dearpeggy230 Dear Peggy
Peggy answers questions about extramarital affairs *
by Peggy Vaughan

     * Note: These questions are NOT taken from the
          3 Collections of Questions sold on the site in pdf.

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(Read List of all 260 Questions Below.)

A Personal Note from the Author

I have dedicated the past three decades to working with people who are struggling to deal with the impact of extramarital affairs in their lives. I have heard from thousands of men and women (on all sides of this issue), giving me a window on the world of affairs, providing valuable insights about this all-too-common experience.

My understanding is strengthened by the fact that I also know about this subject from firsthand experience. Since 1955, I have been married to my childhood sweetheart. I, like many people, never expected my marriage would be vulnerable to affairs—but I learned the hard way that no marriage is immune.

The sense of blame, shame and devastation that is so common to this experience is intensified by the secrecy that surrounds it. We need much more "responsible honesty" about this life-altering experience. Since 1980, when my husband and I began speaking publicly about our experience, we have tried to educate the public about the prevalence of affairs and the need for a societal effort to deal with it.

This book provides new perspective on this issue through hearing the voices of the men and women who have "been there." It contains letters from those who have had affairs, from the hurt spouses, and from the third parties. The common thread of all the letters is the pain and devastation experienced by everyone who finds themselves involved in any of the various roles.

In my responses, I do not give individual advice; rather, I address the issues presented in the letters, using rational thinking to address this very emotional situation. (Note that all of my responses are directed to you, the Reader—not to the specific individual who wrote the letter.)

These letters are not taken from the thousands of personal letters I have received through the years. All the letters in this book were submitted specifically to be answered in a public forum. (They were sent to me between 1996 and 1999 while I served as an expert on extramarital affairs for AOL's Online Psych.)

I hope this book will provide information, understanding and perspective for all those who are currently struggling with this issue—as well as for those who can use this information to avoid facing this situation in their own lives. In fact, everyone needs this kind of perspective because everyone is likely to be touched by affairs in some way—either personally or in responding to a friend or family member who needs help in sorting through their own experience with affairs.

I hope you will use this book to become better informed about affairs and to engage in responsible discussions with all those who are important in your life.

Peggy Vaughan,
June 1999


  A Personal Note from the Author
Quotes from Readers
1. Affairs 101
How do you "define" an affair?
Are affairs normal?
Why do women cheat?
Marital Fidelity
One-night stands...
Questions, questions, questions...
How long do affairs last?
Affairs are in a way a good thing
Affair in a 21-year Marriage
Renew Old Flame Online
2. Why People Have Affairs
Husband's affair
Very confused in my marriage
Repeated affairs
Why do I do this??
Building up to an affair
Husband wants what I don't give
"Diagnosing" the cause of affairs?
Will upbringing cause affairs?
A positive affair
What needs aren't being met?
He said his affair was my fault
3. Online Affairs
Online affair with a married man
Meant to be?
Met an Online Flirt
Falling in love online
Can't get over breakup
Hurt from Online Affairs
Meeting Online
Love on AOL
Online Affair
Online Romance
Beyond the average AOL affair
Online love
So Confused
Realism in Relationships
Online friendship with opposite sex
My Online Affair
Online Relationships
Attempting to end it
He won't stop online affair
Safe Cyber Affairs?
Can online affair work out?
Met a man online
Lying about online affairs
Meeting in Person
"He" was a She
Chat out of Hand
4. Emotional Affairs
Emotionally attached
Emotional Involvement?
Do I have a platonic affair?
5. Suspicions of an Affair
I don't trust him anymore
Is he having an affair?
He gets angry at my questions
Suspect an Affair
Denies Affair!
Suspect my spouse...again
Why can't I trust?
Husband denied affair
Feelings for ex-girlfriend?
Not sure
Afraid he'll cheat
Suspicious and Jealous
Suspect wife having affair
So jealous I can't breath
They were found naked
6. Confronting an Affair
Need Advice in Confronting Wife
Getting the Truth about an Affair
Why is he angry and mean?
I haven't confronted her...
Finally told the truth
7. Coping with the Pain
Marriage on the Rocks
Devastated by wife's affair
Shock and Devastation
My Husband and my Friend
Husband's affairs
Mid-life crisis and extramarital affairs
Roller-coaster Ride
Will I Overcome The Pain?
The Hurt
When an affair ends
How long does it take to get over?
Lied to for 7 years
My husband had an affair
Getting over the anger
He won't discuss his affair
Lingering pain of wife's affair
Extra, Extra, Extra
Will an affair help me forget?
The pain is overwhelming
Online and Off-line Affair
8. What about the Children?
Should I tell the kids?
Staying for the Sake of the Children?
Extramarital affair resulted in child
Child by Lover
She's pregnant
9. Dealing with the Third Party
Obsessed With the Other Woman
4-year affair
Hate the Other Woman
Anger after the affairs
Still confused
The Other Woman
Harassment by other woman
10. Staying or Leaving
Should I give up?
I'm trapped
Numb to Affairs, Still in Love
Settling for Stability
Affair with an employee
Best friend/more?
Why won't they stop?
Should I stay or should I go?
Why can't I leave?
What's wrong...?
A Soap Opera
My husband's affair
Anxiety about moving on...
Second husband had affair
Wandering husband
Back and forth
Better to move on?
I fell in love
Can't deal with this
Angry and Hurt
Lost and confused...
Help-Age Difference
Do I stay or start over?
11. Rebuilding the Marriage/Trust
My husband had an affair
Telling all the details?
Can I get through this?
Should I get pregnant despite the affair?
What's happening here?
Lies about having an affair
Am I just as guilty?
Husband is distant
Wants 36-year marriage to succeed
How do I cope?
Regaining Beliefs
Affair by my husband
Living in the past
Some words left unknown
I had an affair
Will I Ever Know the Truth?
12. Aftermath and Perspective
Where do I go from here?
Never before
No further down the road...
I just don't get it
Life-altering affair
After 22 years...
No soul, no trust, no hope
13. Married Person Having an Affair
What do I do now?
I'd like to stop…
Best friends who also have sex
No sexual desire for spouse
A Younger Man
Friendship to affair....
I Wish I Knew
Loving Two Women
I want both
Marital crisis
Affairs are Confusing
Very Confused
Southern Gentleman
To Tell or not To Tell
Do I have to tell on myself?
Should you tell?
25 Years Ago
Coping with my affair
Ending an Affair
14. Single Third Party in an Affair
Being the Other Woman
Feelings of the other woman
I Am the Other Woman
Marry me or I'm out of here…
Why risk getting caught?
Other Woman
In love with a married man
Lies to the other woman
Affair with boss
"Other Woman" talking to wife?
Other woman won—and lost
Do I give him another chance?
Conflicting Wants
Woes of the Other Woman
Burning anger…
How Do I Go On?
Was "wife," now "other woman"
Wants to Leave
The "love of my life"
The View from Both Sides
Waiting for Her to Leave
Man in turmoil over affair
15. Dealing with a Friend's Affair
Doing The Right Thing
Friends didn't tell me
Should I snitch?
16. Dealing with a Parent's Affair
My mom's having an affair!
Can't "get over" our father's affair
Father with 25 year mistress/dual life
My Dad's Secrets
Angry at my father
My Parents
17. Affairs at Work
I can't stop fantasizing about my boss
Affair with my boss
My Boss and I
Affair at Work
At Work Affair???
Still in love with my boss
18. Homosexual Affairs
Honesty in Homosexual Affairs
Best Friend vs. Boy Friend
Husband's affair with another man
Bisexual Desires
19. Sexually Open Marriage
Open Marriage
20. Loves/Affairs from the Past
Old Feelings
Old flame...
What to do?
Past lovers
Lost Love Found Again
21. Second Time Around
Falling in Love, Staying There
Going nowhere fast
22. Complicating Circumstances
Affair (Abuse)
What are some warning signs?
Abusing me and cheating
Cheating Dead Husband
Death adds to confusion
Lover's wife just died
Long-term Affairs
Confusion about Feelings for Ex
Very bizarre
Alcoholism and/or affair
More attractive after marriage
Separation, one year
23. Learnings from Affairs
Affair was expensive lesson
The Impact of Secrecy
My Affair/Myself
Want to be Forgiven
Long-term relationship
24. Preventing Affairs
Will he have an affair?
Insecure about his feelings
Is fidelity possible?
Dreaming about another guy
Would he do it again?
Husband's Online Affair
I am considering an affair
Affair after 42 years
Strong attraction
Not an issue of sex
Never been faithful...
Fear of being cheated on
Why aren't I enough?
Male-Female Friends???
How to improve marriage?
  About the Author
  Other Books by the Vaughans

Quotes about Peggy's Work
  • It's such a relief to hear some "realistic" advice. It's just the kind of information I needed so desperately.
  • Your work has been a life saver for me at this difficult time!
  • You have really helped me start to put things in perspective. It's so helpful to find out that I am not really alone during this devastating period of my life.
  • I am in awe of your courage and honesty. This is the most difficult subject in the world. God bless you.
  • You have helped me calm down a great deal; I'm pretty sure my dad is having an affair and felt I had nowhere to turn for help.
  • What can I say! Astonishing! Admirable! And Super! I have learned lots of good points other "experts" never touched.
  • Thank you for helping me to deal with the pain and the anger.
  • It's extremely helpful to hear your point of view of having "been there." I hope that you can continue to be helpful to others.
  • Great information and perspectives!
  • I applaud your work and feel fortunate to live in a time among people willing to tackle our important social problems, that in the long run affect the fabric of our society.
  • Your information has given me hope for the first time. Thanks!
  • I've found your approach to be such a relief. Thank you for your level-headed approach.
  • Your information has been a constant source of comfort and knowledge. More helpful than support group meetings, or counseling sessions.
  • You are an incredible resource!
  • Thank you for dealing with this subject in a way that represents the way society really is, rather than just condemn everyone who is involved in an affair.
  • I draw comfort from your work; I know I am not alone.
  • You have a very nice treatment of an important subject—free from hyperbole and filled with understanding and compassion.
  • What a pleasant surprise, to find someone so open and honest.
  • I wish I and everyone could read your comments when we first get married, it would sure save a lot of grief.

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