Dr. Shirley Glass

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

NOT "Just Friends" is the long-awaited, groundbreaking new book by Shirley P. Glass, Ph.D., whom the New York Times has called the "godmother of infidelity research." Full of astonishing revelations, NOT "Just Friends" draws on more than two decades of original studies and hundreds of clinical cases to document the new crises of infidelity. NOT "Just Friends": Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal (The Free Press; January 13th, 2003; $25.00) reveals that, in this crisis, today's workplace is the foremost breeding ground for extramarital affairs. Good people in good marriages-men and women who say they're happily married-are unwittingly crossing the line between platonic friendship and romantic love. We are right to be wary when we hear our partners assert, "I'm telling you, we're just friends."

Dr. Glass's compelling clinical portraits and statistics argue for a radical redefinition of infidelity. In the new infidelity, one doesn't have to have sex to be unfaithful. In fact, secret emotional attachments outside a marriage can be just as great a betrayal as extramarital sex. When sex and emotional involvement combine, as they do increasingly in these new workplace affairs with professional colleagues, the threat to the marriage is more catastrophic-much more so than traditional affairs used to be. In the current crisis of infidelity, men are more likely to fall in love with their affair partners-in the past, they were more likely to have uncomplicated sexual liaisons. Today, women are also getting more sexually involved than they did in previous generations.

NOT "Just Friends" is the first book to shatter popular assumptions about infidelity, including: a happy marriage is insurance against infidelity; the betrayed partner must have ignored obvious clues; and the unfaithful partner was compensating for emotional or sexual deprivation in the marriage. Dr. Glass's research not only proves that these are unfounded myths, her surveys of 465 therapists demonstrate that these myths are being perpetuated by ill-advised marriage counselors who are also treating their clients with inappropriate techniques. For instance, many counselors erroneously advise couples to bury the past and avoid discussing the details of the affair after it's discovered-despite research evidence that indicates open discussions about the betrayal are essential to recovery.

Dr. Glass's scientific approach to infidelity is unique in its treatment of the betrayed partner's shock as a trauma. She helps couples cope with post-traumatic reactions and recover from the emotional roller coaster that follows deception, suspiciousness, and the shock of revelation. Refined over decades of clinical counseling, Dr. Glass's practical, step-by-step guide for re-establishing safety and trust in the relationship is central to NOT "Just Friends" and shows how telling the story of the affair and establishing its meaning for both partners can make the union stronger than it was before. Original quizzes by the author allow readers to explore personal traits, relationship characteristics, and outside influences that increase risk and susceptibility to unfaithful behavior. Eye-opening vulnerability maps offer insights that can keep friendships safe and marriages secure.

More than just a book on preventing and recovering from betrayal, NOT "Just Friends" has the profound perspective and guidance that can only come from the extensive clinical experience and meticulous research of a recognized expert. Whether the reader is an involved partner, a betrayed partner, an affair partner-or a therapist who would welcome a proven trauma-based approach to healing infidelity-he or she will find wise, nonjudgmental counsel in this pioneering book.

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© Dr. Shirley Glass