Book Review – Mending a Shattered Heart Edited by Stefanie Carnes
Monday, June 1st, 2015
Happy Monday and Happy June! Just want you to know that I care for each and everyone of you that reads this blog. Would love to hear from you…
Okay, so here is the back story on this book: I enjoyed reading Out of the Shadows so much that I came across this book when I was looking for others that Patrick Carnes has written. This book is actually partly written and then edited by his daughter, Stefanie Carnes.
Here is my review:
Name of the Book: Mending a Shattered Heart: A guide for partners of sex addicts. Edited by Stefanie Carnes
Trigger Level: Low to Medium. You can read a little more about why I include the trigger level in this post. The first half of the book had minimal triggers but the second half had several chapters with triggers. Keep reading to learn more.
What I liked about the book: The first half of this book was very clear and direct about what it looks like early on in the recovery process for a wife that has been sexually betrayed by her husband. Below is a sampling of what I really appreciated:
- I liked the conciseness of the definition of a sexual addiction. Here it is: “Sex addiction progresses, gets out of control, becomes a compulsive pattern, and takes over the addict’s life. …it is an unhealthy relationship to any sexual experience (thoughts, fantasies, activities, etc.) that a person continues to engage in despite adverse consequences.”
- I liked their explanation of what it might look like to have a sexual addiction: “Typically sex addicts have high shame and remorse around their behavior, feelings of despair, and commonly a history of trauma… They can be depressed, anxious and have difficulties with intimacy and attachment. They can also have a high propensity for being suicidal.”
- In regards to disclosure – “Addicts need to remember that in the long run, it’s the behaviors not the disclosure that led to the negative consequences.” (I LOVE this. So true.)
- And check this out: “One of the most common reasons addicts enter recovery from sex addiction is the potential breakup of a relationship. This means you have more power than you think you do.” (I see this time and time again. When a wife finally puts her foot down, has had enough, demands change or else… That’s when a husband gets serious.)
- In regards to making big decisions or any decisions for that matter: “Nothing major the first year.”
What I didn’t like about this book: This book is divided into two parts. The first part consists of material for all “partners” of sex addicts. The second half of the book discusses specific situations. As I mentioned earlier, there were a fair amount of triggers in the second half of the book. I’m not going to go into detail about my concerns with the second half of the book, but I will say that I felt like the book was taken too far and covered too much detail in certain chapters. It’s for this reason, that I would encourage you to read only what applies to you in the second half of the book and leave the rest. Also, proceed with caution with the second half of the book. If you start to sense you are feeling triggered, it’s okay to stop.
Additional Thoughts: The first half of this book was really insightful for me. I highly recommend reading all of part one. Keep in mind that this book is written from a secular point of view as well as with a strong 12-step influence. With that being said, it might resonate more with some of you than others.
Would love to know if you have read this book and any additional thoughts you might have. xoxo-Shelley