MORE THAN JUST A FRIEND: The Joys and Disappointments of Extramarital Affairs by Thomas C. McGinnis

MORE THAN JUST A FRIEND: The Joys and Disappointments of Extramarital Affairs

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More than most people probably want or need to know about extramarital affairs--their genesis and how to cope with them. McGinnis is a psychotherapist and marriage counselor with similarly tepid efforts to his credit in the area of teen dating and family life, so it comes as no surprise that this is rife with lists (on the variety of affairs, ways to rebuild a damaged relationship, or Those Most Likely to Engage) and a bit waffly on the causes (unfulfilled hunger for love, unfulfilled itch for excitement, unfulfilled need for fulfillment). McGinnis seems at times to be feeling out the territory for a wholehearted endorsement of the extramarital affair where it meets deep human needs; he even predicts that, by 1990, 75 percent of all men and 65 percent of all women will be engaging in such affairs. Twenty-five case histories are used to demonstrate the themes of different chapters (priest and parishioner struggle with ""Guilt"": ""'I can't live without you,' Eva cried. 'Nor I without you,' mourned Father Gordon""). McGinnis does capture the changing outlook on marriage: where once we preserved the union as a matter of duty, fidelity, and trust to the institution, today's emphasis is on strengthening the relationship, helping one's partner (and oneself) to grow. In some cases, he asserts, an affair is necessary to preserve individual growth, and it need not always damage the marital relationship. Perhaps--but the presentation is facile.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1981
Publisher: Prentice-Hall