Neither a betrayed or unfaithful spouse nor an affair partner, I read Not just friends: Rebuilding trust and recovering your sanity after infidelity as a pure spectator on the recommendation of someone rebuilding after marital infidelity. I found it offered a very systematic look at this phenomenon.
Dr. Shirley Glass, along with writing partner Jean Coppock Staeheli, takes the reader through how infidelity can occur even in good marriages, the feelings and thought processes once the affair is discovered, and how to piece the relationship back together. Some of her data-backed points and the trauma recovery model were new to me, but they made sense. I was also surprised to learn that most couples can work through infidelity and the relationship can emerge stronger, albeit with a noticeable scar.
I felt that the book was biased towards a certain type of affair, the new threat of casual workplace or internet based friendships crossing emotional and sexual boundaries (hence the title), and the assumption that both couples are committed to working through it, or that is ideally the road to take. Many of the vignettes seemed very stylized to illustrate the specific point at hand, with the couples having matching names and the affair partner having another (e.g., Ralph, Rachel, and Lara). However, I think there is a lot of step-by-step, practical advice for both spouses. The chapters on healing and forgiveness were inspiring and generally applicable.
While not great general reading material, I can see how this book can be helpful to its target audience.
I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who's spouse (or significant other) has cheated on them. I have been involved in a DivorceCare class at a local church (HIGHLY recommend that too if you are separated/divorced!) and this book was on their website resource list. This book is very in-depth and very thorough. The author Glass has many years of counseling and research experience with infidelity and she covers the topic from all sides of the spouse-cheating spouse-affair partner triangle. I have loaned this out & recommended it to several acquaintenances in similar positions and it has been instrumental in my healing over the past several months. While my STBX has no interest in reconciling, there is a WONDERFUL section of this book devoted to spouses seeking to reconcile, with detailed recommendations on the process that should be involved in reconciliation. On the whole, the subtitle really does ring true - I felt like I was going crazy trying to deal with this and this book helped me in so many ways to understand that it was not "all about me" as my STBX would have me believe, but it was really mostly about HIS issues. Written from a Biblical viewpoint.