they "own the man's time". No, that's not it. We have been emotionally traumatized and we suffer horrible fear or anxiety thanks to our husbands choices. We don't seek to smother our husband or take away his social life. We seek to avoid our own punishment: the hours of anxiety and fear and intrusive thoughts while our untrustworthy husband is out socializing & having fun. Why not invite her along? Or find some compromise?
His advice "if she expects you to completely give up a hobby you enjoy, shes asking too much". NO NO NO. Stand firmly on this, and you will appear to your betrayed wife as a man who is putting his hobby above his marriage. This is wrong wrong wrong. Right now the marriage needs to come first. If the hobby can't be put on hold for 6 months or a year, where are your priorities? Her craziness doesn't last forever. It only lasts as long as it takes to re-establish some sense of safety, security, and trust.
A better statement would be to advise men to listen to her objections and consider WHY this pastime is an issue. Does the type of activity, the location, or circle of friends somehow relate to the infidelity? Does engaging in it appear to the wife as if the man is in a high risk situation?
One big red flag is if some of the friends in that hobby or social group aren't friends of the marriage. They may have enabled him when he was cheating, they might not respect his marriage, or they may not respect any committed relationship. Worst thing you can do for that man is send him right back to that social circle. Research shows that one risk factor correlated with a person who WILL cheat is when they surround themselves with cheaters as friends. Wives: sometimes it is ok to say no he doesn't need to return to his previous hobby of Judge for the Wet T-Shirt Contest at the local bar.
P. 154 covers a contract both sides must sign before the man proceeds Some is common sense (spouses should not hit each other). But some language is problematic. Item 6 "we agree no to engage in name calling.... and we will not be emotionally abusive". But emotionally abusive isn't defined. If betrayed wife keeps saying things that makes wayward husband feel terrible day after day, is that "abusive"? What if the things she keeps saying that upsets him are merely her expressing her pain, anxiety, and nightmares about his infidelity, and him feeling terrible is just his guilt/shame?
Overall, I do take issue with the overall tone of the book and its sweeping generalizations.
The book overlooks the role of sex in men as a way to feel closer. Look up the roles of Oxytocin and vasopressin in men. The sex act itself makes a man feel vulnerable and exposed. It shuts off some parts of the brain, allowing some men to experience deep feelings. Some men describe sex as not seeking a release but rather to join with another & connect. Unfortunately american men are raised in a culture that tells them emotions are a weakness, real men don't allow themselves become vulnerable, and sleeping with everyone proves how desirable he is (ego). Men don't necessarily have good role models for seeing sex as a loving act. And our current generation has access to all sorts of freaky porn 24/7, no proof of age needed. Porn, while a fun escape, trains the mind. Some men are so so trained by porn they report real sex is unsatisfying, they can't hold an erection during real sex (porn induced erectile dysfunction PIED), and/or they can't climax from real sex. And then add to it books like this one that *tell* men that all men are wired to have sex without emotion. It's the perfect recipe for creating men who can't find love, respect, or connection from sex.
Maybe if these men did require a little respect before sex could happen, the cheating wouldn't have happened in the first place?
On a personal note:
Since being confronted, my husband spent a lot of time rethinking his promiscuous years (before we met) and his affair. He's finally coming to see that kind of behavior makes him (his words) a "man ho" and just cheapens the act and cheapens him. And with that comes the realization that great sex isn't the totally self-centered thing porn shows.
I bought the book to show to him, but now I'm thinking the bad messages far outweigh the good. For the first time in years I think I need to return a book to Amazon.
For me, I understand what the author is saying about the lies. When he talks about that (especially in the beginning of the book), it explains exceptionally well how I feel.
But as the book went on, I found myself disagreeing with a lot of it. So I do also get what the other reviewer is saying in her review. The author says that for women, sex and emotions go hand in hand. I agree with this, but I think the author stops short of realizing that even if the cheating spouse does not have an emotional attachment to these women.... I am the one my husband is supposed to be attracted to.
And for me it goes beyond just that. Because as the book went on, I found myself disagreeing with something else the author said: He thinks that the thoughts that your spouse has are perfectly fine as long as he doesn't act on them. I disagree with that. I don't want to be with someone who thinks the way my husband does. I don't think those kinds of thoughts are okay. I don't want to be with someone whose brain is wired that way. That is not a marriage. When you are with someone like that, the person is never with you, never present with you. And I don't mean just during sex. I mean no matter where you are or what you are doing when you are together: he is not present. They don't hear your jokes, your thoughts, your ideas, your anything. They don't see you, they don't hear you. You may as well be married to a rock or be a rock that is just sitting there next to him. They can say they love you, but they don't love you because they don't even know you. Spouses of cheaters deserve true love but we can't get that from someone who doesn't even 'see' us (and I don't mean just physically). So for me specifically, it's not just what he did; it's how he is. I knew something was very very wrong in our 'marriage'; but I had no idea that this was going on in his mind. For all intents and purposes, he is cheating all the time in his mind -- always has been and always will be, regardless of his actions. Thoughts DO matter. So for me, the book cemented my reasons for wanting to leave him. I deserved to be treated with respect, and to be seen and loved for who I am; but men who do this are incapable of that.
He never finished reading the book; but that shouldn’t have mattered because the first section of the book is the most important part, where the author addresses the lying, and how wives feel about that. My husband read that (AND I have told him the exact same thing many times throughout the past several years and over the past several months especially -- before I had ever even heard of this book). But reading that part of the book didn’t register with him at all.
Another important part of the book is chapter four 'What to Expect from Your Betrayed Partner', where the author also does a good job in discussing 'emotional trauma' and the 'emotional roller coaster'. And at some point further on in the book, he mentions that full disclosure should occur no more than one month after DDay. That would have been very helpful to me -- not just helpful, but critically necessary to save our relationship.
Maybe if my husband had gotten that far in reading the book and had actually answered my questions instead of continuing to lie, deny, evade, blame, gaslight, table-turn, etc. -- saying he was overwhelmed with my questions that 'never stop' (why would they stop when none of my questions were ever addressed or answered?!) -- then maybe this book could have helped our relationship. Maybe this book can’t help someone whose brain has been changed by years of p-rn use. If anything, the gaslighting and emotional abuse have INCREASED (he’s the victim, in his eyes).
I also discovered he is using pictures of old girlfriends (and their relatives), and that he is also spying on their Facebook posts, keeping apprised of their lives. I know he is using their photos (he saved a bunch of their photos to different devices), yet he defends his actions by 'clarifying' that he is only on there to read their posts. As if that would have been an okay thing for him to do! He may as well be having an actual affair, even if there is no emotional attachment for him (as he claims). This is all such a betrayal.
Cheaters may never admit to their actions, may insinuate that you have some mental disorder or whatever, even when the truth is right there in front of you both. I think that my husband's off-the-wall comments to me (some of it vulgar; and all of it -- even the non-vulgar stuff -- just so off the mark) when I have tried to talk to him about this, are a result of the filter that he uses to view all women: he can't distinguish between the smut he watches and what is real. Women are just body parts to him. When I realized what was/is going on (or at least some of what he has been up to -- I will never know the entirety of it), it shed new light on his skewed view of reality and of me (constantly accusing me of thinking and doing things that I’m not -- i.e., imagined slights). I think that men with p-rn-influenced brains are incapable of understanding normal human emotions and actions. He assumes that all men and all women engage in the types of behaviors and thoughts that he engages in. Though he knows that not everyone watches p-rn, still he thinks that everyone uses photos the way that he does. He thinks that everyone is searching the internet for photos of old girlfriends/boyfriends and for naked or half-naked photos of people (actresses/actors, etc.) that they find attractive. It's at the point where he is absolutely obsessed (ogling women in public, and seeing breasts in inanimate objects like clouds, etc) yet refuses to acknowledge it. Hardcore p-rn is so damaging to a relationship; it changes the user’s brain. I don’t think the book addresses this adequately, if at all.
UPDATE: I have now gotten him to start reading the book again. He has now finished reading it. But he just doesn't get it. He doesn’t even understand why I’m leaving. It’s like I am 'talking to the drugs' and not to a person. He had SO many opportunities to stop lying. Even if he didn't want to give full disclosure, he could have moved forward by telling the TRUTH (and addressing his addiction) from this point forward. He keeps saying that he wants me to forget everything that has happened in the past (which he won't even admit to; just more lies) and just move forward... but he hasn't stopped acting out; hasn't stopped lying about what he's done and what he continues to do (and with whom); hasn't stopped the gaslighting, table-turning, and other emotional abuse. Move forward? With what? The status quo?
Long story short, this book is NOT for spouses who use p-rn. Maybe it might work for someone having an affair with a woman or women; but I cannot recommend this book for someone using p-rn. He never stopped lying, never came clean... and never stopped gaslighting even when I showed him concrete evidence of what he has been doing (and continues to do). And for the record, I would never have dreamed of invading his privacy before all this; but I think he gave up that right when he chose to do this to me. He will never stop lying or acting out, and will never do the work required to rewire his brain. (If I've misunderstood whom this book is meant for, then my bad).
In any case, the book is well-written and easy to read. I like the author's writing style. But it just doesn't seem to work for us.
[Anything that I put in quotes, and sometimes when I used an apostrophe, is showing up weird on here. I keep fixing it on my end, but some of those changes aren't reflected here when I hit 'edit'. Update: I changed the double quotes to single quotes -- so far so good].
December 23, 2020: Amazon has disabled comments, and I had used that section to add an update to my own review (instead of making this already very long review, even longer). I had typed it in Word before copy/pasting here, so I still have it:
Update: I was going about this the wrong way -- was looking for a way to convince an addict that he is an addict, and to get him to care enough to change and to understand the hurt and trouble that he has caused me and continues to cause me (and the effect of his behavior on this marriage).
(I can't figure out how to underline book titles here on Amazon, so I'll use single quotes): I have just read 'In Sheep's Clothing' by George Simon, Jr., Ph.D. and am currently reading 'Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life' by Tracy Schorn. Both books have been an eye-opener for me. The author of 'In Sheep's Clothing' describes covert-aggressive personality types in a way that describes my husband as if the author knows him. And when 'Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life' describes the narcissistic behavior of cheaters (and the comments that they make), she also describes my husband.
Sadly, narcissists are incapable of empathy. Not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg: Was he always this way, or has years of p-rn use (which began long before I met him) made him this way? His view of women in general is definitely consistent with someone addicted to p-rn. Does he have an underdeveloped conscience (which would have developed before he was old enough to use p-rn)? Or has years of p-rn use made him this way? If it's the former, then nothing I will ever say or do will get through to him. Reading both of those books has been a 'light-bulb' moment for me since I have not been able to get through to him. (Maybe 'conscience' isn't the right word; but certainly a lack of empathy)
If someone is truly addicted to p-rn or has had a mistress but is truly remorseful, then maybe 'Out of the Doghouse' could help him. But if you absolutely cannot get through to your husband and he shows a complete unwillingness to change or to even admit to what he has done (and continues to do), I suggest reading 'In Sheep's Clothing' and 'Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life'. If those books describe your husband as if the authors know him personally, then you are dealing with a narcissist and not an addict. You can try to help an addict. But you can't treat a narcissist as if they are an addict. Narcissists do what they please, when they please, and wherever they please, because they don't care about your feelings. They don't consider your feelings at any time or the effect that their behavior has on your life.
In other words, if someone is reading this because they cannot get their husband to address the issue, maybe you are addressing the wrong issue. If that is the case, then I recommend both of those books -- not to get the cheater to stop cheating or to fess up and display remorse, because he won't do any of those things. I recommend both books so that you can see the futility of trying to change him.
Update: Now I get it: "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft
Top reviews from other countries
Very good book though.