Question: I appreciate
your honesty and sharing, but am struggling deeply with your choice
of a title. Personal growth and growth of a couple after an affair
are positive outcomes of a horrible occurrence. But I don't ever
think we should say that an affair became the "BEST" thing
that ever happened to us. If only couples could reach these outcomes
without experiencing the pain and devastation caused by affairs
for so many people. Your title gives the affair a positive perspective
that it DOES NOT deserve. Maybe your choice of the title was due
to marketing. But I think you may have sold more copies if you would
have chosen a more sensitive title. Something like - How to survive
and grow after your husband's affair. I would appreciate your honesty/feedback
with an explanation how you chose this title.
First of all I want to say that I can totally
understand that you have a problem with this title, and I'm glad
to have the opportunity to explain myself. If you had told me four
years ago, while I was going through this horrific experience that
I would one day write a book about it, and give it this shocking
title, I would have been convinced that you needed to be institutionalized!
I also want to say, although this is the title
on the front cover, when you flip the book over, on the back cover
it says "It was also the most devastating experience of my
Choosing a title which fairly depicts the content
and at the same time will create enough interest that people will
actually read the timely message I have to share, has certainly
been a 'not so easy' journey. Try not to laugh, but my original
title was 'The Marriage Warrior.' This was to depict the original
stance I took to fight for my marriage. Over the past two and a
half years, as I have been writing, I have learned a lot more about
affairs, and have healed even more. It was one thing to go through
it, quite another to write it all down on paper, accurately.
When I quoted the aforementioned title publicly,
no one was interested, and everyone I asked said they would not
buy a book with that title.
My heart is to help people to avoid affairs.
I feel that if my husband and I had come across practical information
such as we are sharing in our story, this painful event would not
have needed to happen in our own lives. My heart is also to help
those who do end up betrayed to get through it more easily. At the
time I went through My Husband's Affair, I was just sure I was the
most hard done by person on the planet. If only I would have known
more, I would not have needed to suffer nearly as much as I actually
did. Third it is my heart to educate the general public, so when
their friends and family are going through it, they will know how
to support them, rather than hindering the process with their unhelpful
advice and avoidance of the issue, the 'let's just sweep it under
the rug and pretend it didn't happen' theory.
Title choice #2 was 'Hope for the Betrayed Heart'
Feedback I got was; this sounds like a soap opera. I don't watch
Title choice #3 - 'The Infidelity Paradox' -Feedback
I got; the word "paradox" might scare some away from the
book. They might not understand the word "paradox" and
think that the book would be hard for them to understand.
Title choice #4 - 'Courage to Rebuild' - Feedback
I got; the word "infidelity" or "affair" should
be in the title. If one is in the midst of sorting through an affair,
those words are what one is looking for when looking through self-
I have to confess in my search for a decent title,
I asked a marketing guru that I met by chance through my work one
day. He listened to me and suggested the present title "My
Husband's Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever happened to me!'
I just about fell right off my chair. But the more I started to
think about it the more I realized, although I hate to admit it,
I can actually own that title today which is a total miracle.
I also admit that I was concerned that some people
might find my title offensive, because I myself would probably have
found it so just after disclosure of the affair.
At one point, I wanted to soften the title to
'My Husband's Affair - A Window to a Better Life.'
And yes, I could have used something like the
title you suggest, but that sounds like another 'how-to' book. My
book is not a 'how-to' book. It is an inspiring true story that
one can learn a great deal from. It would help people going through
other crises as well.
The real reason why I kept the title I now have
is for my husband and for my daughter. You see, it is easy for me
to go public with the story. Everyone can feel sorry for me, poor
Anne. But my husband is the bad guy, the one people will think poorly
of. And my daughter, a major part of the story, attempted suicide
as she struggled to cope with her own emotions around her father's
infidelity. That is very personal and she is now only 21 years old.
As I have been writing, I have stressed to both my husband and to
my daughter that they are more important to me than writing the
book. I have offered to write it as fiction, and I have offered
to pretend it was some other family's story, but ultimately, I think
it will help more people the way it is. I have the deepest respect
for my husband and my daughter for their desire and willingness
to let this story be told publicly. They both prefer the title we
now have over all the others. I feel that the least I can do is
allow them to choose that. Our main goal is to help others and to
share a powerful message.
Here is the truth about why I can own the title:
In my marriage, before the affair, I was quite insecure. This had
nothing to do with my husband. Brian was a great husband. It had
to do with my dysfunctional childhood and the pain that I had subconsciously
brought from it into my marriage. As a child, I had been neglected
and abandoned. Unable to process it at the time, I had drawn the
conclusion 'subconsciously' that I was an unlovable person. It never
mattered how much love my husband lavished upon me, I still never
felt loved. It didn't matter how much all the other people in my
life showed me they loved me. I couldn't really receive that either.
I enjoyed my friends, my marriage and my time with people, but I
kept everyone at a distance. After all, would they not all one day
abandon me also? On the outside, it seemed all was good. I was doing
the best I knew how. I was raising my children, running a business
and a home, I had a good job and I was making a respectable contribution
to the community.
My husband was an outstanding husband, but still
I always found myself asking him the question 'Do you love me?' No matter how many times he told me, no matter how many expressions
of love, still I felt insecure. I did not realize that my insecurities
were eating away at his self-esteem. He thought "I must not
be a good husband, because if I was my wife would know I love her."
Because of my insecurities, I was never able to reach my full potential
as a person. I was also unable to really listen to my husband and
what his needs were.
Brian's affair was my personal 9/11 wake up call.
It was devastating as any one who has been there knows. Yet it forced
me to grow up. I will never be the same again.
I have learned that I am a loveable person, and
my security as an individual now comes from within. I no longer
need my marriage to be happy. I am able to be truly honest with
others and most importantly truly honest with myself. I am no longer
threatened by constructive criticism and I am no longer insecure.
Since the affair, and since I made it through
the difficult recovery period (two and a half years for me), I have
begun to excel in amazing ways in every area of my life. After the
affair, I was unable to work at all for eight months. However, when
I did return to my job, my employer commented that he didn't know
what had happened to me, but I had become a far better worker. Within
a couple of months my income doubled!!! And I had been doing well
before. I look after my health better now. I actually look and feel
better than I did 20 years ago, have more energy, more zeal and
more enthusiasm for life. Since I have gotten over my insecurities,
I experience far better relationships including my marriage, but
with my children and others as well.
I also have fun in my life now!
As sad as the affair was, I would not want to
ever go back to what I call my 'pre-affair' life. I have many times
thought to myself, if only, I could have gotten here some other
way. Why did I have to go through so much pain? But I really don't
know what else would have gotten my attention (unless of course
I had read an honest book like the one I've just written as opposed
to only placid, uncompassionate 'how-to' books).
Pre-affair, I was
unfortunately (and I hate to admit) a know-it-all. I had all the
answers already, so I'm not sure what someone could have said to
get my attention. In fact last weekend, while visiting with a friend
we had a good 'roll on the floor, oh please, I can't breathe' laugh
over the thought of a marriage book I might have written before
the affair, with all the answers, but no heart. It would have just
been 'blah, blah, blah, blah, blah' like so many of them are.
The only thing I can think of that may
have helped me is if someone had asked me the question;What baggage
from your childhood or your past, might you have brought into your
marriage which may be affecting you in a negative way?
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