“Affair Repair“ by Kara Oh is a brilliant guide that looks at how a couple can deal with and get past one of the spouse’s engaging in an affair in order to save their marriage. This guidebook, as the author refers to it, offers plenty of insight into the male and female psyche, as well as why relationships fail so often, making it a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their relationship.
Kara Oh not only provides valuable insight into the workings of a relationship but she also provides actionable steps and exercises that can be implemented to improve that relationship.
Rather than just dealing with theory, Kara Oh provides quite an extensive list of techniques and exercises couples can use to improve everything from their communication to regaining the love they felt at the beginning of their relationship.
A refreshing change from other works tackling the same topic, Kara Oh explains that it is impossible to return to the way things were before the affair. Things have changed, the “bubble of trust”, as she calls it, has burst and there’s no way to go back to the exact way things were before.
However, she does believe that an affair can be used as the spark to create an even better marriage, one that is the stuff of dreams. And that is exactly what she promises to help couples do with “Affair Repair.”
For this reason, while Kara Oh does tackle the problem of the affair in-depth, she doesn’t beat it to death or necessarily make it the focus. For example, instead of requiring that a couple poke and prod at the affair, dissecting it from all angles, she feels that the best approach is for a couple to share their feelings regarding the event with each other but then to leave it in the past. This way a couple can move on and work on rebuilding their relationship by focusing on the positives instead of the negatives.
The book offers plenty of actionable advice for couples to deal with the pain caused by an affair and to help the partners reconnect, with various communication techniques to help externalize the issues without allowing them to escalate. However, the author does explain that it is critical for both partners to decide what they want. Both partners must want to fix the relationship because it won’t be an easy process and full commitment is necessary.
An interesting point the author makes is that the affair is most likely a symptom of a much deeper problem and is a sign that the relationship was on shaky ground to begin with. This is the main reason she feels that a couple can not only repair their marriage but improve it substantially. Kara has worked with many couples, helping them improve their marriages and overcome what seemed like insurmountable obstacles and all this experience has been translated into the pages of her book.
According to Kara Oh, the biggest cause of failed relationships is poor communication. Couples don’t communicate openly with each other, letting each other know how they feel, which is what leads to a build-up of resentment that then explodes into arguments that never solve anything.
“Affair Repair“ provides quite a few detailed communication techniques that couples will find extremely useful in reconnecting with each other. However, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be easy.
These techniques will lead both partners into analyzing themselves very closely and it could get difficult at times. The results, though, will be worth it because of the deeper level of communication that will be achieved.
Kara Oh firmly believes that children and romance don’t mix and she clearly has a point. She explains how a woman’s libido automatically shuts down while she is nursing and how women tend to get stuck in the same rut for longer than necessary. Men don’t say anything about because they are afraid of sounding childish and self-absorbed so the resentment builds up.
Statistically, it seems that this is the time when most affairs take place. Essentially, this could be when the man feels he is being ignored by his spouse completely in favor of the new addition to the family.
Kara views children as the ultimate expression of a loving relationship and they aren’t necessarily the problem. It’s the way we react once we have children and by placing all our focus on the child, we tend to push away our partner.
Another problem with children is that people rarely set boundaries, meaning that there is a clear lack of privacy which would hurt any relationship. Thus, the author feels that it is very important for parents to set boundaries with their children.
She offers plenty of strategies and techniques on how to keep the fires of romance burning, even if there are children in the equation.
One of the most interesting parts of the book is the way the author tackles the concept of love. Instead of treating it like some abstract concept that comes and goes without us having the power to do anything about it, she shows us how we can keep fanning that fire to keep the flames roaring.
Kara Oh’s belief is that love fades due to neglect. The main reason we fall in love with a person is because of how they make us feel. In other words, when you first fall in love with someone it’s because they make you feel amazing, wonderful, appreciated, happy, adored and so on. Yes, it does evolve into something more complex and deeper, but those beginning fireworks are due to the way that person makes us feel.
In the beginning, people pay each other compliments, talk for hours, do all sorts of nice things for each other, buy gifts and so on and so forth. All these small things make us feel loved and appreciated, which is why love starts to flicker out once we allow ourselves to get mired in the rut of daily life. We forget to do all those small things that made spending time together fun and enjoyable, which is love fades with time.
Kara Oh, though, has developed a simple strategy, known as RPL Technology that will enable couples to relight the fire of love. By employing these techniques and understanding that the main desire every person has is to be loved, appreciated and accepted for who they are as a person, a couple can have a much better marriage.
Kara also delves into the difference between men and women in terms of feelings. This is an essential part of the book because it allows couples to understand each other better. Women rarely understand why men don’t share their feelings and men have trouble understanding why women won’t stop sharing, making this an essential read for both partners.
According to Kara Oh, women don’t understand that men express their feelings differently and aren’t into the “mushy” side of things, which is exactly what we want. Instead, a man going off to work to provide for his family is one way men express their love for their family. This section was definitely an eye-opener when it comes to the way men think and the book is worth reading just for this insight alone.
Kara Oh describes a very interesting listening technique to get men to open up more and feel safe in sharing their feelings with you, which will prove useful for any couple.
“Affair Repair“ also tackles the issue of differences. At first, these little differences are considered to be cute and endearing but as time moves on they can become irritating. The author shows, though, how these differences can be used to create a much deeper bond and a much deeper level of intimacy helping to build a strong relationship.
After reading this book, I must admit that I have a much better understanding of men and a greater awareness of why things happen in a relationship. At one point the author says that a relationship will improve simply because we are now conscious of many of the issues that have been discussed and she certainly has a point.
While reading the book, you will likely find yourself analyzing how each piece of new information relates to your own relationship and it will definitely give you a much deeper understanding of where things went wrong and what you can do to fix them.
However, as with any book that deals with a sensitive topic, don’t expect to have fun reading it. Kara Oh will ask you to examine feelings that you might not be ready to touch with a barge pole yet and she will ask you to take things a step further after that. But, if you truly want to save your marriage then this is what you will have to do. Anything that is worth anything in life doesn’t come easily.
I fully recommend Kara Oh’s “Affair Repair”, and it is also a great read for couples who are not yet in the position of having to deal with an affair because it will still provide excellent insight and you know what they say: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Yes... it can. Just like thousands of other couples, you can avoid divorce after an affair by working together through a marriage-healing plan. You follow the right steps... in the right order... and end up with a marriage stronger than it ever was before the infidelity.
Recent studies show divorce doesn't make women happier. And besides that, if you never work through the trust issues caused by the affair you'll later find it impossible to trust the next man you get close to.
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