In today’s society, infidelity—or cheating—is becoming more common. There are a number of books that can provide clarity and guidance in an intensely personal and difficult time for those who have been in a toxic relationship with an unfaithful partner. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all self-help book for cheaters, the right one could help you get started on your healing journey.
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A person who wants to heal from betrayal and work on self-growth can often benefit from two (or three); well-crafted self-help book for cheaters that work in tandem, clinical psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Carla Marie Manly says. Because infidelity can be life-changing, it’s critical to do solid work from the inside out to achieve deep healing.
Self-Help Book for Cheaters
The best self-help book for cheaters for every type of relationship is listed below.
#1. The Divorce Busting Guide to Rebuilding Your Marriage After an Affair
Written by an acclaimed therapist, this book can help you work through the disbelief and anger of an affair. The written version of a couples’ therapy session is titled “Healing From Infidelity.” This book is a powerful guide for wounded couples who want to work through the trauma of infidelity and rebuild their relationship. Michele Weiner-Davis, a renowned relationship expert and therapist, leads couples through a step-by-step program to make amends and rebuild trust after an affair. This interactive book contains sections on dealing with traumatic feelings, responding to questions after an affair, overcoming flashbacks, finding forgiveness, and more.
#2. Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat
“Infidelity” examines why people cheat and what to do when confronted with a cheating spouse. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, takes readers on a scientific journey to comprehend all aspects of infidelity. This book deconstructs the three types of cheating—emotional, virtual, and physical—as well as what motivates people to cheat and how to process and heal from a cheating partner.
#3. Out of the Doghouse: A Step-by-Step Relationship-Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating
Weiss provides insights through the eyes of the betrayed partner, sharing their emotions and perspectives on the situation.
In “Out of the Doghouse,” author Robert Weiss, LCSW, provides concrete steps for men who have been caught cheating to rebuild trust, restore intimacy, and save their relationship after an affair. This book is brutally honest, delving into the mental and emotional flaws of cheating men and covering the skills they must develop in order to mend a deeply damaged relationship.
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#4. The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
Perel brings the taboos of modern marriage to life by combining true stories with psychological and cultural analyses.
In her book “The State of Affairs,” psychotherapist Esther Perel examines relationships from all angles, focusing on infidelity. Perel delves into the most profound questions about love, lust, commitment, and affairs, such as why people cheat—even in happy marriages—and whether an affair-proof marriage is even possible today. Perel brings the taboos of modern marriage to life by combining true stories with psychological and cultural analyses.
#5. Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life: The Chump Lady’s Survival Guide
“Leave a Cheater, get a Life” is a late-night pep talk from a close friend—specifically, the sassy straight-shooter. This book is not intended to save a relationship after infidelity; rather, it is intended to save one’s sanity. The book, which is full of wisdom and uncensored wit, serves as a practical and relatable guide for anyone who has been cheated on and needs a friend who “sits with you at 3 a.m., pours you a bowl of Raisin Bran, and tells you to leave that cheater.”
#6. When You’re The One Who Cheats: Ten Things You Need To Know
Dr. Tammy Nelson counsels readers on the consequences of infidelity in a nonjudgmental manner. “When You’re the One Who Cheats” assists readers in gaining clarity and confronting the meaning behind their actions and emotions. Dr. Tammy Nelson advises readers on the implications of infidelity in a nonjudgmental manner, providing exercises and actionable steps to help them move forward with their lives. This book addresses issues such as deciding whether to tell a spouse about the affair and determining whether it is worthwhile to stay in the marriage.
#7. Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After
Author Katherine Woodward Thomas helps readers reframe the way they view the end of a relationship.
Gwyneth Paltrow promoted conscious uncoupling, which she used to describe her divorce from Chris Martin. Conscious uncoupling is a method for ending a relationship in a holistic and respectful way. Author Katherine Woodward Thomas helps readers reframe their perspective on the end of a relationship in this New York Times bestseller. Readers gain the skills and tools needed to turn the page and empower themselves to move into the next chapter of their lives through her five-step method. Woodward Thomas is a marriage and family therapist with a license.
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#8. Infidelity: The Best Worst Thing that Could Happen to Your Marriage
The book, written by an infidelity recovery expert, serves as a tool to help readers in unpacking and processing a broken relationship.
This book is the first step toward recovery for those who are reeling from the agony of an unfaithful partner. Talal H. Alsaleem, LMFT, an infidelity recovery expert, marriage counselor, and researcher, uses time-tested advice and innovative infidelity counseling methods to help people cope with an affair, learn how to process it, rebuild their self-esteem, and make an informed decision about their relationship’s future.
#9. The Road to Reconciliation: A Comprehensive Guide to Peace When Relationships Go Bad
Provides guidance on finding safety in a turbulent time, assessing one’s needs, making amends, and promoting change.
“The Road to Reconciliation” is a self-help book for anyone who has struggled with a relationship that has been tainted by selfishness, violence, abuse, addiction, or betrayal. Keith Wilson, a mental health counselor and certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor, takes a personalized approach to guide readers through relationship ambivalence.
This book is intended to help readers in deciphering their emotions and dissecting the situation. Wilson also offers advice on how to find safety in times of turmoil, as well as how to assess one’s needs, make amends, and promote change.
#10. Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them
Gives advice to both happy and struggling couples on how to recover from and avoid infidelity.
The film “Anatomy of an Affair” confronts the harsh reality that no marriage is immune to adultery. Author Dave Carder—a pastor and counselor specializing in adultery recovery and prevention—uses years of couples counseling to help readers understand what motivates a partner to cheat and how to recognize red flags before it happens.
From a religious standpoint, this book delves into infidelity and why people have affairs. Carder offers advice on how to cultivate an adultery-proof marriage, as well as additional insights through supplemental charts and personal assessments.
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#11. The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife by Alicia M. Walker
Ashley Madison, an online dating service, reached 60 million users in February 2019. The agency specializes in arranging affairs for married people and claims to facilitate over a million flings per month. Logging on to Ashley Madison is unquestionably America’s go-to strategy for cheating at that volume. That is why Alicia M. Walker’s The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding infidelity. Walker recounts dozens of interviews with women who use Ashley Madison to cheat in it.
#12. When You’re the One Who Cheats by Tammy Nelson
Whereas The Secret Life focuses on women in heterosexual marriages When You’re the One Who Cheats investigates infidelity across the sexual orientation spectrum. If you’re cheating or thinking about it, Nelson has some wise words for you. She counsels cheaters on their own motivations, when and if they should tell their significant others, and how to determine whether their primary relationship is worth saving.
#13. Chasing Masculinity by Alicia M. Walker
The fact that Alicia M. Walker’s work appears twice on this list should tell you a lot about its caliber. Palgrave Macmillan’s new book, Chasing Masculinity, is a companion piece to The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife. Dr. Walker asks Ashley Madison users for their stories once more, but this time it’s cheating men who are invited to tell all.
#14. My One-Month Marriage’
Zoe Dalton is still a newlywed. She only married a month ago, but instead of enjoying her honeymoon, she is returning her wedding gifts. When Zoe discovers her husband is having an affair, she never expected it to be someone close to her — and she certainly never expected it to be one of her three sisters. Suddenly, Zoe finds herself on a perilous path to the truth, as well as an introspective quest to redefine “happy ever after.”
#15. The Arrangement
Natalie is an art student in New York City who is struggling to make ends meet. She searches online for a sugar daddy — a wealthy, older man who offers financial support in exchange for romantic companionship — on the advice of a friend and meets Gabe, a corporate attorney in his fifties. Natalie is initially hesitant about the arrangement, but she soon becomes enthralled by Gabe and wants to be more than just his sugar baby.
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Finally, the best self-help book for cheaters for you will be determined by your needs. If you want to read something with your partner, “Healing from Infidelity” (view on Amazon) and “Infidelity” (view on Amazon) are both aimed at helping couples work together to move past infidelity and repair their relationship, respectively; while “Conscious Uncoupling” (view on Amazon) is best for couples looking to navigate the emotional struggles of breaking up in a respectful, healthy way.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I fix my relationship when I cheated?
Here are a few important steps you can take together to help repair your relationship.
- Make certain that there is remorse.
- Tell the truth about what happened.
- Remove all temptations to rekindle the affair.
- Proceed with brutal honesty and care.
- Be cautious about whom you tell.
- Work with a licensed therapist if possible.
What cheating does to the victim?
Being cheated on can have an impact not only on your self-esteem and self-worth but also on how you treat those around you. “Building up anger, bitterness, or hurt can manifest itself in how you act around the people you meet.” Trust is extremely valuable.
How does cheating affect a man?
It can have an impact on both your mental and physical health.
Being the victim of infidelity can have serious consequences for a person’s mental and physical health in some cases. Depression, anxiety, and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as disordered eating and substance abuse have all been linked to the situation.
What do you read after being cheated on?
- The Silent Wife by A.S.A.
- The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson.
- When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts and Minds of People in Two Relationships by Mira Kirshenbaum.
- Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman (Art)