The School of Life

NEW Hardback book | 125 pages  | 155 x 110 mm

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An affair is a dangerously garbled plea for intimacy – an attempt, however wrongly enacted, to remember what we so desperately want and need from love...

Our societies are remarkably confident on the matter: affairs are terrible things and only fools, monsters and knaves would ever be involved in them. Those who are their victims deserve unending sympathy and access to a good lawyer. This stance may be clear, but it is not especially helpful given that, in reality, one in four of us will be involved in an affair during our lifetime. 

This is a book written to increase our understanding of what is really at stake: it looks beyond the caricatures to examine why affairs happen; it delves into the question of what being unfaithful means and why, despite the risks, it happens so often. Most importantly, this book seeks to help us through affairs, offering couples a better understanding of each other’s motivations and moods – and, where desirable, a way to save a relationship. We have for too long either openly condemned or secretly lusted after affairs: this, finally, is a chance to understand them.

Topics Include:

•    When Does an Affair Begin?
•    How to Spot a Couple That Might Be Headed for an Affair
•    How to Reduce the Risk of Affairs
•    What Ideally Happens When an Affair Is Discovered?
•    How to Handle the Desire for Affairs

Extracts from the Book:

On The Pleasures of Affairs

“We can discover a more carefree side of ourselves, or emerge as the one who takes the lead in making decisions. We are not boxed in by assumptions that might have been mostly true a decade before. The lover declares us to be, much to our surprise, but also to our relief, remarkably funny, relaxed or serious - things we might have struggled to feel in the face of the prejudices of our partners, who tell us with authority what we are ‘really’ like.”

On The Pains of Affairs

“For a time, we had the satisfaction of knowing that the problem lay firmly with our partner; they were the ones holding us back, stifling our sex lives, hampering our ability to express ourselves professionally, dampening our mood and ruining our chances. But the affair had revealed a more awkward truth: that many of the greatest problems that hound us are endemic to us, or even to existence. We can see that we had previously experience the pains of life in the company of our partner, not because of our partner.”

The Love Series by The School of Life aims to be like an ideal friend around the dilemmas of the heart. Each title zeroes in on one of the central issues we’re liable to confront – from dating to heartbreak, from affairs to arguments. What unites the books is their combination of psychological insight, humanity and warmth: They lend us the advice and comfort we need to find the happiness we deserve.


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