Cheat on Your Husband—if that title doesn’t catch your eye you are more jaded than I am. When I first saw the titillating cover, I did a double take and thought, “Someone actually published a book about that?” Until I examined the door hanger on the cover completing the command “…with your husband.” It made more sense as a marketable topic, but I still wanted to find out more about the book.
Read last week’s 5 Minutes for Books on dealing with your teenage daughter.
Andrea Syrtash writes a relationship column that has exposed her to the joys and complaints about getting a boyfriend, keeping a girlfriend, and the changes that marriage and family cause in a relationship. Her book encourages women to “date your husband” by treating him the same way you did when he was just your boyfriend. The problem is that life gets in the way. Most of us have more concerns than when we were dating, including a mortgage, children, extra weight and job stress. All these things change the way we feel about our selves and our partner.
Syrtash’s tone is not condemning but matter-of-fact as she points out how women of our generation are intent to do it all, yet often forget about themselves and their husbands in that equation. She challenges the reader to evolve and grow as an individual and in their marriage instead of letting indifference take a stronghold. “This book is not just about reconnecting with your husband,” she writes. “It’s also, and perhaps more importantly, about reconnecting you with yourself.”
As I was reading her book of advice compiled from her extensive interviews with couples and experts, I could easily pinpoint areas in which I had let things slip. I also got excited to think of the way our relationship could improve with just a few small changes in practice or attitude.
Lest you think that it’s only about spending more time together, Syrtash makes sure to let you know what does not count as a date: watching TV together, doing errands, going to your favorite family dinner spot (even if you go sans kids), or talking about kids or finances throughout your date.
Read this book and you may find yourself more committed to doing the following:
- Going on adventures
- Keeping doors closed
- Purging your underwear drawer
- Not sweating the small stuff
- Taking time to nurture individual interests
- Protecting those date-night plans
- Busting traditional marriage myths
- Setting goals and benchmarks
- Cheating on your kids
Marriage is comfortable and secure, but it generally lacks the excitement of a new relationship. One of the participants in the study admits that she is sick of coasting through life and frequently reminds herself of the expression, “If you’re coasting, it can only mean one thing—you’re going downhill.”
I wouldn’t give up the familiarity and deep connection that I share with my husband of 18 years, but I would love to recapture some of the mystery and excitement from those early days when just thinking of him put a huge grin on my face. Wouldn’t you like to feel butterflies in your stomach or get excited about making out instead of thinking up ways to avoid sex?
Go ahead—take Syrtash’s challenge and advice. Be bold. Be adventurous. Cheat on Your Husband, with Your Husband.
Jennifer Donovan has been reviewing books online for over four years—and reading ever since she can remember. As a child, she favored realistic fiction, and she is still drawn to the stories of people's lives found in memoir and in character-driven fiction. Jennifer has been managing editor at 5 Minutes for Books since she launched the site in 2008 with the goal of providing diverse content meant to encourage people of all ages to read.