Book Review – “I Don’t Love You Anymore” by Dr. David Clarke

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

This one, my friends, is a book that I wish each of you would take the time to purchase and read.  In fact, one of my groups recently told me that they think this book should be a required reading for every wife going through this process.  You heard it – a required reading.  With that in mind, this blog post is dedicated to the rabid four, also known as TRF (don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense, just keep reading).

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It’s also the book that changed my life some 12 years ago when I decided my heart was so bitter and so resentful toward Jason that I had to find a way to forgive him.  It practically fell off the shelf at the book store right in front of me and it gave me the courage I needed to confront Jason and demand the truth from him.  (Jason had confessed a half-truth some 9 months prior and then proceeded to tell me we weren’t going to discuss his affair and we needed to move on with life as normal.  I believed it was my fault and decided I needed to be sexier to win Jason back.  Bad move on my part.  It didn’t work.  Reading this book and implementing a lot of what Clarke suggested with the help of our counselor – it worked!)

Name of the Book:  What to do when your spouse says I don’t love you anymore By Dr. David Clarke

Trigger Level:  Low.  You can read a little bit more about why I include the trigger level here.  This book, in my opinion, is about as safe as a book pertaining to sexual betrayal can get.

What I Liked About This Book:  Do you have all day for me to read the book to you?  Because yes, it is that good.  Where do I even begin?!

This book helped empower me to realize that it wasn’t up to me to repair my marriage from the devastation of adultery.  It was up to Jason.

  • For instance, more than once, Dave (yes, this is how close I feel to the author) mentions that this isn’t the time to fix the marital issues – which are 50/50.  Rather, your spouses sin is what the focus will be.  “Down the road, you’ll be more than happy to deal with your personal issues and the marital issues.  But not until you’ve seen considerable effort and progress from your adulterous spouse.”  Amen.

This book helped me see that playing the sweet, submissive role that I was so desperately trying to portray in order to fix my marriage wasn’t a good choice.

  • Dave relates a story about a woman whose pastor told her to simply forgive her husband and not bring it up again.  (I think I could die just typing that out and the truth is – this is STILL advice given to women.)  This woman was instructed, by her pastor mind you, “to be cheerful, be affectionate, make nice meals, be romantic, invite him often to have sex, ask what his needs are every day, and really work hard on her weaknesses.”  The next paragraph begins with “hearing this, I had a strong urge to throw up.”  Me too, Dave, me too.
  • Dave also talks about his tough-as-nails approach.  He says that some of the wives he works with push back when he explains his approach.  These ladies say that if they are too tough, they will scare their husbands off.  This is what Dave says, “My response is always the same:  “You can’t scare him off because he’s already gone.”  This is so good, so true, and so sobering.
  • “There are two persons inside you.  The first person loves her husband and wants to be kind, supportive and compassionate.  The second person is furious, deeply wounded – almost to the point of being terminal – and devastated.  Be that second person first.”

This book helped me see that I had every right to ask for a full disclosure for my healing.

  • “How can you forgive him if you don’t know completely what he’s done?  You can’t forgive what you don’t know.”  Great point, Dave.
  • “The details are an essential part of the recovery process.  The two of you and your marriage won’t heal without them.  How can your fallen husband be truly broken and truly change without a full and open and honest confession of his sin?  If any of his sin stays inside, secret and unconfessed, it will slowly destroy him and your relationship.”
  • Dave is a proponent of a written disclosure followed by a verbal disclosure.  He says that “with the affair on paper, it goes from an out-of-control, mysterious monster to a defined, manageable monster.”

This book is also, I must admit, funny in places.  I’ll also admit, I called Jason “buster” quite a few times.  And it felt good.

  • “Call what he did adultery, not an affair.  Don’t call your husband by his first name, either.  That’s too personal and affectionate.  Use buster or you or his last name.  The colder and more impersonal you can be, the better.”

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What I didn’t like about this book:  Very little.  This book is amazing and it completely changed the trajectory of my journey some 12 years ago.  I can’t recommend this book enough.  (It also changed the trajectory of Jason’s journey.  He met Dave a couple of years ago!)

Additional thoughts:  None.  I’ve said enough.

And I’d love to know your thoughts.  Have you read this book?  What spoke most to you?

9 thoughts on “Book Review – “I Don’t Love You Anymore” by Dr. David Clarke

  1. Noname

    July 10, 2015  |  01:08 pm

    While reading this book, I am thinking about the many “mistakes” I made in the months and years following my husband’s disclosures! Who knew to rush out and purchase this book following disclosure? Who knew to use anger to bring about restoration? Really, how many women in the wake of adultery can even think straight? Unfortunately I “tamped down” my anger in my mis-guided attempt to “save” my marriage and am wondering how I can now 2 years later un-leash my buried anger to begin David Clarke’s recovery from adultery program.


    • rlforwomen

      July 10, 2015  |  07:48 pm

      Well, first, I just want you to know that this is the most imperfect process ever. I’ve yet to meet a wife that reported she did this process perfectly. And…what works for me doesn’t work for everyone. Right? So please know that none of us have done this perfectly. If something in the book speaks to you and you feel like you need to take 10 steps back and let out some anger, I hope you do so. The anger will either seep out, or come out in a healthy way. Thanks for your response. xoxo


  2. MARK

    July 31, 2015  |  03:24 am

    I will never forget the night my wife handed me this book and told me to read it “or else.” As I made my way through chapter after chapter, I kept thinking to myself, “Why is she letting me read this? She’s giving away the battle plan.” But it worked. It scared the living daylights a out of me, and I knew I better get serious about repentance and restoration or my world was going to crash down around me. My wife and I refer to Dr. Clark’s magnum opus as simply “The Book.” It’s a get-real, in-your-face call to arms in the battle against sexual sin. That battle is very real and deadly serious, and this book pulls out the big guns that are necessary to make husbands come to terms with what is really important in their lives. My life, thankfully, will never be the same because of this book.


    • rlforwomen

      August 4, 2015  |  08:01 pm

      I’m excited to hear that “the book” was just what you needed and that life won’t ever be the same because you chose to read it and hear the truth! I adore your wife and am so very thankful for her presence in our little group. -Shelley


  3. Kate

    January 13, 2016  |  02:36 am

    Amen! This book is so transformational! It felt so good be given permission to be the hurt and wounded woman I was. If it hadn’t been for this book, I don’t know where I would be – probably still trying to woo back someone who was already gone. Thanks for recommending this!


    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 15, 2016  |  09:40 pm

      Oh good! I’m so happy to hear that this book was helpful for you!!! xo-Shelley


  4. Emily Jackson

    December 29, 2016  |  12:07 pm

    Wow! Sounds like I truly need to get this book! I find it refreshing and uplifting that God is bringing me to these blogs and knowing exactly what I need to start healing from all this brokenness!! Thank you For all you do for women!!


  5. Stacy

    March 7, 2017  |  08:31 pm

    I think I will purchase this book, but I am 15 years in. Can this still work? I’m still struggling with a lot of the hurt and pain.Everything got swept under “the rug”. I never got the help I needed because you forgive and forget, like a good Christian. I wish I found all this information way back when. Shelley is it too late? I want my marriage to be healed!


    • Shelley Martinkus

      March 8, 2017  |  12:41 pm

      Stacy,
      It is definitely not too late. There is no time limit or expiration date on getting the healing you need. Better late than never and it takes great courage after 15 years to say time out – I am not okay. I need to grieve, I need to heal, this way isn’t working for me anymore. You can do this Stacy. Keep us posted. xoxo-Shelley


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